LEADERS BIOS.. continued

 

David Alexander ....

Spiritual Director - Spiritual Living Center of Atlanta. David Alexander was raised in New Thought and  had a profound awakening at age 13, after which he dedicated his life to helping others.He became a licensed Religious Science Practitioner in 1999 and graduated from the University of New Mexico with honors in Child Development and Family Relations. David co-founded the New Thought Center for Spiritual Living, serving as its Senior Minister for 15 years.

He was inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers at Morehouse College in 2009. A social justice activist, he has served on the Board of Directors for the Community of Welcoming Congregations, a Portland-based alliance with the mission of ‘providing a voice for LGBTQ and allied people of faith.’ He Served as director of Strategic Alliances for the Centers for Spiritual Living from 2012-2020, where he helps direct and coordinate partnerships between organizations in order to foster the creation of a world that works for all. 

 

An avid student of New Thought history and philosophy, Rev. David writes a monthly column – ‘Philosophy in Action’ – for Science of Mind magazine and received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the Centers for Spiritual Living in 2014. In 2015 Dr. David was inducted into the College of Bishops and Affirming Faith Leaders by the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries and in 2016 was recognized with a Force for Good Award from Unity of Sacramento. 

 

David lives in Lawrenceville, GA with his wife, Patience and two sons their dog Cooper. 

Michael Bernard Beckwith ...

Michael Bernard Beckwith is the founder and Spiritual Director of the Agape International Spiritual Center, a trans-denominational community headquartered in Los Angeles comprised of thousands of local members and global live streamers. Dr. Beckwith embraces a practical approach to spirituality utilizing meditation, affirmative prayer, and Life Visioning™, a process he originated. These practices teach us to take the experience of inner peace and awakened awareness into our everyday lives.

 

 In 2012, Dr. Beckwith addressed the UN General Assembly during its annual World Interfaith Harmony Week. As co-founder and president of the Association for Global New Thought, he hosts conferences featuring harbingers of world peace including His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and had the distinguished honor of presenting to Nelson Mandela the Gandhi King Award.  

Dr. Beckwith is a sought after meditation teacher, conference speaker, and seminar leader on the Life Visioning Process™.  Three of his most recent books—Life Visioning, Spiritual Liberation, and TranscenDance Expanded are recipients of the prestigious Nautilus Award. He has appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Network’s SuperSoul Sunday, SuperSoul Sessions, and Help Desk; Dr. Oz; CNN, The Oprah Show; Larry King Live; Tavis Smiley; and in his own PBS Special, The Answer Is You and is a member of Oprah’s prestigious inaugural SuperSoul 100. Every Friday at 1pm PST, thousands tune into his radio show on KPFK, WAKE UP! The Sound of Transformation. www.agapelive.com www.michaelbernardbeckwith.com

Jim Blake ...

EMERITUS: Jim Blake rejoined Unity World Headquarters as CEO in 2016, having previously served as chief information officer and vice president of operations from 2006 to 2011. Prior to being named CEO, he was vice president of product development at Rhythm Engineering in Lenexa, Kansas. Jim has more than 20 years of executive leadership experience with some of the fastest growing and most innovative companies in North America, including information technology, operations, and product development in the legal, financial, nonprofit, utility, and manufacturing industries.


Jim has a bachelor of arts degree in computer science from Central Methodist University and intends to finish his master of divinity from Unity Worldwide Spiritual Institute.

Wendy Craig-Purcell ...

EMERITUS: Wendy is a graduate of the Unity School of Christianity and was ordained in 1980. She is founder and CEO of The Unity Center, a 1500-member spiritual community located in San Diego, California. She has been a part of the Association for Global New Thought since 1999 and currently serves as Vice President. She participated in all three AGNT-sponsored “Synthesis Dialogues,” which brought together some of the world’s leading thinkers to dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet in Dharmsala, India in 1999 and in Italy in 2001 and 2004; and traveled to Istanbul, Turkey in November 2006 as part of the planning for the Abraham Path Initiative, in partnership with the Harvard Negotiation Project, to open up a pilgrimage route in the Middle East retracing the footsteps of the prophet Abraham. With a strong interest in Spiritually Motivated Social Action, Wendy & The Unity Center were instrumental in the early formation of the San Diego Department of Peace grassroots group in the fall of 2004.  Americans for the Department of Peace (AFDOP), now encompasses all of Southern California with The Unity Center providing ongoing support. In addition, Her service awards include the Gandhi Non-Violence Award from the Tariq Khamisa Foundation and induction into the Martin Luther King Jr. board of Preachers Hall of Fame.

Barbara Fields ...

Executive Director, The Association for Global New Thought. She is co-founder and project director of: The Gandhi King Seasons for Peace and Nonviolence (1998-present); the Synthesis Dialogues I, II, & III with His Holiness, Tenzin Gyatso, the Dalai Lama of Tibet; the omni-local initiatives for Harvard-based Abraham Walk Initiative in the Middle East. Formerly, she served as Program Director for the first Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago, the Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies facilitated by Purdue University, and was a delegate at the UNESCO Seminar on Religion and Peace in Granada, Spain.

 

She has been Director/Producer of the Awakened World Conference Series 1999-2016, including the Gandhi King Peace Train, AGNT’s Interfaith Forum in Rome/Florence, the Awakened World International Film Festival in Santa Barbara, CA and Symposium on Engaged Spirituality in San Diego. She is the author of AGNT's newest nine module activist curriculum: "Social Uplift Ministries" (S.U.M.)

 

Awards include: Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters; Religious Science International’s first Peace Award; The Peace Museum's Community Peacemaker Award in the area of Diplomacy; the Gandhi-King-Ikeda Award from Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel. Contributing author: The Community of Religions; Two Hundred Visionaries; Women, Spirituality and Transformative Leadership: Where Grace Meets Power.

David Goldberg ...

Reverend Doctor David Goldberg is an ordained Religious Science Minister and the Publisher and Editor of Guide for Spiritual Living: Science of Mind magazine, one of the oldest continuously published digest-sized magazines in the United States. He considers the more than 80,000 subscribers and readers his congregation. David earned his Bachelor’s degree in Technical Journalism and Public Relations and holds two Master’s degrees: one in Communication and the second in Consciousness Studies. David earned his Ph.D. in Ethical and Creative Leadership with a concentration in Creativity, Diversity and Social Justice. His work is the intersection of leadership and spirituality. For more information please visit www.DrDavidSGoldberg.com.

Kenn Gordon ...

Rev. Dr. Kenn Gordon is responsible for bringing to the world the teachings of Science of Mind®, also known as Religious Science. As the former Spiritual Leader, it is his goal to help awaken humanity in order to create a world that works for everyone.

 

Toward this goal, Gordon travels the world speaking with everyone from government and religious leaders to individual seekers about ageless spiritual principles that have been passed down through millennia and synthesized in the teachings of Science of Mind by its founder, Ernest Holmes.


In 2009, Dr. Gordon spoke at the Parliament of World Religions in Melbourne, Australia, along with the Dalai Lama and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. In the same year, his book, Mind & Manifestation, was published. He also contributes regularly to Science of Mind and Creative Thought magazines, both published by Centers for Spiritual Living.


In 2011, Gordon was awarded a Doctorate in Divinity by International Centers for Spiritual Living. This honor has been bestowed on less than a dozen other individuals, one of whom is Louise Hay, known world-wide for her work in New Thought. In 2005, he was named Meritorious Minister of the Year and awarded an honorary Doctorate of Religious Science by Religious Science International.


In 2012, the Centers for Spiritual Living was formed when Religious Science International and United Church of Religious Science integrated. Gordon played a key role in the integration, and was elected as the first Spiritual Leader of Centers for Spiritual Living.

Temple Hayes ...

Rev. Dr. Temple Hayes grew up in South Carolina.  She spent the earlier part of her career as a business owner and served three years of military service in the United States Army Reserves. She became a Science of Mind minister in 1991 and an ordained Unity Minister in 2007. She is described as a prophet and mystic for our times and the new spiritual leader the world needs today. Temple Hayes is a Difference Maker, Spiritual Leader, Author, International Motivational Speaker, Humanitarian, Life Rights Advocate, Shamanic Practitioner, and President and Founder of life changing non-profit organizations.

Temple Hayes serves as CEO and Spiritual Leader of First Unity Spiritual Campus, a New Thought center, in St. Petersburg, Florida that transcends religious denominations, embraces all ethnicity, and reaches beyond national borders. Temple serves on the leadership team of the Association of Global New Thought. She hosts a weekly radio show for Unity Online Radio called “The Intentional Spirit.”

 

She is the author of the following books: “The Right to Be You,” “How to Speak Unity,” “When Did You Die?” and the CD motivational series “From Good to Amazing.”

She spent thirteen years as a motivational speaker across the United States and abroad for a variety of clients including Proctor and Gamble, Washington Mutual, State Farm Insurance and Compaq. She is a much sought after and gifted public speaker, who supports causes that touch the human heart, improves people’s lives and raises the consciousness of the world. She was a twice featured speaker at Carnegie Hall in 2019 for suicide prevention and awareness and the #neveralone movement. She is a featured speaker on the Mind Dive App and an acting role as the spiritual leader in the Movie “I am Never Alone” (2020) produced by Michel Pascal and featuring Deepak Chopra, Gabriella Wright and other leading visionaries.

 

She is passionate about life rights, gay rights, animal rights, and human rights and has created the following movements to both educate and advocate for the voiceless:  Global Peace Workers; Life Rights; The SOFI Project that rescues and rehabilitates dogs and cats; and The Institute for Leadership and Lifelong Learning International (illli.org).

 

Temple is the recipient of many awards including the following:  Nominated as an all American and elected to the National Softball Hall of Fame (1979); elected to Outstanding Young Women of America (1988); International Who’s Who of American Professionals (1997); National Association of Professional Women (2008); the People of Distinction Humanitarian Awards (2016); awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree of Humane Letters (2019).

Temple herself knows what it feels like to feel disconnected, unloved, addicted, and rejected. She transformed her life from alcohol addiction, embraced her sexuality, and has resurrected herself many times. Her life and teachings are an example for others to live a full and healthy life and to wake up and stop dying every day. She sees daily in her work as a spiritual leader a huge need to help all people, animals,  and most especially young people find acceptance in the world and within themselves.

Donna LaRue Johnson...

EMERITUS: Former President and CEO for Unity Worldwide Ministries, Rev. Donna Johnson is a native of Nashville, TN. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology and has worked as a research assistant in behavior modification techniques with children, a counselor in a mental health center, a journalist and editor, and a real estate agent. Donna was ordained through Unity in 1996 and served as an associate minister in Nashville, TN., and senior minister at Unity of Fairfax in Northern Virginia for 14 years. She has served the Unity movement in many capacities, including 5 years on the UWM board of trustees. Donna left Virginia in 2012 to take up her current post in Kansas City, MO.

Deborah Johnson

Rev. Deborah L. Johnson is the founder of Inner Light Ministries, an omnifaith spiritual community in Santa Cruz, California, and The Motivational Institute, an organizational development consulting firm specializing in cultural diversity. A dynamic organizer, strategist, facilitator, public speaker, and spoken word artist, she is known for her ability to bring clarity to complex and emotionally charged issues.  

 

A co-litigant in two California landmark civil rights cases, her life-time social justice work has been featured in numerous multi-media venues. For such she has received many awards including induction into the Morehouse College MLK Jr Board of Preachers and being an inaugural New Thought Walden Award honoree. Author of “The Sacred Yes” and “Your Deepest Intent,” Rev Deborah is a member of Delta Sigma Theta, a board member of The Pachamama Alliance, and a founding member of the Agape International Spiritual Center with Michael Bernard Beckwith. She holds a BA from USC, an MBA from UCLA, a ministerial degree from the Holmes Institute, and an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Agape University of Leadership and Transpersonal Studies. Her passion is building “The Beloved Community” and healing socio-political/cultural divides. Wherever she goes, her message is one of possibility, inclusion, empowerment, and transformation.

Erin McCabe...

Erin McCabe is the Senior Minister of Unity Village Chapel, the local and live-stream spiritual community located at Unity World Headquarters.  She is the founder and Director of Campaign for Consciousness, a singer-songwriter and environmental advocate with a passion for nature and sustainable living. McCabe brings to the table a passionate flair inspiring a higher consciousness and encouraging us to cast our vote, as the Dalai Lama said, "The world is a spiritual democracy, you vote with your life." Learn more at: UnityVillageChapel.org, CampaignforConsciousness.com, ErinMccabeMusic.com

Michelle Medrano...

Rev. Dr. Michelle Medrano found Religious Science at age 15. Upon walking into Mile Hi Church of Religious Science in Denver, Colorado, she knew she was "home." As a teenager, Michelle started volunteering at the church and eventually joined as administrative staff where she worked for six years. She continued her studies, became a practitioner and in 1991 after receiving her degree from Ernest Homes College, became a minister.

 

Michelle became an assistant minister at Huntington Beach Church of Religious Science. She served there for four years in many capacities. Then Michelle joined New Vision Center for Spiritual Living as its senior minister in 1995. New Vision Center for Spiritual Living grew and evolved from a smaller community that set up every Sunday for services, to a larger community that purchased its own building and became a hub of activity and inspiration under her leadership. Her vigorous involvement in her local community is matched by her work on the international committees of her denomination. She has served in many capacities of leadership in the New Thought Movement.

 

In 2013, Dr. Michelle was invited to return to Mile Hi Church as an associate minister. While it was difficult to leave the wonderful community she had built in Arizona, she knew that this was the right move. She serves as the leader of Ministries and Programs at Mile Hi. In the congregation she serves and in the many churches and organizations she visits each year, Dr. Michelle is known as an inspiring teacher and leader who deeply touches her audiences with humor and profound insights. Dean of School of Spiritual Leadership, Ministries and Program Leader, Financial Wellness Ministry, Women's Ministry

Kevin Kitrell Ross ...

He is a Senior Fellow of the Mountain-Valley Chapter of the American Leadership Forum, a member of Sacramento Area Congregations Together, and he is respected for his role as a social justice activist. Ross is a three time delegate to the Parliament of the World’s Religions. Ross has served as a guest chaplain for the California State Senate and he has been called on numerous occasions to conduct Cultural Competency Trainings for the California Department of Social Services.

 

Ross is a popular interview guest for numerous magazines, newspapers, blogs, radio and national television shows - including the Oprah Winfrey Show. He has shared the stage with luminaries ranging from His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, President Nelson Mandela to Ella Gandhi, US Congressman Ami Bera and Dr. Marian Wright Edelman of the Children’s Defense Fund.He is a graduate of Morehouse College, a two-time humanitarian award recipient, an inductee into the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Clergy Hall of Honor and he travels internationally, participating in dialogues and bridge-building activities that bring leaders from diverse backgrounds across faith lines to build the Beloved Community.

Edward Viljoen ...

Rev. Edward Viljoen (pronounced full-YOON) is the Spiritual Leader of Centers for Spiritual Living and functions as the preeminent voice, face, and spokesperson in the world, representing the vision, values, and intention of the organization through speaking engagements and social media. As the Spiritual Leader, Edward cultivates strategic alliances and partnerships that support and advance the organization’s mission: to provide spiritual tools for personal and global transformation by awakening humanity to its spiritual magnificence.

 

Rev. Edward started his quest to understand Spirit by taking Science of Mind classes in Hollywood, California, in the 1980s.  These classes, which profoundly affected him, began a lifelong journey of spiritual education that eventually led him to the Center for Spiritual Living, Santa Rosa, where he is the senior minister and where he lives with his husband, Kevin.

Rev. Edward is a published author (The Power of Meditation: An Ancient Technique to Access Your Inner Power, and Ordinary Goodness: The Surprisingly Effortless Path to Creating a Life of Meaning and Beauty, with Penguin Random House and The Bhagavad Gita: The Song of God Retold in Simplified English with Macmillan Publishers). 

Rev. Edward has received two honorary doctorates from Centers for Spiritual Living and, in 2008 was awarded the much-respected Ernest Holmes Award for exemplary demonstration of Dr. Ernest Holmes’s teachings. Edward graduated as a Sonoma County Law Enforcement Chaplain in April 1999. Among his passions is helping other ministers thrive. He served the Ministers Ongoing Education Conference for 18 years. 

 

When not speaking in public, creating social media, leading retreats to spiritual destinations, raising funds for AIDS/HIV services, and education, Edward can be found walking his dog Cooper, reading science-fiction, and binge-watching documentaries with Kevin.

Lola Wright...

EMERITUS: Lola Wright is a minister, leader, speaker and coach.  She currently serves as the Spiritual Director of Bodhi Spiritual Center, a preeminent transdenominational community located in Chicago serving thousands locally and online through Sunday Celebration Services, classes, workshops, service opportunities and special events.

 

As a teenage mom raised by hip-hop Lola navigated domestic abuse, addiction and welfare.  In 1998 Lola found herself in an unexpected encounter with Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith of Agape International Spiritual Center.  This detour in Lola’s trajectory recalibrated her orientation and worldview setting her on a profound pursuit of Ancient Wisdom New Thought teachings.  She ferociously studied science, religion, philosophy, race, culture and music for nearly 20 years alongside growing corporate success with leading global institutions.  In 2014 Lola was ordained as a Religious Science minister through Emerson Theological Institute and a licensed minister through Centers for Spiritual Living.

Please reload

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
ABOUT US

New Thought is a spiritually motivated way of life that embraces the ancient wisdom traditions of east and west. We embody the belief that consciousness is elementally creative, reciprocates thought, and allows us to co-create with the Divine to shape the reality of our lives.  AGNT is committed to global healing achieved through personal transformation, community-building, interfaith, intercultural, and interdisciplinary understanding, and compassionate activism.

805-563-7343

 

220 Santa Anita Rd.
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

 

AGNT@AGNT.TODAY

SUBSCRIBE FOR EMAILS

© 2023 by HARMONY. Proudly created with Wix.com