2016 Metaphysical Bible Gathering Speakers
Rev. Laura Barrett Bennett
Unity Wisdom Academy
Rev. Bob Brach
Reverend Bob Brach was ordained in June 2009 after graduating from Unity Institute with a Master's in Divinity. Bob's class was the first to be offered the Masters of Divinity degree program as an option for ministerial students. Bob also has been hosting the Unity Online Radio show Unity Classic Radio: Words from Our Past since August 2008 where he reads from the unpublished texts of our co-founder, Charles Fillmore's radio talks, Sunday talks, and healing service lessons. Bob's wife, Reverend Margie Brach, is also an ordained Unity minister (MEP Class 2006). They reside in Sacramento, CA. Bob and Margie guest speak and conduct SEE classes at ministries in the Northern California area. Bob recently obtained his Doctor of Divinity (DD) and Doctor of Religious Studies (DRE) from Emerson Theological Institute, Oakhurst, CA. He is the online Bible Instructor for the Unity Urban Ministerial School located in Detroit, MI. Bible Instructor Unity Urban Ministerial School
Rev. Dr. Joanna Thompson Gabriel
Rev. Dr. Joanna Gabriel is an ordained Unity minister, spiritual counselor, chaplain, teacher, workshop facilitator, singer, storyteller. A native of Toledo, Ohio from a family of singers and ministers, Rev. Joanna says that from an early age she has had a heart for the gospel message through Word and Song. Rev. Joanna has a "theology of song" in which she sees song as a metaphor for life and proclaiming the good news as an expression of life. An enthusiastic encourager, Rev. Joanna says that "a bell is not a bell until you ring it; a song is not a song until you sing it, and love is not love until you give it away." Her life's work is to help people love themselves enough to live with fullness.
Her ministerial education includes Postgraduate Studies in Theology at Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Missouri; Graduation and Ordination from Unity Urban Ministerial School, Detroit, Michigan and from Unity School of School of Religious Studies in Kansas City, Missouri. She also graduated and was ordained through the Barbara King School of Ministry in Atlanta, Georgia.
Rev. Gabriel holds the Doctorate in Ministry from the Unity Urban Ministerial School in Detroit, Michigan, Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Studies from Lourdes College in Sylvania, Ohio, and an Associate in Business Administration from Stautzenberger Business College in Toledo, Ohio. Over the years she has served ministries in Miami Gardens, Florida, Delray Beach, Florida, Toledo, Ohio, Albany, Georgia, Omaha, Nebraska, and Atlanta, Georgia. She has also served as a Prayer Ministry Associate at Silent Unity.
Rev. Joanna has done extensive Clinical Pastoral Education in preparation to serve as a hospital and hospice chaplain. She recently retired from Vitas Innovative Hospice Care as Chaplain.
She is the Co-founder of Global Harmony, a grassroots peace initiative that produces workshops, seminars, radio blogs; all to enlighten, educate, and dialogue on what it takes to live in global harmony. Global Harmony works to bring spirituality into active expression and to build interfaith/intercultural bridges to peace.
Her honors and awards include:Theological Honor Society, Lourdes College, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major Award from the Black Catholic Coalition in Toledo for community service. Soroptomist International of the Palm Beaches: in recognition for outstanding work to improve the lives of women. The Rev. Dr. Ruth Mosley Award for Achievement in Urban Ministry from the Unity Urban Ministerial School, Detroit, Michigan
Rev. Joanna is the author of The Starpower Process: Surviving, Thriving, Arriving and Reviving By Following Your Inner Star, a self-reflective process journal to help readers get in touch with the "star" within. She is working on a second book Your Life Is Your Song: Raising the Bar on Self Esteem. Rev. Joanna is a retired chaplain and pastor and makes her home once again in Toledo, Ohio where she spends her time writing, sharing in the MultiFaith Council of Northwest Ohio, sharing talks for area churches, teaching classes and providing mentoring support to Inspirational Gatherings of Toledo.
TruthUnity.net Founder and Developer.
Rev. Sherri James
Senior Minister, UP CHURCH: Understanding Principles for Better Living (UFBL)
Sherri James is the creator of the Metaphysical Bible Hangout, a FREE weekly Bible study that broadcasts live every Thursday at RevSherri.com. In 2009, the legendary singer/actress/minister, Rev. Dr. Della Reese Lett chose Sherri as her protege and successor to pastor Understanding Principles Church (UPChurch.org). In 2015, Rev. Della retired, passing the baton to Sherri as the Senior Minister. Sherri has mentored future spiritual leaders through the Universal Foundation for Better Living's Leadership Academy, the Kairos Institute, Inner City Filmmakers among others. Minister, teacher, author, filmmaker, Sherri's life mission is to help you uncover your divine assignment and fulfill it.
Rev. Cecilia Loving
Reverend Cecilia Loving is the spiritual leader of SPIRITMUV® (www.spiritmuv.com), a nondenominational church in New York City that embraces spiritual inclusion, faith uplifting love for one another. Cecilia obtained her Juris Doctor from NYU School of Law, her BFA from Howard University, her MFA from UCLA, and her Master of Divinity from New York Theological Seminary, where she received the President's Award for academic excellence, as well as the Rising Star Award and the Women on the Front Line of Gender Justice Award. She has authored several publications supporting spiritual inclusion, including Prayers for Those Standing on the Edge of Greatness, God is a Brown Girl Too, God is a Lawyer Too: Ten Laws of Unlimited Success, and Seeing Myself as God Sees Me. Her daily online meditation “Centering in the Oneness of Inclusion: A Contemplative Practice” provides a sacred space of reflection for diversity and inclusion as Rev. Loving is also the Chief Officer of Diversity and Inclusion for the New York City Fire Department, where she helps incorporate inclusion as a core value for NYC’s bravest. SPIRITMUV provides a metaphysical bible journey each Sunday, which is also led by her husband Reverend Marlon Cromwell.
Rev. Tom Thorpe
Senior Minister Unity of Independence