posted Sep 20, 2017, 6:16 PM by Irina Rahimi   [ updated Jul 31, 2020, 4:00 PM by Bahais of Fort Wayne Fort Wayne ]

On the morning of Tuesday, September 19, 2017 and during a break in the heavy rain, members of the Baháí community of Fort Wayne gathered to plant a Bald Cypress tree in Bloomingdale Park.  The tree is planted along the path of the Rivergreenway (St. Mary’s Pathway) just as it leads to an open bank of the St. Mary’s River.

The tree is meant to be a commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh, the Prophet-Founder of the Baháí Faith.  This year, Baháí s, who number more than 5 million believers globally and is considered to the second most wide-spread religion in the world, are celebrating the Twin Holy Days of both Baha’u’llah and the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of the Báb, or “The Gate” in 2019.  The Baháí s will donate another Bald Cypress tree right next to this tree in 2019 to honor the Báb.

The Baháí Faith was first established here in Fort Wayne more than 70 years ago.  During the tree ceremony which included prayers and readings from the Baháí Writings, Marsha Smiley, a member of one of the oldest Fort Wayne Baháí families ended the ceremony by reading a quote of Bahá’ulláh’s on unity: 


“The utterance of God is a lamp, whose light is these words:  Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch.  Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship.  He Who is the Daystar of Truth beareth Me witness!  So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth.” – Baha’u’llah

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