Bokor Iya Mari Brown
Yoruba Temple of Spiritual Elevation and Enlightenment also known as the Yoruba Temple was founded in Washington, DC in 1982 by Chief Iya N’Ifa Ifarinoola Efunyale (Mother) Taylor. Mother Taylor grew up in Trinidad, West Indies. Her parents and family were Yoruba practitioners who followed the traditional African practice of Orisa. She received her calling at a very young age and was initiated into Orisa at the age of five. Later, Mother Taylor migrated to the U.S. and received additional initiations.
Oba Efuntola Osei jeman Adelabu Adefunmi I, founder and Chief Priest of the Yoruba Temple of New York and the Yoruba Village in Sheldon, South Carolina initiated Mother Taylor into Obatala and helped her to open the Yoruba Temple of Spiritual Elevation and Enlightenment. Mother Taylor was initiated into Ifa by Oba Awopeju Bogunmbe of Ogunda Meji Temple in Ibadan, Nigeria. She was initiated into Ogboni by H.R.H. Oba T.A. Opeoodu of Lagos, Nigeria, and was initiated into Egungun by Chief Ajamu of the Oyotunji Village.
The first home of Yoruba Temple was at 830 19th St. NE Washington, DC. In 1984, the Yoruba Temple purchased and moved into a building at 4226 Eads St NE Washington, DC. In 1991, a devastating fire destroyed the building and left the temple without a home. In 1992, the temple purchased and moved into another building at 5530 Old Marlboro Pike in Forestville, MD. Reconstruction of the Eads St. property was completed in 1997 and the members returned to that building. The current home of the Yoruba Temple is 5711 Huntland Rd in Temple Hills, MD. For over ten years, the Yoruba Temple also owned and operated the company Seven Powers of Africa, that was located on Georgia Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. Seven Powers of Africa provided spiritual consultation and counseling. They also sold African artifacts, fabric, religious and spiritual items.
The Yoruba Temple originated through the legacy of our ancestors in Trinidad, West Indies and the Caribbean following the traditions and cultures of the Yoruba people in Nigeria, West Africa. The philosophy of the Yoruba Temple is unity and healing through the power of love and truth of Olodumare. The Temple’s teachings are based on the Odu Ifa Corpus (the work and body of recitations used in the divination system) as handed down to Orunmila and the Orisa. Orunmila is known as the Word of God and witness to creation, and the Orisa are divinities of God. Mother Taylor has initiated and ordained many spiritual children throughout the U.S. and world who continue to spread and teach the word of Olodumare.
Recognizing the oneness of spirit, Mother Taylor promoted, and continues to promote, the unity and coming together of all spiritual people and organizations. Power of unity was found with the Akans of America, the Ausar Auset Society, the Oyotunji Village, the Santeria and Lucumi houses, the Muslim community, and many other local churches and organizations. Chief Iya N’ifa Ifarinoola Efunyale Mother Taylor made a peaceful transition into the spiritual realm on January 17, 2017.