The Good Lord came to Mother Rebecca Cox Jackson in a clap of thunder. It was July of 1830 and she was convinced she was going to die—either from the storm or from her deathly fear of it. As lightning struck, she prayed for redemption. Suddenly, “the cloud burst.” But what Mother Rebecca feared might be her end in fact became her beginning: She acquired what she called her “gifts of power,” and Mother Rebecca became a spiritual leader in the American Shaker religion.
Fist and Heel Performance Group in “Power” by Reggie Wilson. Photograph by Tony Turner