Rev. Sylvia E Sumter has served as the senior minister of Unity of Washington, DC, since 1991. Prior to this, she served as the Chairperson of Communication Studies and Skills Department at Unity School of Religious Studies, Unity Village, Missouri. She has a master’s in education, a bachelor’s in psychology, and an associate’s in business administration.
She is a gifted spiritual teacher, a dynamic and energetic speaker, yet she has an unassuming manner. Rev. Sumter is noted for incorporating the most fundamental teachings, the principles of spirituality, and many of life's experiences into her messages. Her call is to inspire individuals to transform their lives through an awareness of their innate divine potential.
Rev. Jeanmarie Eck is an ordained Unity minister (2014) serving as associate minister at Unity of Houston, Texas, since 2014. She holds a master of divinity degree from Unity Institute & Seminary and is a licensed Unity teacher in adult education. She is a spiritual director and graduate of the Certification in Spiritual Direction program at Perkins School of Theology.
Jeanmarie is a regular contributor to Unity booklets. A lifelong professional performing artist, she also holds a master’s of fine arts from the University of Mississippi, where she was an instructor and course coordinator, and a bachelor’s of theatre arts and music from Rollins College. In addition, she has held management positions in both the arts and U.S. government.
As a wife, mother of a young child, and cofounder of Unity Moms, Jeanmarie is passionate about sharing the power of Unity principles with youth, families, and adults.
Second Vice Chair
Rev. Valerie Mansfield currently serves as the senior minister at Unity of Louisville, Kentucky. She began serving Unity of Louisville in 2002 as the youth and family ministry director and as the associate minister.
Additionally, Valerie is ministry consultant at Unity of East Louisville, Kentucky. That includes assisting in the reorganization of the ministry; conducting 1–2 worships monthly, board trainings, and healing circles, plus overseeing church staff and volunteers.
She is adjunct facility at Unity Worldwide Spiritual Institute, teaching Basic Ministry Financial Management. She has experience in good business practices in administration, mapping organizational policies and procedures, and financial management. Her strengths are in training, managing, finances, and networking computer systems.
Valerie’s mission is to move forward in life with ease and grace, illuminating her way and those around her with integrity, compassion, and bliss.
Rev. Edith Washington-Woods serves as senior minister at Unity of Gaithersburg, Maryland. She was ordained (2009) by Unity Worldwide Ministries (UWM) and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Unity Institute & Seminary. She is also a licensed Unity teacher specializing in adult education. She is currently serving on UWM’s Budget & Finance and Sustainability Teams. Previously, she served on UWM’s Convention Team, was chair of UWM’s Health & Wholeness team, and was president of the Eastern Region Board.
Rev. Edith is passionate about serving in heart-centered, collaborative, inclusive ways. This passion allows her to assist communities unaccustomed to working together by building bridges to create opportunities for oneness in the churches she has served, as well as with young people and families, Interfaith organizations, 12- step groups, and LGBTQIA+ communities. She is mother to four adult sons, has nine grandchildren, and has been married to her wife since 2015.
Rev. Don Barton has almost 30 years of combined leadership experience in a variety of industries; including retail, hospitality, professional accounting, as well as Unity. While general manager of a high-volume restaurant at the age of 28, he gained critical experience in “crisis” management that has served him well in other situations. As a CPA with years of applied experience, Rev. Don is skilled in dissecting data and interpreting financial statements and the underlying operational information it represents into easy-to-understand concepts to enable sound decision making.
Rev. Don was introduced to Unity in 1991 and served his local church in a variety of roles, including usher, prayer chaplain, Board president, and platform assistant. He became Executive Director of Christ Church Unity, Orlando, Florida, in 2014. In 2017, Don entered the Ministerial and Religious Studies program at Unity Worldwide Spiritual Institute, and in 2021, he was ordained a Unity minister. Currently, Rev. Don is serving Unity churches in the Central Florida area as a guest speaker and advisor on church finances. Rev. Don also serves on Unity Worldwide Ministries’ Budget and Finance Committee and he recently joined the Unity Worldwide Spiritual Institute faculty teaching Ministry Financial Management.
Ana Quintana Bird
Originally from Puerto Rico, Rev. Ana Quintana Bird—RevAna, as she is known to her congregants and radio listeners—brings a unique blend of skills to her ministry. From her teens, she has been an avid student of metaphysics. She also has a strong business background. She earned her B.A. in economics from Agnes Scott College and received additional certifications from Harvard Business School and the Kellogg School of Management. She founded two service businesses and served as president and general manager of Quintana Quintana Corp., a distribution company based in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.
She was ordained as a Unity minister in 1999. After serving as associate minister of Unity of the Triangle in Raleigh, North Carolina, for ten years, she is now associate minister at Unity on the Bay, Miami, Florida. In addition to her regular church duties, RevAna leads a Spanish-speaking ministry, both in-person and on the radio. She has become a leading voice in the Unity movement in Spanish. Her radio show, De Viaje con RevAna, airs on Univision PR, the number one radio station in Puerto Rico, which also broadcasts in the US. RevAna is passionate about sharing the Unity message to all who are open.
She is blessed to be the mother of three wonderful children: Claire, Luc, and Lauren.
Rev. Okon Ebong worked with a multinational organization for over 35 years. His ability to get along with others allowed him to rise to a position to organize others towards achieving their goals. He is confident that this talent will help to lift the Board. This capability was made possible by his consistent practice of Unity Principles. Rev. Okon O. Ebong was ordained a Unity minister in 1999. He joined Unity in Nigeria in the 1990s and attended the Unity School for Religious Studies between 1996 and 1998.
He was associated with the United Church of Religious Science (Science of Mind) and rose to the position of a Study Group Director in Omoku, Nigeria. Rev. Ebong served INTA District in Nigeria for many years and as president of Unity Church, Nigeria (Unity umbrella organization of Unity in Nigeria), for five years (2001-2006). He has been presenting seminars and workshops locally and internationally. Rev. Ebong attends the Unity conventions and INTA Congresses in the USA. He is currently a member of the English Credential Ministry Team and, since May 2019, the president of Unity Church of Christianity, Nigeria.
Rev. Ebong is a retired oil field superintendent with Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), a subsidiary of E&P of ENI Group in Italy.
Rev. Tim Lytle is an ordained Unity minister serving as senior minister at Unity Church of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, where he served once before. He has also served in Novato, California, and Wichita, Kansas. He serves on various leadership teams in UWM including teams that support, plan and work with the international work of Unity (a passion of his).
Tim graduated from MidAmerica Nazarene University (B.A. in Religion and in Speech Communications) and Nazarene Theological Seminary (M.Div.), both in Kansas City, Mo. He was a pastor for 9 years in that denomination. Tim is a board-certified chaplain and has served as a hospital chaplain (and at times coordinator/developer of programs) for over 28 years. Concurrent with his work, he was deeply involved in volunteer prison ministry for over 12 years. Tim has been involved in and studied various forms of meditation and spiritual practices from traditions all over the world.
His mission is the spiritual awakening of individuals through experiencing and realizing Oneness. He loves speaking, storytelling (with humor), social action, and teaching as a means to help us to remember who we really are! Tim and his wife Olga Lucia love exercise, music, dancing, movies, reading, meditation, and meeting with people of many different cultures and traveling.
Sue Riley is a cofounder of emPower Music & Arts, which provides thousands of songs, sheet music, licensing, and other resources to Unity ministries. Sue believes in the power of music combined with the powerful teachings of Unity to touch hearts and heal lives.
Sue is an accomplished singer, songwriter, musician, and speaker, and served as Music Ministry Team Chair for eleven years. She has created and organized dozens of conferences and events that serve Unity ministries by training music directors to be more effective leaders and making new music continuously available. Sue has been the music director at Unity Church of Clearwater, Florida, for 30 years and is part of their leadership team.
Sue is passionate about training new music directors and helping them find the music and resources that they need to weave music with the message of Unity. She believes her main expertise is her vast knowledge of New Thought music resources. To keep her knowledge fresh and relevant, Sue cultivates relationships with dozens of artists who write New Thought songs and perform in our churches and centers.
Sue’s work has given her the opportunity to cultivate great people skills in dealing with conflict and inspiring consensus. She is very familiar with Unity’s diverse culture, its ministers, and the needs of its ministries.
Paul has been a Realtor in residential real estate (RE/MAX) since 2001 and involved in the Unity movement since 2004. He has been a member of Unity of Kansas City North, Missouri, since 2007, served as a chaplain for seven years, and on the board of trustees for six years (two of those years as president). He graduated from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1990 and from Unity Worldwide Spiritual Institute as a licensed Unity teacher in November 2019. He is also serving as chairman of the Gladstone Area Chamber of Commerce.
Keeper of the Flame
Raised in New Thought, Diane’s been a Unity minister for 25 years. She’s served 13 years as senior minister with Unity of Roanoke Valley, Virginia, and 4 years with Unity of Naples, Florida. Diane began Pray Attention Ministries as an alternative ministry in 2010, sharing spiritually down-to-earth ideas and practices with spiritual centers, individuals, and organizations as an engaging presence for listening to, and living from, Spirit within.
With a background in theatre, and B.A. in English from George Mason University, Diane offers you her free Daily Pray It Forwards and a link to her book on Amazon and classes with the Institute for Leadership and Lifelong Learning (illli) from her website, PrayAttentionMinistries.org, and you can free jump into her Facebook Live broadcasts, Pray Attention at 11:11, based on Unity’s Daily Word®.
Diane chairs Suncoast Unity Ministers, Inc., has been co-emcee for Unity conventions, serves our Sabbatical Team, Avow Hospice, Naples Therapeutic Riding Center, AHALA Children’s Rights organization in Mexico, and is now delighted to be a kindling voice for Unity as our Keeper of the Flame.