History

CDM was founded by Mary Ellen Flora and Menuard (Doc) Slusher in Seattle, Washington, USA, in 1976. From CDM’s beginning in Mary Ellen and Doc’s residence, the organization has grown throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Today, CDM includes Church of Divine Man, CDM Spiritual Center, and CDM Publications. It is incorporated in Washington, Oregon, and throughout Canada, and continues to grow. Through CDM Publications, these teachings have traveled around the world in books, CDs, videos, downloads, and across the web.

20th Anniversary Party
20th Anniversary Party
First Church building in Seattle, WA
First Church building in Seattle, WA

Why CDM? What Does It Mean?

CDM stands for Church of Divine Man. The name Church of Divine Man has a double meaning: one, validating the Divine nature of Jesus Christ and all of the great spiritual teachers; and two, acknowledging the Divine nature of all people.

What is the Spiritual Center?

The Spiritual Center was founded to augment the Church and teach the spiritual techniques. The Spiritual Center has changed and developed since its foundation. It began as the Washington Psychic Institute. As it grew and spread, it became the CDM Psychic Institute. Today, the spiritual techniques are taught by the CDM Spiritual Center.

Many students have been ordained as ministers by CDM and have gone on to work as staff members, to create their own spiritual organizations, to read, teach, or use the information in a variety of professional healing avenues and in their personal life.

What is CDM Publications?

Mary Ellen also founded CDM Publications, a small press, in 1990. CDM Publications offers a variety of unique and spiritually focused literature in the form of books, audios, and videos. The products are focused on meditation, spiritual techniques, and self-healing. Mary Ellen has written ten books and four CDs and Doc wrote a book of Sermons, all published by CDM Publications, to enhance the learning process.

Founders: Mary Ellen Flora and M.F. ‘Doc’ Slusher

Doc and Mary Ellen incorporated the Church of Divine Man in Washington State, USA in 1976. They began teaching, doing spiritual readings and healings immediately. The early response in Seattle, WA was so enthusiastic they had to move the program from their home to a church building for more space.

Mary Ellen and Doc founded the Washington Psychic Institute at the same time to be the teaching arm of CDM. This has grown and developed into CDM Spiritual Center today.

Doc and Mary Ellen came to their spiritual work with a great deal of life experience. Doc expressed this spiritual purpose well in a quote from his book, I Believe: Sermons. “The things I have created in my reality were not what my lazy, pleasure-loving body-self could ever have dreamed of creating. These creations are a validation of spirit and of a spiritual commitment to a cosmic purpose. It is because of spiritual purpose that I have persisted.”

House in Seattle where CDM began
House in Seattle where CDM began

Doc came to his spiritual calling after a lifetime of healing. He began his life in the Ozark Mountains. He earned his nickname, “Doc” at an early age when he used to lay his hands on family and friends to help heal them.

In 1939, Doc joined the US Navy. During World War II, he saw action in the Pacific Theatre, including Pearl Harbor. By 1943, he was a Medic in the US Marines. After the war, he pursued a career in Dentistry, where he practiced for about 20 years before becoming allergic to tooth dust. This allowed Doc to pursue new avenues. He worked as an Orchardist until the mid-1970’s when he discovered the Church of Divine Man in Berkeley, CA and began his spiritual path.

 

Doc at a CDM Ordination Ceremony
Doc at a CDM Ordination Ceremony

Mary Ellen’s path to her ministry began when she was very small. Her awareness of herself as spirit and her love of God led her through many experiences including representing the state of Virginia at the YMCA World Youth Conference, social work in the Mission District YMCA in San Francisco, CA, teaching preschool in Oakland, CA and teaching and counseling in the Singapore American School. Her adventures in South East Asia broadened her world view. Her experiences prepared her to lead an organization whose sole purpose is to awaken people to their spiritual nature and their relationship with God.

A quote from her first book, Meditation: Key to Spiritual Awakening, shows her focus on the spiritual information. “Meditation is the process through which we heal ourselves and our world. It is the path to our spiritual awakening and our oneness with all things.”

Mary Ellen and Doc were both ordained in 1976 at the Church of Divine Man, Berkeley, CA after training at the Berkeley Psychic Institute. Following ordination, they established CDM in Seattle as a separate corporation. In the early years, Doc and Mary Ellen also established and developed seven Churches in Tacoma, Olympia, Bellingham, Spokane, and Everett, WA; Portland, OR; and Vancouver, BC, Canada. They also created a Retreat on Vashon Island, WA.

Mary Ellen spent the next decade supporting these CDM locations and developing the structure that would continue to support the organization. This structure includes the Purpose, Creed and Practice – which are the foundational statements of CDM. From this Mission Statement, Mary Ellen developed a Church Manual and Handbooks for administration and teaching and organizational tools for Branch development. Eventually the organizational design focused on the world wide web for outreach and education and the Branches were dissolved.

Mary Ellen has always been a teacher. In this role, she developed the curriculum for the Meditation, Healing, Seminary, Teaching, Spiritual Life, Kundalini, Dean’s, Bishop and Children’s programs. She has also taught hundreds of people who teach these programs.

Through CDM classes, readings, presentations, books and audio, thousands of people around the world have learned these spiritual techniques.

Mary Ellen giving a Sunday Meditation
Mary Ellen giving a Sunday Meditation
Seattle in the 1970’s
Seattle in the 1970’s

Doc continued his ministry until his death in 2005 but his spirit lives on through his teachings.

Currently, Mary Ellen continues to teach, write and heal in the Pacific Northwest. For more information about Mary Ellen’s events and writings, visit her website at maryellenflora.com.