People and Places

Content from The Path, our bi-weekly enewsletter. Reported here for your convenience.

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Here is the 2018 Memorial Service video from the 2018 June convention. For passings since the prior convention, see Transitions below.

Employment and Status Changes


Unity Spiritual Center in the Rockies, Colorado Springs, Colorado, [] is pleased to welcome Rev. Julie Armour (ordained 1997) as our associate minister effective January 1, 2020. Julie received her ministerial calling 25 years ago as a member of this community, and we are pleased to welcome her home!


Mike Davis is the new ministry coordinator for Unity Church of the Mountains, Blairsville, Georgia, [] as of January 22, 2020. 


Rev. Jim Lee (ordained 1994) has been hired as the minister of Unity of Las Vegas, Nevada, [ ] effective January 12, 2020.


Rev. Kathy McCall (ordained 1990) is the new minister at Unity North Spiritual Center, Coon Rapids, Minnesota, [] effective December 1, 2019.


Rev. Sarah Phillips is the Minister at Unity in Frederick: A Spiritual Community, Maryland, [] effective December 1, 2019.



Rev. Nat Carter (ordained 1986) will be the new minister at Unity Church of Greater Rochester, Rochester, New York, [] starting January 10, 2020.



Laurie Brandt LUT’s last Sunday as the spiritual leader at Unity of the Valley Spiritual Center, Savage, Minnesota, [] was November 17, 2019.


Rev. Linda Fisher (CSL) is the new minister at Unity of Bremerton, Washington, [] effective October 1, 2019.



Rev. Debra Carter Williams (ordained 1990) will be the new minister at Unity Center of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, [] starting January 1, 2020.


Rev. Gail Dobert (ordained 2010) will be the new minister at Unity of Bay City, Michigan, [] starting December 1, 2019. 


Revs. Brian and Kristen Grandon’s last day at Unity Church of the Hills (UCOH), Austin, Texas, [] was October 25, 2019. According to Brian and Kristen, “We hold the highest and best for UCOH and have loved being with this community since July of 2017. Let’s hold all in the light of Spirit as the next chapter unfolds in divine order.”


Rev. Ray Nelson (ordained 2011) has resigned, effective October 30, 2019, from Unity of Louisville, Kentucky. [] Ray is moving back to Minnesota to join his wife and family. As he said, “I miss her and decided I can do my work anywhere, but did not want to do it without her.” We bless Ray and Unity of Louisville through this time of transition.


Rev. Jean-Marie Schweizer (ordained 2018) is the new minister at Unity Fort Worth, Texas, [] starting December 16, 2019. His last day at Unity Lake Houston, Kingwood, Texas, [] is still being determined.



Rev. Alden Studebaker (ordained 1984) will be leaving Unity Christ Center in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. [] His last day will be December 8, 2019.


Mark Hicks, LUT, is the new spiritual leader of Unity Center of Christianity in Baltimore, Maryland, starting October 1, 2019.

Sarah Lundquist-Galloway has joined Unity of Nashville, Tennessee, [] as director of programs. “As such, she will offer support and supervision to youth and family programs, community service initiatives, Sunday gatherings, special events, tech support, and media. We are delighted to have her join us full-time on October 22, 2019.”



Rev. Barbara Schreiner-Trudel (CSL) is the new spiritual leader at Unity Church of Agape in Scarborough, ON, Canada. She started April 1, 2019. [no web]

Rev. Evin Wilkins (ordained 2019) will be the senior minister at Unity of Madison, Wisconsin, [] starting September 29, 2019.



Rev. Roxanne Buckle (ordained 2017) joins Unity Victoria Spiritual Community, Victoria, BC, Canada, [] on October 1, 2019, as acting spiritual leader. 


Rev. Clive deLaporte (ordained 2014) is the new senior minister at Unity of Tustin, California, [] effective July 19, 2019. He will be part-time through October and will be full-time starting November 1, 2019. “It is with joyful hearts and much gratitude that we welcome Rev. Clive to Unity of Tustin.”


Michael Rocque is the new ministry coordinator for Unity Center for Spiritual Growth, Ada, Michigan, [] as of August 26, 2019.


Rev. Nhien Vuong (ordained 2015) has stepped down from her associate minister position at Unity Temple on the Plaza, Kansas City, Missouri, [] effective September 30, 2019. Nhien is pursuing her passion for transforming consciousness through contemplative practices and the Enneagram.


Rev. Shawn Wegner (ordained 2015) has completed her contract with Unity of Lawrence, Kansas. [] Her last day was August 28, 2019.


After 20 years at Unity of Melbourne, Florida, [] Rev. Beth Head (ordained 1998) followed her heart and decided it was time to share her gifts in other ways. She resigned as of February 28, 2019. Rev. Beth is now supporting ministries in the Southeast region as their regional rep and as a transitional specialist.   


Unity of Melbourne was happy to welcome Rev. Valarie Parson (ordained 2019) as their new minister on February 1, 2019.


Rev. Kelly Kincaid (formerly Kelly Coles, ordained 2019) is the new minister at Unity of Farmington Hills, Michigan, [] as of July 28, 2019.



Rev. Greg Barrette (ordained 1980) is announcing his retirement from ministry on October 1, 2019. His last day at Unity of Delray Beach, Florida, [] will be September 30, 2019. Formerly the director of the International Youth of Unity, Greg was elected president of four Unity regions. Greg has served ministries in Hawaii, California, New Mexico, Kansas, and Illinois. He is a Certified Healthy Congregations Facilitator and a staff writer for Daily Word® magazine. Congratulations, Greg! Enjoy your retirement and may you have many happy adventures.

Rev. Ron Neff [ ] (ordained 1998) completed his contract with Unity of Port St. Lucie, Florida, [ ] on May 31, 2019. He is available as a guest speaker.


Rev. Diane Sickler [] will be retiring August 11, 2019, on her 40th anniversary as a Unity minister. She currently serves Unity of NEPA: A Spiritual Community, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. [] Diane has also served ministries in Hawaii, Illinois, and New York. She is a past chair of the UWM Board of Trustees (2001–2002), and served on multiple ministry teams including ethics review and bylaws. Congratulations, Diane! Thanks for your faithful service to Unity and enjoy your retirement.


Rev. Ann Marie Beale (ordained 1994) will be the new minister at Unity Church of the Cumberlands, Cookeville, Tennessee. [ ] Her start date is July 29, 2019. Her last day at Unity in the Valley, Sahaurita, Arizona, [] was June 5, 2019.

Revs. Michael Brooks (ordained 2007) and Meghan Smith Brooks (ordained 2007) are no longer serving Unity New Thought Unity Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, [] as of May 18, 2019.

Rev. Sharon Connors (ordained 1987) will be the new minister at Unity Spiritual Center, Sun City, Arizona, [] as of September 1, 2019.

David DiLullo is the new spiritual leader at Unity Spiritual Center of San Jose, California, [] as of July 1, 2019.

Rev. Brandon Nagel (ordained 2014) is the new associate minister at Unity Village Chapel, Missouri, [] as of June 1, 2019. His title is Minister of Community Life.

Rev. Eric Page (ordained 2011) was hired as the temporary minister at Unity of Kona, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, [] effective July 1, 2019. We celebrate with Eric and Unity of Kona as they begin this spiritual dance together.

Rev. Barry Terwilliger (ordained 1989) and Rev. Natalie Lehman (ordained 2014), coministers of Unity Spiritual Center of the Mohave Valley, Bullhead City, Arizona, [] announce the promotion of licensed Unity teacher, Maryann Shepherd, M.Ed., to assistant minister! Our community is super-blessed to have Maryann! Her love and passion for Unity is contagious. In so many ways, Maryann is the perfect addition to our ministerial team.



After 25 years and 8 months, Rev. Chuck Cournyea (ordained 1993) has retired from pulpit ministry at Unity Center Bakersfield, California. [] His last service will be June 9, 2019. Chuck felt it was time to move on and follow another dream.

Rev. Tony Jackson (ordained 2018) is resigning from Unity of Richmond East Bay, Richmond, California. [] His last day will be July 31, 2019.

Rev. Daybree Thoms (ordained 2016) has made the prayerful decision to resign her position as senior minister at Unity of Wichita, Kansas, [c] effective May 26, 2019. Daybree will be taking some time off to enjoy her family before considering where and to what she is next being called.

Rev. Edith Washington-Woods (ordained 2009) will be the new senior minister at Unity San Diego, a spiritual community, San Diego, California, [] starting July 1, 2019.


Rev. Teresa Burton (ordained 2018) has been hired as the editor of Daily Word® magazine, starting May 6, 2019. Congratulations, Teresa!


Rev. Greg Coles (ordained 2010) completed his service as senior minister for Unity of Bay City, Michigan, [] on April 6, 2019. Rev. Greg is a member of the Member Services Consulting Team and will continue to serve as the Regional Rep and on the Standards Team for the Great Lakes Unity Region. []



As of May 1, 2019, Unity Lincoln, Nebraska, [] and Senior Minister Rev. Toni Stephens Coleman are pleased to announce the hiring of Rev. Evan Coleman as associate minister. Evan is a long-time licensed Unity teacher and ordained nondenominational minister. He will continue to serve Unity Lincoln as a licensed Unity teacher and as the music director and will add associate minister to his duties supporting this growing congregation. Welcome aboard, Evan!

Having served Unity of Fox Valley, Batavia, Illinois, [] with love and zeal for more than 14 years, Rev. Jan Little (ordained 2001) has retired from the ministry as of April 30, 2019.  Her Unity of Fox Valley family celebrates with her in gratitude as she begins a new and exciting phase in her life.

Rev. Michael Korpan (ordained 2013), who has been serving as cominister at Unity of Fox Valley with Rev. Jan for the past year, has been named to succeed her as senior minister effective May 1, 2019.



Mendhi Audlin, LUT, stepped down as spiritual leader at Unity of the Foothills, Evergreen, Colorado, [ ] effective March 15, 2019.

Stewart and Hillary Bittman retired as spiritual leaders at Unity at the Lake, South Lake Tahoe, California, [] as of February 28, 2019.

Following his inner guidance, Rev. Prentiss Davis (ordained 2004) has resigned from Unity of Ocala, Florida, [] effective April 30, 2019. Rev. Prentiss is listening to that guidance to discover the next steps on his journey.

Rev. Bruce Kellogg's last day at Unity of Vancouver, BC, Canada, will be April 30, 2019.

Rev. Elizabeth Longo (FLP, ordained 2009) is following her heart and moving on to what is next on her spiritual journey. Her last day at Unity of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, [] was April 8, 2019.

Rev. Christine McFarland (ordained 2017) will be the new minister at Unity of Springfield, Illinois, [] effective May 1, 2019.

Dr. Doral Pulley is no longer with Unity Temple of Truth Church (Midtown), St. Petersburg, Florida, [] effective April 14, 2019.



Unity on the North Shore, Evanston, Illinois, [] welcomes Rev. Christina Garza as associate minister. Rev. Garza is a licensed Unity minister, recently graduated from Unity Urban Ministerial School. [] In addition to presenting Sunday lessons and teaching, Rev. Garza will work with Senior Minister Rev. Kurt Condra to develop social justice and community outreach efforts in support of Unity North Shore's core values of community service, diversity, prayer, acceptance, and fellowship.

Barbara Winter Martin’s last day as temporary spiritual leader at Unity North Spiritual Center, Coon Rapids, Minnesota, [ ] was March 24, 2019. Rev. Phil Smedstad will become their transitional minister May 1, 2019.  

Rev. Jesse Tanner has been hired by Unity of Oak Park, Illinois. [ ] His start date is August 5, 2019.


Rev. Jackie Green will be retiring on April 30, 2019, as the Youth of Unity Consultant for the Northwest Region [] after 40 years! The region has hired Nick Muncie-Jarvis, LUT, to serve as the new YOU consultant. Nick is a former YOUer and has led NGU (Next Generation Unity). Nick and Jackie will work together in a transition phase until Jackie’s last official day. Send personal wishes to Jackie to 7710 Beverly Drive, Spokane Valley, WA 99212.

Lilly Reed is the new spiritual leader at Unity of Fresno, California, [] as of March 1, 2019.

Rev. Larry Schellink (ordained 1996) followed his heart into ministry 25 years ago, and now his heart has led him to find new ways of expressing and serving beyond church walls. His last Sunday at Unity of Santa Barbara, California, [] is March 31, 2019.

After fulfilling his contract and allowing for a smooth transition, Rev. Clive deLaporte (ordained 2015) is no longer at Unity of Fort Myers Spiritual Center, Florida, [] as of March 7, 2019.


Rev. Clive Delaporte (ordained 2015) has resigned from Unity of Fort Myers Spiritual Center, Florida, [] effective March 7, 2019.  

Rev. Terry Lund retired from Unity of Las Cruces, New Mexico, on January 31, 2019. She will be Minister Emerita there.

Clarification: We announced in The Path that Rev Karen Landwehr’s last day at Christ Unity Church, Collinsville, Illinois, [] was March 3. Her actual last day at the church is April 1.


Marian Brannon is the new spiritual coordinator for Unity of Toledo Spiritual Center, Ohio, [] starting March 1, 2019.

Rev. Kathryn Brenson will be the new part-time minister at Unity Center of Davis, California, [] starting March 1, 2019.

Rev. Christine McFarland’s last day at Unity of the Black Hills, Rapid City, South Dakota, [] is Sunday, March 3, 2019.



Rev. Steve Bolen will be the new part-time minister for Unity of Blairsville, Georgia, [] starting March 1, 2019.

Rev. Tim Lytle will be the new minister at Unity in Marin, Novato, California, [] starting March 24, 2019. His last day at Unity Church of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, [ ] is February 15, 2019.

Rev. Jan Mahannah is the new part-time minister at Unity Christ Center, Farmington, Missouri, [] as of January 1, 2019.
Rev. Elizabeth Mora is the new minister at Unity Northwest Church, Des Plaines, Illinois, [ ] starting on February 17, 2019.

Rev. Karen Landwehr is retiring from Christ Unity Church, Collinsville, Illinois. [] They will have a celebration following her last service on March 3, 2019. She has been there since her ordination in 1986. Happy retirement, Karen!




Rev. Marge Brown (ordained 2005) has been hired as the new minister at Unity in The Seven Hills, Lynchburg, Virginia, [] effective January 16, 2019.

Rev. Tony Senf retired after 11 years as spiritual leader of Unity Center of the Heights, Cleveland Heights, Ohio, [] on December 31, 2018. The ministry decided to disband on that day too. We thank Tony for his years of service and wish him happy adventures in retirement. We bless the members of this congregation on their new spiritual journeys.

Rev. Edith Washington-Woods (ordained 2009) is resigning as minister of Unity of Syracuse, New York. [ ] Her last day is January 20, 2019.


Penni Honey has been approved for special dispensation to serve as the spiritual leader at Unity of Flagstaff, Arizona, [] starting October 1, 2018. 

Rev. Eileen Patra is retiring from her position as senior minister of Unity of Livonia, Michigan. [] Her final Sunday service is January 6, 2019. Rev. Eileen and her husband Steve look forward to the next chapter in their lives and invite you to hold Unity of Livonia in your prayers as they await their next minister. [] The position is posted on the UWM website.

Correction: Pat Clarkson is the new spiritual leader for Unity Victoria Spiritual Community [] in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, not Victoria, Texas. We regret the error.


Rev. Joanne Burns has resigned as senior minister of Unity Spiritual Center of Panama City, Florida, [] effective December 1, 2018.  Please hold both Rev. Joanne and Unity Spiritual Center of Panama City in prayer as they each discern their next steps.

With a heart full of love and appreciation, Rev. Molly Rockey retired from Unity of the Oaks, Thousand Oaks, California, [] at the end of September 2018.

Pat Clarkson is the new spiritual leader for Unity of Victoria, Texas, effective on November 1, 2018.



Rev. Evin Wilkins is the minister at The Unity Center, West Linn, Oregon, [] effective October 28, 2018.

Rev. Anne Ahokangas, CSL minister, will be the minister at Unity of Greater Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, [] starting on December 2, 2018.


Rev. Gary Canier (ordained 2016) has been hired as the new senior minister of Unity of New Braunfels, Texas.  [ ] He starts on November 12, 2018.


Rev. Sharon Allmond (Class of 2002) is retiring from Unity Church of Light, St. Charles, Missouri, [] effective November 1, 2019. Sharon has served ministries in Irving, Texas, St. Louis, Missouri, and Jefferson City, Missouri. Church ministry has been a rich blessing and leaving is bittersweet. She is looking forward to a slower pace and intends to continue her work with UWM, as well as doing occasional speaking at area churches.  

Rev. Suzanne Leonard (Class of 1999) retired from Unity of Yucaipa, California. [] She will be spending her time teaching public speaking, reading great novels, practicing yoga, traveling to Paris, and walking in her lovely Redlands, California, neighborhood!

Rhona Segarra is the spiritual leader at Unity of New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada, effective April 2018.


Rev. Brenda S. Ehret resigned from Unity Center of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as of September 30, 2018. She had served there since September 2007.  

Rev. Marianne Mahala Connally is resigning from Unity by the Bay, Annapolis, Maryland, effective on November 15, 2018. Her last Sunday is November 11, 2018.


Rev. Judy Pilat has concluded her contract with Unity of Madison, Wisconsin. She is looking forward to some rest and relaxation and the freedom to explore opportunities to serve outside the scope of active church ministry. Her last Sunday with the congregation was September 23, 2018.   

Rev. Steve Towles will be the new minister at Unity Spiritual Center of North Idaho, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, starting October 1, 2018.

Unity Center of the Desert, Yuma, Arizona, disbanded as of April 8, 2018.


Nicholas Humphrey will be the new spiritual leader for Unity Spiritual Center Greater Houston, Cypress, Texas, starting Sept 16, 2018.

Jon Scott is the spiritual leader of Unity of Chattanooga, Tennessee, effective Dec. 10, 2017.

Rev Shawn Wegner is the new minister at Unity of Lawrence, Kansas, starting Sept 1, 2018.

Unity North Spiritual Center, Coon Rapids, Minn., has hired Barbara Winter Martin to be their temporary part-time spiritual leader, starting in September, while they remain open for new leadership.  


Rev Luz Lecour is the new minister of Unity of Citrus County, Lecanto, Fla., effective Aug 1, 2018.


Rev Greg Barrette will be starting as the new minister at Unity of Delray Beach, Fla., effective Oct 1, 2018. His last day at Unity Northwest Church, Des Plaines, Ill., is Sept 23, 2018.

Rev Mario De Ferrari retired after over 30 years at Unity Church of Anaheim, Calif. At his retirement party on July 29, 2018, he said, "When I first got here, people were afraid that I would leave. After I was here for a while, people were afraid that I would stay." The church held a 2½-hour remembrance and honor service, follow by a ceremony naming the church's Fellowship Hall after him. Rev Stu Smith (Interfaith?) is the new spiritual leader.

Rev Margaret Flick is moving from senior minister to minister emeritus at Unity of Santa Rosa, Calif., effective Aug 31, 2018.  

Rev Mark Anthony Lord (CSL) is the spiritual leader at Unity of Naples, Fla., effective Sept 9, 2018.  

Rev Marciah McCartney is resigning from Unity of Citrus County, Lecanto, Fla., effective August 31, 2018, but not retiring. She is following her heart to explore creative expressions in her life.

Unity of Citrus County, Lecanto, Fla., has hired their associate minister, Rev Luz Lecour, as their senior minister. We send blessings of joy, abundance and love as they share this amazing journey together.

Rev Elizabeth Mora’s last day at Unity of Montclair, N.J., was July 31, 2018.

Rev Claudia Naylor stepped down from being the interim minister at Unity of Blairsville, Ga., effective July 31, 2018. She moved back into retirement.

Beverly A Pryor LUT is the spiritual leader of Unity Church of the Hill Country, Kerrville, Texas, effective June 7, 2018.

Karol Ann Scotta is the spiritual leader at Unity of The Westside, Culver City, Calif.


Rev Lura Lisa Wall has been serving with Unity Baton Rouge, La., for a couple of years in an informal way, and now has an official status as the contracted Unity minister. We celebrate with her and the ministry, and look forward to seeing wonderful things unfold.


Rev Alden Studebaker will begin as the minister at Unity Christ Center in Eau Claire, Wisc., on Aug 1, 2018.


Rev Marge Brown’ s last day at Unity Spiritual Center North Central Florida, Fruitland Park, Fla ., was May 31, 2018. Rev Monica Driscoll was hired as their transitional minister starting June 1, 2018.

Rev Judy Elia is the new minister at Unity of the Keys, Key West, Fla., starting on Aug 1, 2018.

Rev David J Seibert has been hired as the minister at Unity of Quincy, Ill., effective as of April. He was born and raised in Quincy and has associated with Unity of Quincy since its early days in the 1980s.


Anchor Transitions

In memory of Unity notables (or family of). List is retained from June 1 through May 31 of each year.


Rev. William ("Bill") Esslinger (ordained 1973) made his transition on January 11, 2020, in Tucson, Arizona. Bill served in his first Unity ministry in Vancouver, Washington, during the late 1970s. He then taught at Unity School of Christianity at Unity Village and later served as minister of the Christ Church Unity Orlando, Florida. []  His final ministry was at the Divine Science Church in Pueblo, Colorado. Prayers of support can be sent to Bill's daughter, Jennifer Maxwell. []


Rev. Joanne Murphy [ ] (ordained 2010, Field Licensing Program; LUT 1985) passed away on January 18, 2020. A memorial service was held on January 22. She served Unity by the Shore, Neptune, New Jersey, [] first as an LUT, then as minister before retiring in 2015. Please send donations to Unity by the Shore, 3508 Asbury Ave., Neptune City, NJ 07753. We are grateful for the long service Joanne gave to Unity by the Shore and for her radiant, joyful energy.



Dr. Leona Lawson, LUT, [] passed on Thanksgiving Day (November 28, 2019). She had served as an interim leader at Christway Unity Church in Hot Springs, Arkansas, [] earned a doctor of divinity degree from Emerson Institute, and was involved in education and in business. We were blessed to have had her share her passion for education and leadership with all whom she served in Unity.


Rev. Lonnie Vanderslice (ordained 2015) made her transition on January 4, 2020. She had an alternative ministry, Unity of Spirit, and cohosted Spirit of Recovery [] on Unity Online Radio. On Friday, January 10, 2020, at Unity of Kansas City North, Missouri, [] there will be a noon luncheon, a memorial service, and fellowship. Send prayer support to her wife Kelly Sechrest Wilson []. Donations can be given to The Sewing Labs. [] Lonnie was passionate about supporting and inspiring women and their families, and those in recovery.


Rev. Judi Purcell (LUT 1993, ordained 2000) made her transition on January 7, 2020. Judi served as minister for many years at Unity of Gulf Breeze, Florida (now disbanded), and since her retirement was a congregant, speaker, and teacher at Unity of Pensacola, Florida. She was a mentor for many Unity students becoming ministers in the Field Licensing Program (now Field Program). A memorial service will be on January 18 at Unity of Pensacola. Arrangements are pending. (Pensacola is in process of obtaining a new website and email. Please call the church for more information at 850-438-2277 or search for them after this weekend on the web.)



Rev. William “Bill” Dale (ordained 1975), beloved husband of Rev. Marge Dale, made his transition on December 4, 2019. Bill served for many years [link to pdf] at Unity World Headquarters at Unity Village, Missouri. He became public relations director in 1976 and vice president of the publishing ministry in 1983. He retired in 2004. A celebration of life will be held on December 28 at Unity Village. Details are pending. We hold Marge and family in our hearts with prayers of comfort and support. We are grateful for Bill’s decades of service to Unity and the many lives that his work touched all over the world.


Rev. Sara Duncan (ordained 1980) passed unexpectedly on November 29, 2019. She cofounded Unity Chicago, Illinois, [] with her late husband Rev. Mike Matoin. She later served other ministries in Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana. A memorial service was held on December 4. Send condolences and stories to (Unity on the Lakeshore, Douglas, Michigan) [] or leave them on the guestbook of her obituary. [] We bless Sara and the loving spirit she brought to her work and to everyone she touched.


Rev. Carole Thompson (ordained 1998) made her transition on November 28, 2019. She had served Unity Spiritual Center San Angelo, Texas [] (2000–2005) and as a prayer worker at Silent Unity®, Unity Village, Missouri. We hold Carole in prayer in her ongoing journey of life.



Rev. (Howard) Ross Goodman (age 92, ordained 1955), who served Unity of Tampa, Florida, [] from 1972 to 1997, passed away on October 14, 2019. A Celebration of Life service will be held at Unity of Tampa on December 7, 2019, at 1 p.m. Ross also served ministries in Oregon, Illinois, Ohio, and South Carolina during his long, fruitful career. We are grateful for his blessings of service and surround his family in prayers of comfort.



Arthur William "Dr. Bill" Karr, LUT, made his transition on October 17, 2019, with his wife Wendy (LUT, at his side. He channelled his passion for patient care into prayer and pastoral care. A celebration of life will be held 2 p.m., November 16, 2019, at Unity Church of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. [] Reception to follow. A donation in Dr. Bill's memory to a charity of your choice would be appreciated by the family.



Rev. Coco Ramos (ordained 2008) made his transition on October 1, 2019. He served as cominister with his wife Rev. Alinda Ramos [] (ordained 2001) at Unity Center for Positive Living Longwood, Florida, [] since 2004. A celebration of life will be held October 20, 2019, 4 p.m. (ET) at Abiding in Christ Ministries, Altamonte Springs, Florida. [] Read more about the celebration service and how you can participate. [link to] Coco was well known in Unity for his beautiful piano playing, musical compositions, deep melodious voice, and, most important, his love of family, strong faith, and encouraging spirit.


Service update: As previously announced, Rev. Sheila M. Christly (nee Studd) passed away on August 31, 2019.  She had served Unity Burbank Center for Spiritual Awareness, Burbank, California. [] Sheila is survived by her daughter, Sally Hawkins, of Peterborough, England, several grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. A celebration of life service will be held at Unity Burbank Center for Spiritual Awareness on November 9, 2019, at 11 a.m.



Rev. Vertell Allison-Talifero (ordained 1989) made her transition on Sunday, September 1, 2019, in Goodyear, Arizona. Rev. Vertell attended Unity Urban Ministerial School and Unity School of Ministerial and Religious Studies. She served ministries in Burlington, Vermont, and Memphis, Tennessee. She also served on the UWM Board of Trustees and as Regional Representative in the Eastern Region. She was instrumental in the development of Unity Urban Ministerial School’s online program, now into its 11th year, where she also taught classes. Rev. Vertell is the author of The Book of Ruth, about the life and accomplishments of Rev. Dr. Ruth Mosley, founder of Unity Urban Ministerial School. Condolences may be sent to Unity Urban Ministerial School, 400 Renaissance Center, Suite 2600, Detroit, MI 48243.


Rev. Sheila Christly (Sheila Banta, ordained 1978) made her transition on Saturday, August 31, 2019. She was the minister at Unity Burbank Center for Spiritual Awareness, Burbank, California, [] (formerly Unity Church in North Hollywood) for 20 years (1978–1999), and had been retired since then. We are grateful for her years of service and for how she helped others to see the Light in themselves.



Rev. Beverly Bockover (non-Unity), spiritual leader of Unity Church of Raleigh, North Carolina, [] made her transition on July 30, 2019. “We love and bless Rev. Bev on the next step of her journey, and thank her for all she is and does for us.” A Celebration Service was on her birthday, August 2. At the family's request, there is a memorial fund for contributions to her memory on the ministry’s website (see link above).



Rev. Kathryn Brenson (ordained 1984) made her transition on July 1, 2019. We now have more information. In lieu of a formal service in one location, some of the churches and centers she served will remember Kathryn on July 20 or July 21. Condolences may be sent to the church at Send donations to: Unity Worldwide Spiritual Institute (UWSI), [ ] 400 Unity Circle North, Suite A, Lee’s Summit, MO 64086. In Memory []  Letter from Kathryn [ ]  From Joe Sloan [ ]


Rev. Kathryn Brenson (ordained 1984) made her transition on July 1, 2019. Kathryn served in Unity ministries in California, including Auburn, Modesto, Sonora, Santa Rosa, and San Francisco. She also served a CSL (Centers for Spiritual Living) ministry in Florida. At the time of her passing, Rev. Kathryn was serving at Unity Center of Davis, California. [] Condolences may be sent to the church at Thanks for your faith-filled service, Kathryn!


Alberta Boccaleoni, LUT, [] passed on May 27, 2019. She served as an LUT and very active volunteer at Unity Village Chapel, Missouri, [chttp://ttps://] and was a former Silent Unity® employee. A memorial service was held June 3. Condolences to her husband Drayton Riley [] and family. Donations may be made to The Gardens at Unity Village, [] 150B NW Colbern Road, Lee's Summit, Missouri 64086, or Silent Unity, [] 1901 NW Blue Parkway, Unity Village, MO 64065.

Rev. Robert Ellsworth, [link to pdf] husband of Rev. Janet Ellsworth (ordained 1991), made his transition on May 28, 2019. He was ordained in 1981 and served ministries in Vancouver, Washington, and Overland Park, Kansas. He served on the UWM Board of Trustees (1986–88) and worked at UWM (1987–91). We are grateful for the many ways he shared his gifts and talents with the Unity movement.

Rev. Alvena Hiatt made her transition on May 30, 2019. She was ordained in 1998 and had served ministries in Livingston, Montana, and the Atlanta, Georgia, area. We are grateful for her compassionate service to all to whom she ministered.


We now have further information for Rev. Gerard (Jerry) Norman Belanger who passed March 27, 2019. His celebration of life will be May 18, 2019, 2 p.m. (ET), at Unity Church of Christ, [] 629 South Church St., Mt. Laurel Township, NJ 08054. In lieu of flowers, please see the details in his obituary of a life well-lived. []


Rev. Jerry (Gerald) Belanger made his transition on March 27, 2019. Following his ordination in 1966, he ministered at Unity Church of Greater Rochester, New York,[
]  for many years. He later served in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Tallahassee and Panama City, Florida. Jerry will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery for his World War II service in the Army Air Corps and the Air Force. He is survived by daughters Faith, Lorelie, and Christine, and granddaughter, Liz.

Unity Church Nigeria [ ] announces the transition of Rev. Agwu Kalu Okorie, Vice President of the Church in Nigeria, who is also minister of Unity Center of Practical Christianity, Aba, Abia State, Nigeria. He collapsed while giving a Sunday message on March 31 and died on April 4, 2019. Arrangements are pending. We hold Unity Church Nigeria and Rev. Okorie’s beloved family and community in our hearts for comfort and strength. We bless Rev. Okorie’s inspired work and teachings and honor his eternal presence.

Bill Ralston, beloved husband of Deni Miller Ralston []  (LUT, 2018), made his transition on February 28, 2019, after a short illness. Bill was well-known at Unity Spiritual Center of North Central Florida []  in Fruitland Park, Florida, for keeping the plumbing working properly and helping with other projects. A Celebration of Life was held there and also in Louisville, Kentucky, their hometown.

Barbara Marx Hubbard [] made her transition on April 10, 2019. She was a futurist, author, and public speaker. She is credited with the concept of the “birthing” of humanity. She was co-founder and president of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution, []  and co-founder of the Evolutionary Church. [] Barbara was a keynote speaker at the 2012 Unity People’s Convention held in Detroit, Michigan. Many Unity ministries participated in the “Birth 2012” 26-hour global broadcast event inspired by Barbara and held on December 22, 2012.


Rev. Richard Dale Billings, [] 94, transitioned on February 18, 2019. Ordained in 1966, he ministered in Detroit before leading Unity of Oak Park, Illinois, [ ] for 50 years. He was instrumental in successfully encouraging many folks into Unity leadership and also served as an interim minister throughout the country. There will be a memorial service hosted by Unity of Fox Valley, Batavia, Illinois, [] on March 9, 2019, 2 p.m. Thank you, Richard, for your powerful leadership and encouragement.


Frances Huffman, LUT, (licensed 2014) made her transition on February 4, 2019. She had served originally at Unity Village Chapel, Unity Village, Missouri. [ ] She later served at Unity of Houston, Texas, [ ] where she was a beloved member of the community. Her celebration of life ceremony will be at Unity of Houston on March 2, 2019, at 11 a.m. (CT).

Rev. Charles Lelly, age 97, made his transition on February 6, 2019. He served at Unity of Pensacola, Florida, [ ] Unity of Louisville, Kentucky, [ ] and on the UWM Board of Trustees. [] A brief Celebration of Life for Charles and his late wife, Rev. Betty, will be held February 17, 2 p.m. at Presbyterian Village, [] Lakeview Rm. Another celebration will be held February 24, 1 p.m. (ET), at Unity of Louisville and will be livestreamed on their Facebook page. [] Donations: Presbyterian Homes of GA, Caring Hand Fund, PO Box 957267, Duluth, GA 30095-7267. Condolences can be sent to daughter Sheila Blake, 1956 Overbrooke Way, Austell, GA 30106.


Rev. Dona Gilsdorf (LUT, ordained 1985) made her transition on January 11, 2019. She pioneered Unity Church of Rochester, Rochester Hills, Michigan, in 1972. She led this ministry right up to her transition. A memorial service will be held at the church. Details will be posted on [] In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established at the church in Dona’s name. We bless Dona on her ongoing spiritual journey.


Grace Garraway, LUT, made her transition in early January 2019. She was licensed as a Unity teacher in January 2006 and served at Beth-el Unity Church, Georgetown, Guyana. We are grateful for her years of loving service to her spiritual community.


The memorial service for Rev. Deborah Knowles, Unity of Kona, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, []will be held at Hale Halawai, [ ] January 5, 2019, 3 p.m.


Carole Mullins, a friend of Unity in the Great Lakes region, passed on November 14, 2018. An ordained metaphysical minister, she lovingly served many churches/centers in the Detroit area over the years. Her Celebration of Life service is December 8, 11 a.m., at Renaissance Unity, [] Warren, Michigan, followed by a potluck repast. Contact the church at 586-353-2300 or to help with the repast.

Mary J. Riley, LUT, made her transition December 3, 2018. Mary was a prayer chaplain, led various programs, and taught many classes for Unity Spiritual Center of Vero Beach, Florida. [] A Celebration of Life service will be held on Sunday, January 27, 2019, 2 p.m., at the church. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Unity Spiritual Center of Vero Beach Memorial Fountain Fund.


Rev. Deborah Knowles made her transition on November 5, 2018. She served Unity of Kona, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, [] as a spiritual leader (1999), as a spiritual leader/licensed teacher (2012), and as a minister (2015). We hold her beloved Ohana in our hearts for comfort and peace.

Rev. Betty M. Lelly passed on September 19, 2018. She is survived by her husband Rev. Charles D. Lelly. She was ordained in 1983 and served with her husband at Unity of Louisville, Kentucky, [] until 1992 when she retired.



Rev. Blaine Mays (ordained 1957) made his transition on October 1, 2018. He had been the senior minister at Unity of Phoenix, Arizona, for 25 years (1964–1991). He also served ministries in Missouri and California. He was past chair of the International New Thought Alliance and maintained a New Thought library at its headquarters in Mesa, Arizona. ( He inspired many in Unity and New Thought, and his presence will be missed.


Rev. Art Holt made his transition on September 13, 2018. He is survived by his wife Dottie, a licensed teacher. Art served in publishing at Unity Village for many years, at Unity of Naples, Florida, through his alternative ministry Upward Bound Unity, and was a founder of Suncoast Unity Ministers. His memorial service will be October 8, 2018, 2 p.m., at Unity of Citrus County, Lecanto, Florida. [] Donations should be made to Unity of Citrus County in lieu of flowers.

Barbara Yackel, LUT, made her transition on August 29, 2018. Barbara lovingly served Unity Spiritual Community in Citrus Heights, California, for many years and in many roles. She led the Prayer Chaplains. Her wisdom and her loving presence touched countless lives. She will be greatly missed and long remembered.


Rev. Floy Kelly made her transition recently at The Woodlands, Texas. She had served ministries in Abilene and Grapevine, Texas. She took Abilene from a storefront to owning their own building. Thank you, Floy, for your dedicated, inspiring service.


Rev LaFayette Seymour passed on Aug 18, 2018. He served Unity Center of Truth, Washington, DC, for almost 30 years (now disbanded), followed by Unity Center DC (formerly CommUnity on the Hill). He was dearly beloved by all he served. A memorial service will be held Sat, Sept 8, 11:00 a.m. at Unity Center DC. []
Obituary provided by his daughter Allison. [] Remembrance from Sylvia Strum. []


Rev John R Davis, husband of Rev Marleen Davis, made his transition on July 13, 2018. His Celebration of Life will be on his birthday, Sept 29, 2018, 11 a.m., at Unity Church for Creative Living in St Johns, Fla., [] the church John and Marleen co-founded in Dec 1983. He served there for almost 20 years and was made minister emeritus in 2010. Send your prayer support to Marleen at


Rev Mary Linda McCall made her transition recently. She had served Unity Church of Jackson, Mich., until Jan 1, 2018, been associate minister at Detroit Unity Temple, and taught at Renaissance Unity. She was an amazing teacher of Truth with a powerful prayer consciousness. Rest in peace, beloved friend. Viewing: June 25, 4-8 p.m., Swanson Funeral Home (North West) [ ] Service: June 26, 10 a.m., Detroit Unity Temple /


Rev Robbie Fahnestock (2003) made his transition peacefully on May 29, 2018. He served ministries in Calif. and Wash. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Sat, June 16, at Seattle Unity. [] ContactAnnie Christensen, or 206.622.8475 x125, for more information.
Thank you, Robbie, for your service and laughter.

Rev Alan Rowbotham passed on June 2, 2018. He was the senior minister at First Unity Spiritual Campus, St Petersburg, Fla., 1992–2005. He and his late wife Rev Kathryn taught at Unity School of Christianity, Unity Village, Mo. They served for several years at Unity of Roanoke, Va. Alan also led ministries in Ohio. He blessed Unity Worldwide Ministries on several ministry teams and the board (chair, 1993-94). Alan encouraged many to go into ministry. Thank you, Alan, for your life of service. Please send your prayer support to Celeste Shimamura.