John Gayner Banks
This is a placeholder for a future profile. John Gayner Banks, an Anglican priest who founded, with his wife, Ethel Tulloch Banks, the Order of St Luke, a self-professed ecumenical healing ministry.
Banks was a one-time student of Emma Curtis Hopkins and he listed her class notes as the first item in the OSL Handbook. Scholars Robert Peel and Gail Harley have separately noted that the contribution of New Thought to Banks and OSL has never been acknowledged.
This information was enough incentive for me to attend an OSL retreat in March 2022. While I found the atmosphere very charismatic, the leadership and people were warm and accepting to me and clearly committed to the ministry of spiritual healing. After returning home, I ordered self-study materials that OSL recommended on their website for newcomers. A short while later I got a refund and a blunt letter from the North American Director stating that “OSL is not a compatible fit for Unity adherents.”
Besides cleansing itself of Unity adherents, OSL seems to have cleansed itself of its founder’s writings as well. Scholar William L. De Artega writes: “Detailed information on the history of the International Order of St. Luke the Physician is difficult to obtain. When the headequarters of the order were moved to Texas in the 1960s the earliest editions of Sharing, its journal, were neatly bundled and then thrown out.” (Agnes Sanford and Her Companions, 2015, Wipf & Stock, p.129)