Padgett died on March 17, 1923. Dr
Stone had been his constant companion, along with Eugene Morgan.
The legacy of manuscripts was left initially to Eugene Morgan, and
when he passed on he willed all the manuscripts, including his own
to Dr. Leslie Stone. Dr
Stone took up the challenge of readying the messages for publication.
The process of readying the material for publication was very difficult.
The messages were on small notebook pages, in the typically almost
unreadable format that constitutes automatic writing. Over 2500
messages had been received, probably many more if those from dark
spirits were included - one estimate is that there were 3,500 of
those, albeit very short messages. If one assumes the 2,500 averaged
four pages each, and clearly while some were short, many were of
considerable length, then he was dealing with over 10,000 handwritten
pages. This was a time when typewriters were expensive, and one
had to be a very competent typist to use them, as errors were messy
to alter. Once he had chosen his subject material, this had to be
typed and proofed. Then the printer would prepare the typesetting,
and again proofing was needed. This was also a time when publishing
was very expensive, as lead typesetting was used, from which plates
would be produced. It was also in the midst of the Great Depression,
and later the Second World War. Dr Stone funded all this out of
his own resources, so he continued to work to earn an income. It
has been suggested that Dr Stone received an insurance payment in
respect of a personal injury accident, and applied those funds to
The first volume was published in his own name in 1941. He then
decided to create a foundation for this purpose, and initially wanted
to create it in the name of James E Padgett Foundation. After opposition
from the Padgett family, he used his own name. But after creating
the Dr. Leslie R Stone Foundation (21st December 1955), he discovered
it could not be tax exempt. This led to the creation of the Foundation
Church of the New Birth (F.C.N.B) which was inaugurated on 2nd January
1958. Dr Leslie R Stone, Dr Daniel G Samuels, and Rev. John Paul
Gibson, were the Founding Trustees. Dr Stone was very much loved
by all who knew him, and finally passed into spirit at the age of
90, on the 15th January 1967. (His D.O.B was 10th November 1876)
By the time of Dr. Stone's passing, he had published two volumes,
and had contributed to the third volume of James Padgett's messages.
The third volume was completed by John Paul Gibson while Dr Stone
was still alive, and he also subsequently produced Vol IV.
The first editions of each volume of the messages were published
in 1941 (Vol I), 1950 (Vol II), 1956 (Vol III) and 1972 (Vol IV).
Four different titles were used over the years, and more details
about these publications can
be found on this page. Later these volumes, very very slightly
changed (the main pages appear to use the same printing plates,
with some changes to the introduction and the inclusion of original
messages and photos.) were published by the Foundation Church of
the New Birth as "True Gospel Revealed Anew by Jesus".
the period 1954-1966, a Jewish medium, Dr.
Daniel G. Samuels received a significant volume of messages.
These comprised fascinating information about the Old Testament,
and how it was that Jesus learned he might be the messiah. Apparently
he found Rev. John Paul Gibson difficult to get along with, and
eventually he left the movement, to not be heard from ever again.
He passed into spirit in March 1982, and this fact was only learned
recently. Even though he has communicated
with us since his passing, this did not resolve why he left
the movement. In my opinion, it is probable that Dr Samuel's vision
of the nature of the church that would be founded, differed significantly
from the vision of others, especially in the practices that he seemed
to espouse, and which appeared to be based heavily on his Jewish
heritage. He has communicated that he was overly materially minded,
and not well advanced in his soul progression.
1967, with the passing of Dr. Stone, the reins passed to Rev.
John Paul Gibson, and he became the second head of the F.C.N.B.
George Stokes, Kathryn Stokes, Amy Reza, Mary (Holmes, later Reynolds),
Michael Holmes, Russel Higby and Dan Bowman, met Rev John Paul Gibson
when they went east to be of service to the F.C.N.B., in 1972. Around
this time the volumes were renamed "True Gospel Revealed Anew
by Jesus" and four volumes were available, with the final Vol
IV being published in 1972. These remain the most original source
documents of the Padgett Messages, although it is apparent that
some limited editing (as in leaving out paragraphs rather than altering
the meaning, particularly where these referred to personal matters)
occurred with these, as can be discerned by studying the numerous
It would appear that John Paul Gibson was not particularly careful
in the way he ran the F.C.N.B. in the ensuing fifteen years, (1967-1982)
in as much as he did not replace the two trustees who had died,
and he himself died intestate in 1982, leaving the F.C.N.B. without
a living trustee. He also neglected to hold any meetings of trustees,
which would have required new trustees after Dr. Samuels had departed
Jocelyn Harleston moved to the D.C. area after her mother died
and this may have been in 1980 or 1981. She attempted to assist
John Paul Gibson, but some times communication was limited to notes
pushed under doors. It has also been said that John Paul Gibson
would not even share the names of those people who expressed interest
in the Divine Love movement with Jocelyn. The organisation literally
became a one-man operation under John Paul Gibson. However he worked
hard at publishing various volumes, notably the last two of those
received by James Padgett, and he also created material suitable
to be used in the ordination of ministers, as a Ministerial training
program. He also published the work of Dr. Samuels in two volumes.
Jocelyn was involved with taking care of the books after John Paul
died in October 1982. She threw many away because they had been
in a storage bin in the basement of the building and were unfortunately
damaged and moldy. It has not been possible to ascertain if this
included any original manuscripts, but in a letter to a friend,
Jocelyn indicated that John Paul Gibson had thrown away the originals
of Dr. Samuels and some of James Padgett's original transcripts.
Jocelyn had to deal with all these issues on the passing of John
Paul Gibson, and it has been suggested that it was because of this
stress that she did not want to take up the reins and run the F.C.N.B.
However she would have been influenced by John Paul Gibson's opinion
that the head of the church should be a male. She was on her own
for some months until her call for help was responded to by a number
of people. Kathryn Stokes was invited to come to D.C. and be secretary
of the church, but Jocelyn was in fact the real secretary
of the F.C.N.B. In March or April 1983, Rev Bill Reilly came up
from Florida with Victor Summers1, to Washington D.C.
He was very supportive of Victor as a candidate for the leadership
role. Victor was voted in as president on April 10th, 1983. Victor
Summers was literally thrust into the position of the head of the
F.C.N.B. within a week or two of arriving in Washington. By his
own admission, he was too young at 29 (D.O.B. 22 Nov 1954) and inexperienced
for this role. He found the situation very stressful, and it led
to a deterioration in relationships between the trustees, even though
things started out with the highest of expectations.
Holly Bianco and Judy Gebhart came from California and were interested
in working with the church. Jocelyn found a four bedroom house in
Arlington, which is just across the Patomic River from Washington
D.C. The four (Kathryn, Holly, Judy and Jocelyn) moved there in
mid-August, 1983. Judy wasnt happy there and moved back to
California by the end of the year. Holly went to visit her sister
in Europe, and not long after she returned, she too went back to
California, in the summer of 1984. George Dunseth, who had come
to Washington D.C, eventually managed to obtain the post that had
been piling up at Benjamin Franklin Station since John Paul had
At some point, possibly late 1983 it became all too much for Victor
and he moved away from Washington first to San Diego, California,
and then to Lake Helen, Florida. He took with him as many church
supplies as his car would hold. This material included a large quantity
of the original manuscripts. How long Victor was in California is
also not known, before he moved to Florida. On this site2,
it is said that in 1983 Victor Summers resigned all connection with
the church and formally dissolved it. That date is incorrect, as
it was at
a meeting of trustees held on the 25th December 1984 that Victor
Summers and six trustees passed the motions to divest the F.C.N.B.
of all it's assets. This was also the meeting at which the published
material was put into the public domain. The extent to which this
meeting was held in accordance with the By Laws of the F.C.N.B is
not certain. However the orginal F.C.N.B. was not dissolved, in
as much as one can today find the registration of the original organisation
in the D.C. database.
The majority of the members of the church were not supportive of
Victor Summer's actions although he certainly had some support.
Since Jocelyn believed that Victor was not a responsible representative
of the church, she felt that another church entity should be incorporated
to carry on the work. Members in the Washington, D.C., area reorganized
as the New Birth Christian Healing Sanctuary and were granted permission
to receive the mail directed to the former church's postal mail
box. (Victor Summers had taken the postbox key with him to Florida.)
Meetings were held in Kathryn's home, with Dave Lampron, Bill Reilly,
Amy Bolton, Jocelyn, Rev. Bill Carroll and Kathryn working towards
incorporating the new church which would be called the Foundation
Church of Divine Truth. Then in 1985 nine former members founded
the Foundation Church of Divine Truth, incorporated in D.C. as the
successor to the former Foundation Church of the New Birth.2
It was on the 18th December 1985 when the Foundation Church of Divine
Truth (F.C.D.T.) was incorporated in D.C. Jocelyn was President
and Kathryn Stokes was (on paper) Secretary.
In the fall of 1987, Victor called Jocelyn from Florida to acknowledge
that he wasnt able to continue running a church. Actually
he had resigned in 1984 and tried to create and run a new church
called initially "New Age Ministries Spiritualist Church in
Christ on Earth" and later as: "Angelic Church of the
New Birth in Christ." Marc Reza, and his then girlfriend, Angelica
(now his wife of more than 21 years) along with Crystal and Kathryn,
went down to Florida and picked up many of the church supplies which
Victor had taken from DC, and returned them to Arlington, VA. However
they did not obtain the original manuscripts that Victor had removed
from Washington. The status of the F.C.N.B from 1985 to 1991 is
not clear. In 2012 the FCNB completed the scanning of all manuscripts
they had in their possession, and have shared those with interested
parties. A second set of manuscripts also was scanned by a group
of volunteers in Vancouver, and the final cache is half scanned.
It appears that the originals of Volumes III and Volume IV have
Jocelyn as head of the F.C.D.T. asked Dave Lampron if he would
be willing to edit the messages, and Dave agreed to get involved
with that project. But after the first
volume was printed, and work started on volume II, Jocelyn decided
that she didnt like the editing being done. A discussion ensued
among the trustees which lasted 7 months, by letter and phone. In
the beginning five trustees were in favor of including the
divised questions where it was apparent that Mr Padgett had
asked a question, which he didnt record, and then the spirit
answered it. Two trustees, Jocelyn and Marva Egenberger were against
inserting the questions. We have even heard
James Padgett's opinion although as is probably to be expected, after the events were finalised!
In the spring of 1990, when it was decided a vote needed to be
taken, five trustees were still in favor of including the questions
and two were still against it. This caused Jocelyn to resign, and
resurrect the F.C.N.B in 1991. Jocelyn was thus able to reactivate
her beloved F.C.N.B., and reprint the volumes in the way she felt
is the best, as that is the exact way they were originally delivered.
Their headquarters are now in Williamsville, New York. Jocelyn Harleston
stepped down as head in November 2008, and Dr. Elizabeth Merano
is the current head of the F.C.N.B.
After Jocelyn resigned from the F.C.D.T., the next president was
Bill Reilly. The trustees
that remained, united after Jocelyn's resignation and voted to establish
Bill as the president of the F.C.D.T. Bill's tenure in this position
did not last long. Bill's health deteriorated over the next couple
of years. Nearing the end of his mortal life, he communicated to
the trustees over the telephone, but could no longer attend the
annual meetings. Bill died in a nursing home very near to his son's
home in Deltona, Florida on June 30, 1995 at the age of 76. It was
not until his passing into the spirit world that the trustees, including
Amy, Kathryn, and Luke Osei-Kwame (who originally immigrated from
Africa to Maryland in the pursuit of a doctorate and became a trustee)
voted Rev. Dr Dave Lampron in as the next president of the F.C.D.T.
in 1996. In December 2001, the trustees of the F.C.D.T. incorporated
in D.C. voted to dissolve the organisation, because they did not
have anyone to clear the postbox they had in Washington. They had
already incorporated a new organisation using the same name in California,
in January 28th, 2001. Dave Lampron is the president of the new
organisation, and he holds that position today, although the number
of trustees reduced by four when the Santa Cruz based folks decided
they would prefer to create their own church and run that. It further
reduced to three trustees, when Rev. Carolyn Stokes and Rev. Jimmy
Walsh resigned similarly to operate the Hawaii branch church. The
current trustees of the F.C.D.T. are Rev. Dr. Dave Lampron as president,
Rev Holly Bianco as the current secretary and treasurer, and Rev.
Dr. Michael Nedbal as the vice president. Their
website is here.
1 Victor Summers has
communicated almost directly after his own passing, on November
18th 2011, and also subsequently. He confirmed he was welcomed,
on his arrival, by the Master.
2 Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, by the
Gale Group, Inc maintains a details on each of the two churches,
and is surprising in some of the information it contains. However,
research into the registration history of the F.C.N.B. suggests
it is wrong in that respect. Answers currently reports on the content
of this encyclopedia, - FCDT
and the FCNB.
No reply has been received from the contact email of the Gale Group.
It would appear they do not enter into discussion about these things.