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Who Are the Bahá’ís?
The Bahá'í Faith has been an active part of religious and social life in America since the late 1800's. The Faith advocates for spiritual solutions based on the Teachings of Bahá'u'lláh ("Bah-HAUoh-LÁH"). These teachings center on timely issues such as the elimination of all forms of prejudice (with an emphasis on race unity), equality of women and men, spiritual education of children, the importance of family cohesion, and the establishment of world peace.
Bahá'u'lláh taught that there is one God who has progressively revealed His will to humanity. Each of the great religions brought by the Messengers of God - Moses, Krishna, Buddha, Zoroaster, Jesus, Muhammad - represents a progressive stage in the spiritual development of civilization. Bahá'u'lláh, the most recent Messenger in this line, has brought teachings that address the moral and spiritual challenges of the modern world.
The Bahá'ís are part of a vibrant, growing worldwide religious community united by the belief that there is one God, one human race, and one evolving religion. We invite you to join our study circles, devotional gatherings, and children's classes designed to assist you, your family, and the American society in a spiritual search for truth.
[Excerpted from http://www.bahai.us]
For more than a century, Bahá'í communities around the globe have been working to break down barriers of prejudice between peoples and have collaborated with other like-minded groups to promote the model of a global society. At the heart of our belief is the conviction that humanity is a single people with a common destiny.
In the words of Bahá'u'lláh, the Founder of our Faith,
"The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens."
Early Waco Bahá’ís included Willie Jean Edwards, a woman who retired from teaching and moved to Waco; she was introduced to the Faith by Amos Gibson, one of the members of the first Universal House of Justice. Willie Jean is buried in Doris Miller Memorial Park in Waco. Other first Bahá’ís of Waco included Louise and Gilbert Rocker.
The Bahá’ís of Waco, Texas
The Bahá’í Faith in Waco traces back to the mid 1950s, when several Bahá’ís from the Dallas area travelled to Waco in order to expand the Faith in central Texas. That same group also visited Temple, Killeen and other parts of central Texas --now referred to as the Waco Area Cluster.
Among those who traveled to this area were some well-known Bahá’ís, such as Harry Craig, (who is buried in Waco's Oakwood Cemetery along with another early
Waco Bahá’í, Mary Mosely), Howard Menking, and Jack McCants. When visiting Waco Bahá’í Center for the first time, Mr. McCants recalled just roaming the streets of Waco, saying prayers at different spots, looking for folks with whom they could share the teachings of the Bahá’í Faith. "I could have never imagined then that there would be a Bahá’í Center in Waco,” Jack said.
The Waco Bahá’í Center building at 2500 Bosque Boulevard in Waco was first rented for several years before the Assembly purchased it in the late 1990s. The large, illuminated sign for the Bahá’í Center of Waco was donated by Cyrus Heidarian family, which built, transported, and installed it.
"To be a Bahá'í simply means
to love all the world; to love humanity and try to serve it;
to work for universal peace
and universal brotherhood."
"Man must show forth fruits. A fruitless man, in the words of His Holiness the Spirit (i.e. Christ), is like a fruitless tree, and a fruitless tree is fit for fire."
—Bahá'u'lláh, "Words of Paradise"
We believe that Bahá'u'lláh is God’s Messenger for today --a time in history at which all humanity is becoming spiritually mature and can visualize
the reality of coming together in unity to build the Kingdom of God on Earth.