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conservative American Christian sect founded in Chicago in 1896 by John Alexander Dowie. A Congregational minister from Australia, Dowie became interested in faith healing and established a tabernacle and "healing rooms" in Chicago, where he attracted a large following. With many of his followers Dowie established an exclusive Christian community in nearby Zion, Ill., a city that he planned and that was settled in 1901. Business and industry were controlled by church officials, with Dowie as general overseer. Financial difficulties led to his being deposed in 1906, and he was succeeded by Wilbur Glenn Voliva. The church remained strong in Zion, but the city eventually welcomed other businesses and churches