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John Alexander Dowie

1847-1907. Faith healer and founder of the Christian Catholic Church. Born in Edinburgh and taken to Australia in 1860 by his parents, he was in business in Adelaide for seven years, then studied at Edinburgh University. Ordained as a Congregational minister in 1870, he served as pastor of churches in Alma and Sydney. In 1878 he resigned to become an evangelist and faith healer. By 1888 he had built a large independent tabernacle in Melbourne and organized the International Divine Healing Association. He then organized churches along the American Pacific coast for two years. He moved to Chicago and in 1896 founded the Christian Catholic Church, a theocracy headed by himself as “Elijah III, the Restorer.” By 1901 he moved his community to what became Zion, Illinois. As First Apostle after 1904, he ruled the theocratic community strictly and banned pork, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. Failure in a New York Madison Square Garden campaign and fiscal problems led to his deposition in 1906 by his successor W.G. Voliva, a year after Dowie had been stricken with paralysis.