The Tzaddi story began in 1958 when Amy Kees had a “miracle healing.” She had suffered a lifetime of illness after an injury in her youth left her with a crooked spine, a shortened leg, and blinding headaches. Her doctors had told her that her life would be short and pain-filled, and that there was nothing anyone could do.
“Late one night in 1958 before I went to sleep, I renewed my pledge to God that if He would release me from my crutches and the almost unbearable pain, I would dedicate my life to His service. I went down to the kitchen for a drink of water. A shock of electricity came down upon me. It felt like a knife cutting down my spine. I stood up tall and was released of pain and emotions. It seemed as if the whole world dropped at my feet. I called to [my husband], “I can walk. I can run; look!” I had asked God to release me from the physical suffering I had endured most of my life and my prayer was answered. The very next day I began working on keeping my promise to God.” (1)
The next day, she started organizing a circle to meet in her home, and that circle was the beginning of the church.
The name Tzaddi comes from the 119th Psalm. This is one of the longest Psalms, and it is organized by chapters. Each chapter begins with a Hebrew letter. As Amy Kees was praying about what name to give the new church, she had been reading the 18th chapter of the 119th Psalm, and the letter heading of that chapter is Tzaddi.
“In the wee hours of the morning I sat down on the divan where I had the 119th Psalm spread out. I picked it up piece by piece and read it all over again and again. I kept stopping at the Rubric verses on the letter Tzaddi(Psalm 119:137-144.) I could feel the presence of [my guide of light]. I knew that our name must be Tzaddi.
Everyone said “Tazada,” “Tazawdi,” “What a name! You will have trouble with that name.” I said, “All will know and all will get used to it.” Tzaddi is under the zodiacal sign Aquarius, which is the new age were coming into. Tzaddi also means power of healing. And, too, the symbol of Tzaddi is the Eagle of Wisdom, which is part of the American Seal.” (2)
Amy Kees’s daughter Dorothe Blackmere and her son-in-law Victor Blackmere helped to organize the growing group of people around her into a legally recognized church. Tzaddi’s legal status as a church was granted June 23, 1964, and in 1977 we were granted a group ruling status to allow us to open subsidiaries as chartered light centers in different locations.
Amy Kees was a gifted psychic, channel, and spiritiual healer, always claiming it was not she who was doing the work, but the spirit coming through her. She taught about the chakras, energy fields, spiritual awakening, mediumship, the tree of life, and other subjects that today are much more publicly accessible than they were at that time; she founded a metaphysical church to teach such subjects and to empower other people to practice and teach about them, too, as part of the celebration of spiritual gifts and talents given by God. She embodied the teaching of following higher guidance and bridging Heaven and Earth. She studied with the Universal Church of the Master, the International Order of St. Luke the Physician, and attended the seminary of Unity Church in Missouri. A few weeks shy of graduation from Unity, she was guided by spirit to begin her own church, which became Tzaddi.
Amy Kees (1914 – 2012) and Dorothe Blackmere’s (1936 – 2012) ashes were scattered in Estes Park, Colorado after a loving memorial service attended by their close family and friends. Amy Kees’s granite memorial is located in Melrose Abbey Memorial Park in Anaheim, California.
(1) “How Did Tzaddi Get Started?” by Amy Kees