In 1885, a young 31-year-old Margaret “Maggie” Juliet Franklin, a wife and mother of two, led a women’s Bible study in a Manhattan, New York, parish known as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This group of women called themselves “Daughters of the King.” Margaret, seeking a deeper, more passionate relationship with Christ and His church, called a meeting of the group on the eve of Easter. The purpose of the meeting was to “arouse their interest and urge their cooperation as a class of definite workers for Christ and His church.” On that night in 1885, what would become known as “The Order of the Daughters of the King,” was born.
The class resolved that there would be prayer to God every day of their lives and that He would empower them for His work. Prayer was very familiar to them, but the power of prayer and its reality came to these women anew.
Their mission was simple – to spread the Kingdom of Christ among young women. The Bible class would contact more women and encourage them to come and study the Word of God. They would be “neighborly” to strangers and hand them books. They would get to know these newcomers and established a basis on which they would be attracted to the Kingdom of God.
The idea caught on very quickly and other women and women’s groups who were also seeking a more devout life joined this fledgling ministry and wanted to become “Daughters of the King.”
While still in its infancy and reaching out to girls and young women, The Order extended its scope beyond our national borders. In 1895 there were enough chapters in Canada for them to form their own National Council. Within six years there were branches of the Daughters of the King in England, Australia, and China. By the mid-twentieth century the Order had Junior Chapters in China and in the Philippines as well as on a Dakota Indian reservation. The Order has continued to grow both nationally and internationally ever since.
Since The Order was founded in New York, was originally incorporated in that state in 1917 under the official name of “The Order of the Daughters of the King, Inc.” When the national office moved to Atlanta in 1981, the Order was incorporated again in 1986 under the laws of the State of Georgia. In the year 2000 the Order dedicated a new building in Woodstock, Georgia as the Margaret J. Franklin Center, which is home to the National Office and the Order’s Archives.
Our history is as rich as our ministry. The Spirit of the Living God truly inspired our founding mothers and the clergy who supported them. Today, nearly 130 years later, He is still moving among us, fanning the flames of our ministry and drawing all His “Daughters” to a closer, more personal relationship with Him through our dedication to prayer, service and evangelism.
(From the DOK National Handbook)