The Urantia Book Fellowship

Timeline Index

Historic Timeline of Events in the Revelation Community

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1951 November 22 -- Contact Commissioners receive instructions regarding the book and the role of Urantia Foundation [See excerpt from this document]

August 21 -- Plan for the organization of Urantia Brotherhood approved in communique to contact commissioners. [See excerpt from this document] Note: Based on the contents of this document as well as the one above dated November 22, 1951, it is quite clear that, barring any additional contact from the Midwayer Commission, all matters related to the publication of the book were to be executed in accordance with the best judgment of the trustees of Urantia Foundation. Beyond this, there are no specific instructions. In a letter to Jacques Weiss in 1970, Emma Christensen, replying to comments Weiss made about continuing contacts, said, "I am sure you know that no one, and I mean, no one, [underlines appear in original] is receiving any information from the Commission whch sponsored the Urantia Book. I am sure this Commission will in due time provide any additional information if such is deemed necessary. I speak authoritatively on this subject, so do not be misled by such claims as you report."

Furthermore, in 1994, Urantia Foundation President, Richard Keeler, in a deposition taken under oath, testified that there had been no further communications.


Information from an apocryphal source indicates that the seraphim of progress and the seraphim of the churches each sought authority to direct the revelation following publication. This same source indicates that in the end, the planetary government agreed to place the direction of the revelation under the seraphim of the churches for the first one hundred years, after which it would be placed under the direction of the seraphim of progress. For additional insight into this possible conflict, note the comment at 134:3.8 (1486)

Last message received from revelators -- the go-ahead for publication. Along with this message was the comment, "You are now on your own" and an indication that all celestial personalities remaining on the planet as well as resident personalities were required to take a vow of silence regarding any further communications related to the revelation. The book was printed in sixteen page signatures, run twice through the press for front and back impressions.

1,695 books distributed


January 1 -- Authority for the functions of the Foundation assumed by the first Trustees.25

January 2 -- Urantia Brotherhood General Council formed by 36 members of the Forum -- constitution signed (written by Bill Sadler with Forum consultation) -- Bill Sadler elected first President.5 When Urantia Foundation subsequently "de-licensed" Urantia Brotherhood in 1989, this constitution became that of The Urantia Book Fellowship.

[See private correspondence between Marian Rowley and Julia Fenderson describing details of this period of activity]

[See the Constitution of Urantia Brotherhood]

For information on how Urantia Brotherhood was formed, see "Development of Urantia Foundation and Urantia Brotherhood" by Carolyn Kendall. See also: Founding Trustee, William Hales' statement about the origins of the Urantia organizations

[Picture of Bill Sadler]

February 11 -- Formal arrangements for publication of The Urantia Book started by Urantia Foundation.5

March 25 -- [See memo from Bill Sadler regarding service mark on title page]

July 5 -- First "Quarterly News Letter" issued (later known as "Urantia Brotherhood Bulletin")5

October 12, Wednesday -- First publishing of The Urantia Book -- 10,000 copies printed -- Foundation trustees place three copies in safe per provisions of Declaration of Trust -- first book goes on sale at Krochs & Bretnatanos Book Store in Chicago.3 Total cost of the first printing was approximately $75,000.003

December 25 -- Death of Bill Sadler's oldest son, William S. Sadler III. Cause of death unknown.

1956     638 books distributed

June 17 -- First Urantia Society installed (Urantia Brotherhood)5

"The Seventy," studying since 1939, become absorbed into Urantia Brotherhood2

August 31 -- Death of Willfred Kellog, age 79; Memorial service held September 2, 1956

September 9 -- At 6:30 PM a study group was held at the Y.W.C.A in Oklahoma City by a minister who had found the book in Chicago. Paper 86 was the topic of discussion. At this meeting it was decided to start a new church based on the teachings of The Urantia Book. In addition to being the first reader group to form independently of the Chicago office and the members of the former Forum, this was also the first reader group to establish a church -- "The New Age Christian Church" with B. Salyer as the minister.28  [See "The Urantia Book Comes to Oklahoma City", by Helen Butler. Also a testimonial by B. M. Salyer]

September 19 -- Urantia Brotherhood School opens, architected primarily by Dr. Sadler and the Kulieke brothers along the lines of a seminary. This was the first project of the Brotherhood Education Committee; Dr. Sadler was the first Chairman of this committee.5 [Picture of Dr. William S. Sadler teaching at 533]   [See contents of original Urantia Brotherhood School brochure]

October 1 -- Urantia Brotherhood Corporation formed5

October 22 -- [See letter from Jacques Weiss to Carolyn Brown outlining ideas for a French translation]

International Fellowship Committee of Urantia Brotherhood donates 100 books to libraries outside the U.S. -- Canada, Australia, Great Britainn, South Africa and New Zealand.6

November 27 -- [See early correspondence from Jacques Weiss to Urantia Brotherhood]

November 30 -- [See Marian Rowley's response to Jacques Weiss' initial correspondence]

December 26 -- [See Jacques Weiss' original proposal to Urantia Brotherhood for a French translation]

594 books distributed

January 7 -- [See Marian Rowley's short response to Jacques Weiss]

March 7 -- Bill Sadler meets with Oklahoma City readers to discuss becoming a Society.28

Editor's note: Bill Sadler became good friends with Oklahoma oilman Clyde Goodman and his Administrative Assistant, Berkeley Elliott. Clyde and Berkeley became early devotees of the book and Bill began to make trips to Oklahoma City to lead study groups for the growing readership there. The folks back at Chicago soon became suspicious that Bill was trying to utilize the Oklahoma City readers as a base for building his own movement. From all available evidence, this suspicion was completely unfounded, but it exemplified the attitude with which the Chicago office generally viewed spontaneous developments in the field which they had not initiated and over which they had little or no control.

May 24 -- Urantia Society of Glenview installed (Urantia Brotherhood)5

May 31 -- [See Jacques Weiss' formal request to Urantia Brotherhood for support in the production of a French translation]

June 5 -- [See Marian Rowley's short note to Jacques Weiss regarding his inquiry]

June 12 -- [See letter from Christy to Jacques Weiss regarding FrenchTranslation]

July 26 -- First Urantia Society of Los Angeles installed5 (The established group in Los Angeles had vied with Chicago readership groups consisting of members of the Forum to be the first Brotherhood Society installed, but was unsuccessful.)

November 23--First Urantia Society of Oklahoma City installed by Ruth Burton; Bob and Ruth Burton as well as Bill and Mary Lou Hales were in attendance. The Society was a separate organization from the "New Age Christian Church" and in later years when the church dissolved, the Society carried on as the center of reader activities in the Oklahoma City region.28

388 books distributed

January -- Warren Kulieke elected second President of Urantia Brotherhood.5

April -- Bill Sadler submits memo to Foundation Trustees regarding potential pitfalls and frictions between the two organizations, along with recommendations for policies designed to minimize inevitable frictions.
[See Bill Sadler's 1958 memo to Foundation Trustees]

[See reproduction of original document]

April 24 -- [See letter from Bill Hales to Urantia Foundation Attorney regarding Jacques Weiss]

April 30 -- [See Jacques Weiss' report on progress of the French translation]

May 2 -- [See letter from Dr. Sadler to Meredith Sprunger regarding the appendix to "The Mind at Mischief."]

May 3--Bill Sadler begins series of 27 seminars on The Urantia Book in Oklahoma City. These seminars continued until his death in 1963.28
[See transcript of Bill's comments about developing a religion without a priesthood]

May 11 -- [See letter from Marian Rowley to Jacques Weiss discussing issues related to a French translation]

May -- Urantia Foundation official statement on publicity

May -- Urantia Foundation cover letter to the Brotherhood regarding publicity

June 9 -- [See letter from Bill Hales to Jacques Weiss regarding French translation]

July 24 -- Vern Grimsley contacts Urantia Foundation for first time [See letter]
[See Marian Rowley's response]

September 24 -- First commencement for graduating class of Urantia Brotherhood School5

October 7 -- [See letter from Jacques Weiss to Carolyn Brown regarding progress of French translation]

Marian Rowley creates first secondary work -- "The Story of Joe" -- a fictional account of an average mortal person's ascent through the universe to Paradise. The book was never published.

1958 Annual Reports: President's Report -- Bill Sadler

454 books distributed

January 21 -- [See Jacques Weiss' report to Urantia Brotherhood regarding progress of French translation]

January 21 -- Meredith Sprunger submits suggestions for a Urantia Brotherhood Educational Policy and a Urantia University [See "An Educational Policy for Urantia Brotherhood"]

January 24 -- [See Marian Rowley's short response to Jacques Weiss]

March -- Some early criticism of the Urantia Book appear; In 1959 Dr. Sadler wrote a formal paper responding to many of the early criticisms.
[See letter from Rev. Adams, Trinity Presbyterian Church, San Francisco]

[See letter from Dr. Sadler to Rev. Adams regarding his criticism of The Urantia Book]
[See Dr. Sadler's formal paper, "Consideration of Some Criticisms of The Urantia Book"]

Urantia Foundation issues (first?) letter to Brotherhood Executive Committee regarding protection of the concentric circles symbol.[See Letter to Executive Committee]

First Urantian funeral service outside of 533. Service for Clarence Bowman, Harold Karrer officiating.

December -- [See letter from Dr. Sadler in which he comments about his studies with Freud]

1959 Annual Reports:

522 books distributed

February 24 -- Death of Anna Kellogg, age 82

March -- Early correspondence between Vern Grimsley and Meredith Sprunger in which Vern Grimsley outlines some of his personal career plans. [See correspondence]

May 11 -- Second Urantia Society of Chicago installed (Urantia Brotherhood) -- formed by Bill Sadler, Patricia Sadler (Mundelius), Florine and John Seres.5

June -- First "official" history written [See Marian Rowley's rough draft of a history]  Marian compares her history with one noted as "Dr's" [See Marian's comparison of histories]  and provides us with a final edited document. [See Marian's completed history]. A history apparently written about this time, attributed to Dr. Sadler, has been in circulation ever since. [See history attributed to Dr. Sadler]

August 21 -- Jacques Weiss visits Chicago to discuss issues related to publication of the French translation which is nearing completion. [See Jacques Weiss' schedule]

October 11 -- [See letter from Jacques Weiss to Urantia Foundation commenting about legal delays]

1960 Annual Reports: President's Report -- Warren Kulieke

462 books distributed

May 4 -- Letter from Marian Rowley to Vern Grimsley describing availability of books used by the Brotherhood School. [See letter]

June 27 -- Orvonton Urantia Society of Chicago installed (Urantia Brotherhood)5

April 19 -- Contract between Urantia Foundation and Jacques Weiss signed for production of a French translation in three volumes.

September 1 -- Letter from Marian Rowley to Vern Grimsley in which basic details of daily operations at 533 are reviewed. [See letter]

December -- [Letter from Dr. Sadler to Clyde Bedell commenting on receiving the first volume of the multi-volume French translation]

1961 Annual Reports: Report of the Secretary-General -- Marian Rowley

716 books distributed

February -- Jim Mills elected third President of Urantia Brotherhood (elected to complete the term of Warren Kulieke who died in office)5

March 11 -- Bill Sadler resigns as Field Representative of Urantia Brotherhood.

Publication of La Cosmogonie D'Urantia -- First French translation (in three volumes) available until early 1970's when Urantia Foundation brought legal action against translator-publisher for enforcement of terms of contract.5, 6 This translation was prepared by Mr. Jacques Weiss, a French industrialist and former leader of the underground resistance to the Nazi occupation. The first printing of 10,000 copies was sold out by 1968. [Picture of La Cosmogonie translation team] [See brochure outlining content of La Cosmogonie]

September -- [Letter from Dr. Sadler to Meredith Sprunger discussing possible ministerial functions of Urantia Brotherhood ordained teachers]

Richard Keeler and Martin Myers drive to Chicago to meet Dr. Sadler and Christy.24

1962 Annual Reports: Report of the Secretary-General -- Marian Rowley

600 books distributed

January -- Emma Christensen elected fourth President of Urantia Brotherhood5

Thomas Kendall appointed Trustee of Urantia Foundation

June 18 -- Bill Sadler resigns as member of the General Council citing poor personal health. [See Bill Sadler's resignation letter]

Early letter of inquiry from Vern Grimsley. The related correspondence provides some insights into Dr. Sadler's view of the church and of Urantia Book evangelism.
[See Vern Grimsley's letter of Autumn 1963]
[See Dr. Sadler's response commenting on Meredith's struggles and the ministry in general]

[See Vern Grimsley's response and specific questions regarding Urantia Book evangelism]

[See Dr. Sadler's response; in his P.S. he mentions support for Meredith's views]

[Vern Grimsley writes again to Dr. Sadler discussing his changing perspectives on the ministry]

[Dr. Sadler responds with comments about the difficulty of formal church ministry]

August 23-25 -- First summer Study Session of Urantia Brotherhood at 533 Diversey Parkway, Chicago5

November 22 -- Death of Bill Sadler3 [See Eulogy by Jim Mills and short biography]

1963 Annual Reports:

622 books distributed

August 20-22 -- First Triennial Delegate Assembly of Urantia Brotherhood5 [Picture of the Banner of the First Triennial Delegate Assembly]   [Picture of attendees, First Triennial Delegate Assembly]   [President's Address to the Delegates by E. L. Christensen]

Vern Grimsley begins broadcasting on KFAX, San Francisco, California, airing radio programs containing the teachings of The Urantia Book without mentioning the book itself.10 Vern also introduced The Urantia Book to his old University of Kansas fraternity brothers, Rich Keeler, Martin Myers and Hoite Caston. [Picture of the fraternity brothers serenading Christy at Family of God Foundation headquarters, 1980]

Editor's note: These four gentlemen formed an alliance with Christy and Doc Sadler and profoundly influenced the direction of social and legal development within the movement over the next forty years--two of them apparently continue to do so at the time of this writing (1997). Christy told me in a private conversation that by the early 1960's, she and Dr. Sadler were getting concerned about the lack of capable young people coming into the movement--they saw the arrival of these gentlemen as an answer to their prayers. Referring to this group of four, she said, "When Poppy and I saw them, we weren't going to let them get away." She subsequently frequently referred to them as, "My boys." Within ten years this group was showing formidible leadership potentials, with Vern Grimsley's charismatic spiritual presence, multi-millionaire Richard Keeler's financing, Martin Myers' legal education, and Hoite Caston's business and legal experience in the entertainment industry.

September -- [Christy says no Brotherhood pins should be sent to Jacques Weiss]

October 27 -- Jacques Weiss again requests pins for individuals who have assisted in the translation. [See Jacques Weiss' letter]   Chicago reconsiders and agrees to send him the pins [See Marian Rowley's letter]

October -- [See "Organizational History" by Marian Rowley, written 10/64]

November 11 -- Christy, expressing concern about stories related to early history, sends note to Society Presidents to remind "old timers" of their oath of secrecy. [See letter]
[See PDF reproduction of original letter]

1964 Annual Reports:

594 books distributed

January -- Burton King, Barbara King and Doris George start radio program on KBLA, Los Angeles, broadcasting readings from The Urantia Book.

First session of Urantia Brotherhood School held outside of Chicago -- Ruth Burton leads eight week seminar on Part IV in Los Angeles. [See photograph of Ruth Burton]

August 6-8 -- Second Summer Study Session of Urantia Brotherhood [See "Greetings to the Summer Study Session" by E.L. Christensen]

September 27 -- [See letter from Georgia Gecht to Christy regarding Burton King, the impending Pelly lawsuit and other matters]

September 30 -- Brotherhood affiliate Second Urantia Society of Chicago becomes "Second Society Foundation" for purposes of publishing Bill Sadler's "A Study of the Master Universe".3

October 8 -- [See letter from Christy to Georgia Gecht monitoring southern California events and readers]

Study Group started in Helsinki, Finland by readers interested in working on a Finnish translation.6

1965 Annual Reports:

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