Hand of the Cause of God, Roy Wilhelm.

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Roy Cochran Wilhelm (September 17, 1875 – December 20, 1951) was a prominent early American Bahá’í who was posthumously appointed a Hand of the Cause of God by Shoghi Effendi.

He was a millionaire businessman in New York City, and head of the family coffee company. His mother, Laurie, became a Bahá’í in 1898, but Roy was not attracted to the Faith until he accompanied his mother on her pilgrimage to ‘Akká in 1907. This experience transformed his life. He was elected to serve on the Executive Board of the Bahá’í Temple Unity in 1909 and, except for one year of illness, remained a member on it, and its successor, the National Spiritual Assembly, until 1946, often acting as its treasurer. He also helped administer the Bahá’í community in New York, produced Bahá’í literature, and supported the teaching work of Martha Root and Louis Gregory. He acted as a channel of communication between ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and the American Bahá’ís, and was one of those whom Shoghi Effendi consulted about the future development of the Faith in 1922.

He died on 24 November 1951, and was posthumously named a Hand of the Cause by Shoghi Effendi. An annual unity feast is held at the former Wilhelm property at West Englewood, New Jersey, to commemorate a feast held there by ‘Abdu’l-Baha during his visit to America.