National Spiritualist Association of Churches (NSAC)

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National Spiritualist Association of Churches (NSAC)

The National Spiritualist Association (later renamed the National Spiritualist Association of Churches) was founded in 1893 to bring some order out of the chaotic and decentralized Spiritualist movement and to respond to the charges and revelations of fraud that had hindered the movement through the last half of the nineteenth century. Leading in the formation of the association were former Unitarian clergymen Harrison D. Barrett and James M. Peebles and the medium Cora L. V. Richmond. An initial six-article "Declaration of Principles" was adopted. As later amended by additions, NSAC's statement affirms the following:

  1. "We believe in Infinite Intelligence [i.e., God].
  2. "We believe that the Phenomena of Nature, both physical and spiritual, are the expression of Infinite Intelligence.
  3. "We affirm that a correct understanding of such expression and living in accordance therewith constitute true religion.
  4. "We affirm that the existence and personal identity of the individual continue after the change called death.
  5. "We affirm that communication with the so-called dead is a fact, scientifically proven by the phenomena of Spiritualism.
  6. "We believe that the highest morality is contained in the Golden Rule: 'What so ever ye would have that other do unto you, do ye also unto them.'
  7. "We affirm the moral responsibility of the individual, and that he makes his own happiness or unhappiness as he obeys Nature's physical and spiritual laws.
  8. "We affirm the doorway to reformation is never closed against any human soul here or hereafter.
  9. "We affirm that the receipt of Prophecy and Healing contained in the Bible is a divine attribute proven through Mediumship."

These beliefs are largely shared by all Spiritualist groups, although the NSAC has continually been the target of controversy as pockets of members and leaders have professed a belief in reincarnation. Traditionally, Spiritualism in America and England has opposed the idea of reincarnation in favor of the idea of continuing mediumistic contact. As belief in reincarnation spread among Americans in general, however, different groups withdrew from the NSAC to found new denominations. To a lesser degree the association also argued against the distinctly Christian nature of Spiritualism and found itself competing with the Christian Spiritualist movement. In the 1920s African American members were set apart in the National Colored Spiritualist Association of Churches.

The NSAC has been the most stable of the several Spiritualist organizations. It is affiliated fraternally with the National Spiritualist Churches of Canada, which has congregations in Ontario and Quebec. It issues a periodical, the National Spiritualist Summit. Affiliated youth work is organized through the association's Lyceum movement. Address: NSAC, 3521 W. Topeka Dr., Glendale, AZ 85308-2325. Website:


Holms, A. Campbell. The Fundamental Facts of Spiritualism. Indianapolis: Stow Memorial Foundation, n.d.

Melton, J. Gordon. Encyclopedia of American Religions. 6th edition. Detroit: Gale Research, 1999.

The National Spiritualist Association of Churches. March 8, 2000.

The National Spiritualist Association of United States of America. One Hundredth Anniversary of Modern Spiritualism. Chicago: The Author, 1948.

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National Spiritualist Association of Churches (NSAC)

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National Spiritualist Association of Churches (NSAC)