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The First Woman's Church

And The InnerCircle Church of Graduate Christians

Her Story About the His Story of the First Woman's Church

Her Story of the First Woman's Church

Like many churches, First Woman's Church (FWC) came into existence to meet needs that were not being met elsewhere, particularly those of its founding pastor, Rev. Dr. Crystal Clarity Bujol.  A licensed practitioner and Board member of the International Church of Religious Science throughout from 1970 - 1979, Rev. Bujol ultimately came to the realization that she was ready to go farther than Religious Science could take her.  One of her colleagues said, "Religious Science was moving too slow for you, so you branched out and formed your own religion!"
 
She loved the Christian teachings and principles as taught to her by her mother, The Rev. Ruth Bujol, and passed down through her grandfather, The Rev. Alexander Tillman, and her great grandmother, Rev. Chanie Cuby, but there was always something missing in their teachings:  The Divine Mother, the Divine Daughter, and the Divine Sister.  As a seven year old child, she thought that one day the Christian/Judeo Bible would be rewritten and instead of everything circling around the men, it would then circle around the women so she could have a turn at being the "Only begotten daughter."  At age eleven, she was heart broken to find out that this was not  true.
 
In 1974 she was asked to be the substitute pianist for one Sunday at the Guidance Church of Religious Science, in Los Angeles.   When she heard their prayer, she was excited to hear it offered her the opportunity to pray to, "Father/Mother God!"  She thought she had found the place where the Divine Woman would be present.  Being so hungry for that language, she didn't realize that during the rest of the service, God was still referred to as "He."  Nevertheless, she continued studying Religious Science, teaching the Consciousness Class assigned to her by Dr. Daniel Morgan, and serving as Vice President of the Practitioners Guild at Founder's Church. 
 
But there was one other unfulfilled need that left an empty space in Rev. Crystal's heart -- the need to go deeper into the history of religion, life, and existence.  Religious Science, at that time, only took her back to Anton Mesmer;  she needed to go back to some African root or heritage or philosophy because of her ethnic allegiance, so to speak.  
 
However, compared to her experience in her parents' church, the People's Independent Church of Christ, Religious Science offered Rev. Dr. Crystal Bujol a more balanced imagery for God, and "permission to use her own mind."  Nevertheless, its tenets and actual practices didn't entirely incorporate nor speak to her experience of an African-American woman. As a result, in 1979, she began teaching students from her book, ​The Science of YOUR Mind.​  In 1980 when they completed their 30 weeks of intensive study, they decided to join Dr. Bujol and organize the InnerCircle Church of Graduate Christians. The first service of the new church was held on Easter Sunday, 1980 with 125 people in attendance.  Her sermon topic was, "The Fifteen Crucified Saviors."  Though many said they enjoyed the service and the message, the eleven who returned the following week became its founding charter members.
 
The founding of InnerCircle was not simply the creation of a new church, but the development of a new religion, "Graduate Christianity."  According to Rev. Bujol, Graduate Christianity is Christianity taken a step further.  A Graduate Christian is one who "designs their own religion, writes their own bible, and signs their name to it."  While continuing to espouse many aspects of Religious Science as described above, InnerCircle embellished, added to, and created ex nihilo as needed. The Lord's Prayer was re-written, The Lady's Prayer added, and songs such as "You are There" was taken out of the mothballs of Rev. Crystal's many compositions and adopted as its theme song..  Whereas Religious Science encourages its adherents to think for themselves, Graduate Christianity demanded it.

As InnerCircle continued, female images and experiences were appropriated and affirmed as much as possible in a mixed congregational setting. Finally, though, Rev. Bujol's husband said to her, "You need a woman's church."  She recalls agreeing, but saying, "maybe in six months or so," to which he replied, "no, right now."  Trying to stall, she agreed to call Dr. Vera Epps-Riley, the "Grand Dean" of InnerCircle University and chairperson of its Board.  She asked her opinion. However, the tactic backfired when Dr. Epps-Riley said, "Can we start this Sunday?" 

Although the new woman-only church did not start that Sunday, Rev. Bujol quickly  developed a bulletin, a logo, another verse for the Lady's Prayer, and the exquisite candle-lighting ceremony that remains the central ritual of the church. In February 1986, thirty-five women attended the first service of the First Woman's Church to honor, The First Woman:  Lucy to some, Denk Nesh to others.

Her-storical and current first woman's church chapters 

First Woman's Church Circles

Rev. Dr. Crystal C. Bujol, D.S.S., Founder  1980  met at the Elegant Manor,  L.A., CA

Rev. Dr. A. Hasani Perry,   National Pastor  

First Woman's Church in the City of Angels,Mother Church

Woman's Spiritual Center, moved from 3860 Crenshaw Blvd., Suite 228, LA, CA 90008

Rev. Betty Robinson, Pastor

Sister Chapters

Berkeley Bay Chapter 

​Met  every 2nd Saturday at 10 a.m.      On Bonita at the Unitarian Church, Berkeley, CA   Rev. Dr. Elaine Armour-Word, Minister in the Bay

Isis Chapter met every 1st Sunday at 8:30 a.m on East 55th Street, L. A.  CA 90011 - Rev. Margaret Tate, Pastor

Hathor Chapter met 1st & 3rd Sundays 10 a.m. at The Latest Thing, on 17th St., Costa Mesa, CA 92627 - Rev. Dr. Crystal C. Bujol, D.S.S., Pastor

The Nepthys Chapter meets 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. at the Unity Church, 879 43rd Avenue, Vero Beach, Florida – Rev. Dr. Crystal C. Bujol, Founder, Betsy Crystal Rose, Facilitator