Plummer, George Winslow (1876-1944)

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Plummer, George Winslow (1876-1944)

George Winslow Plummer, cofounder of the Societas Rosicruciana in America, was born August 25, 1876, in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated from Brown University and moved to New York City as an artist. Along the way he joined the Masons. At this time there was within the Masonic movement a Rosicrucian society, but its membership was limited to Masons. In 1907 Sylvester C. Gould decided to found a Rosicrucian group that would be open to all. Plummer worked with Gould in the formation of the group, the Societas Rosicruciana in America, and the founding of a periodical, The Rosicrucian Brotherhood. Gould died in 1909, and Plummer emerged as the sole leader of the society, a position he held for the rest of his life. He also founded the First Rosicrucian Church in America. He was ordained and later consecrated as a bishop (1918) by Manuel Ferrando of the Reformed Episcopal Church.

In 1916 Plummer founded the Mercury Publishing Company and launched Mercury, a quarterly, as the official periodical of the Societas Rosicruciana in America. By 1920 he was able to quit his secular job and become the full-time executive of the society. He led in the founding of six colleges (Rosicrucian groups) in the United States and one overseas in Sierre Leone.

Plummer expanded his interest in an esoteric Christian mysticism in early 1902 with the founding of the Seminary of Biblical Research, a correspondence school, for which he wrote a series of lessons called Christian Mysticism. In 1924, with Episcopal priest Arthur Wolfort Brooks, he founded the Anglican Universal Church of Christ in the U.S.A. He and Brooks went their separate ways in 1927, and Plummer emerged as archbishop. In 1934 he was reconsecrated by William Albert Nichols of the Holy Orthodox Church in America. The Anglican Universal Church and Holy Orthodox Church in America merged and took the name of the latter body.

Plummer developed congregations of the Holy Orthodox Church in all of the cities where Rosicrucian lodges had previously been developed. He also consecrated four men to assist him, one of whom, Stanislaus Wotowski, eventually succeeded Plummer as head of the church.

Plummer wrote a number of books, including the Rosicrucian Fundamentals (1920), Principles and Practice for Rosicrucians (1947), The Art of Rosicrucian Healing (1947), and The Science of Death (1978). He also wrote the lessons for the Rosicrucian society. Plummer died January 26, 1944, and was succeeded by Witowski and his wife, Gladys Plummer. His widow eventually married Witowski and succeeded him. She was known during the last years of her life as Mother Serena.


Plummer, George Winslow. The Art of Rosicrucian Healing. New York: Society of Rosicrucians, 1947.

. Consciously Creating Circumstances. New York: Society of Rosicrucians, 1939.

. Principles and Practices for Rosicrucians. New York: Society of Rosicrucians, 1947.

. The Science of Death. New York: Society of Rosicrucians, 1978.

Voohris, Harold V. B. Masonic Rosicrucian Societies. New York: Press of Henry Emmerson, 1958.

Ward, Gary L. Independent Bishops: An International Directory. Detroit: Apogee Books, 1990.