As a spiritual movement with roots in metaphysical beliefs, New Thought has helped guide a variety of social changes throughout the 19th, 20th, and into the 21st centuries. Psychologist and philosopher William James labeled New Thought "the religion of healthy-mindedness" in his study on religion and science, The Varieties of Religious Experience.”
Myrtle and Charles Fillmore were studying these philosophies when they founded Unity School of Christianity, which began the Unity Movement.
Charles married Myrtle in Clinton, Missouri, on March 29, 1881, and the newlyweds moved to Pueblo, Colorado, where Charles established a real estate business with the brother-in-law of Nona Lovell Brooks, who was later to found the Church of Divine Science.
After the births of their first two sons, Lowell Page and Waldo Rickert Fillmore, the family moved to Kansas City, Missouri. Two years later, in 1886, Charles and Myrtle attended New Thought classes held by Dr. E. B. Weeks. Myrtle subsequently recovered from chronic tuberculosis and attributed her recovery to her use of prayer and other methods learned in Weeks' classes. Subsequently Charles began to heal from his childhood accident, a development that he, too, attributed to following this philosophy. Charles Fillmore became a devoted student of philosophy and religion.
In 1890 they organized a prayer group that would later be called "Silent Unity" and in the following year, the Fillmore's Unity magazine was first published. On December 7, 1892, Charles and Myrtle penned their Dedication and Covenant.
We, Charles Fillmore and Myrtle Fillmore, husband and wife, hereby dedicate ourselves, our time, our money, all we have and all we expect to have, to the Spirit of Truth, and through it, to the Society of Silent Unity.
It being understood and agreed that the said Spirit of Truth shall render unto us an equivalent for this dedication, in peace of mind, health of body, wisdom, understanding, love, life and an abundant supply of all things necessary to meet every want without our making any of these things the object of our existence.
In the presence of the Conscious Mind of Christ Jesus, this 7th day of December A.D. 1892.
Dr. H. Emilie Cady published a series titled Lessons in Truth in the new magazine. This material later was compiled and published in a book by the same name, which served as a seminal work of the Unity movement. Although Charles had no intention of making Unity into a denomination, his students wanted a more organized group. He and his wife were among the first ordained Unity ministers in 1906. Charles and Myrtle Fillmore first operated the Unity organization from a campus near downtown Kansas City. Unity began a formal program for training ministers in 1931.
Myrtle Fillmore died in 1931. Charles remarried in 1933 to Cora G. Dedrick who was a collaborator on his later writings. Charles Fillmore made his transition in 1948.