Paul Gonyea, Sr Minister
Compared to most other New Thought teachers, Paul’s background can only be described as “unusual.” Raised in a military family, he attended college at the US Air Force Academy and graduated in 1972. He spent the next seven years as an Air Force officer and pilot, based for four years in the Philippines. He completed his military time as a leadership instructor at Air University.
At that point, Paul took the golden opportunity to become a pilot for Delta Air Lines. He flew commercially for 26 years, retiring in 2005 as an International Captain.
Responding to what he calls “his incurable intellectual curiosity,” during his time with the airline he went back to graduate school twice, receiving a Masters in Management at the University of South Florida, and then pursuing a Doctorate in Psychology at Georgia State University. But three years into the doctoral program, he lost interest in traditional academia and began to study metaphysics.
Interested in religion and spirituality since he was a child (in spite of his Catholic upbringing and Catholic school education, he says), Paul began searching for answers. He studied many of the world’s religions, particularly Buddhism and Taoism, and looked for a community that would support his interest in spirituality “that made sense.” In 1984 he encountered Unity, but after 18 months found it lacking in the intellectual core that he sought.
In 1986, he followed a friend’s suggestion and showed up one Sunday at the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta to hear Dr. Kennedy Shultz speaking in the Richard Rich Auditorium. He says, “I listened for ten minutes and I was hooked! Kennedy became my teacher and I never looked back.” Captivated by the principles of Religious Science, he said, he read Ernest Holmes’ Science of Mind cover to cover in two days. Over the next ten years, he took classes, became a licensed Practitioner, and then, in 1996, became a Minister of Religious Science. He was ordained in 2000 by Religious Science International.
In 1999, Dr. Shultz retired from the Atlanta Church of Religious Science, and Paul, who had been Assistant Minister, was overwhelmingly elected Senior Minister, a position he held for 11 years. He “retired” in 2010, and devoted his time to reading and studying spirituality (with a healthy dose of golf as a sideline). During his tenure, he tripled the membership of the ACRS, and changed the name to the Spiritual Living Center of Atlanta.
In March of 2012, after 18 months spent reigniting his passion for teaching, Paul “flunked retirement” and joined his friend and former assistant David Barrett in creating the Center for Spiritual Living Midtown. He speaks regularly at the historic Academy of Medicine in Atlanta and teaches classes on books and subjects that interest him.
Paul’s speaking style is unique and refreshing. He fills his talks with history, physics, psychology and humor. His ability to explain complex ideas in simple and straightforward terms is a gift to newcomers and long-timers alike. His intellectual clarity is readily apparent, but behind it lies great authenticity, a big heart, and a love of this teaching. Those who know him well all agree that he not only can “talk the talk”; his life shows that he truly “walks the walk.” He is married and lives in Atlanta with his “incredible wife” (his words) and his “amazing cat Chester” (also his words). He and his wife love movies, music and traveling the world.
David Barrett, Associate Minister
An inspirational speaker, licensed practitioner, ordained minister of Science Of Mind (SOM), and promoter of individual and collective Spiritual growth and development, Rev. David Barrett has centered the past 20 plus years of his life supporting education, training and development throughout his professional and personal career. Today, he passionately seeks to open new doors to promote peaceful, abundant living to all humankind.
For 21 years Rev. Barrett served over 600 members of the Spiritual Living Center of Atlanta, as Practitioner for 16 years and staff minister for 11 years. He first walked through the doors of the Center in 1990 as a New Years’ Resolution and heard speak the Center’s founder Dr Kennedy Shultz. That same year he attended his first New Thought convention, Asilomar Conference in California. Upon his return to Atlanta, Rev. Barrett immediately became a student of Dr. Shultz. He attended Asilomar 14 consecutive years after that first year.
A lawyer for 14 years with The Fryer Law Firm, Rev. Barrett enthusiastically spends the majority of this time supporting the firm and with Training and Leadership Development in the real estate industry. He is an active participant of the Georgia and Florida Bar Association, and serves as the lead attorney in 4 different real estate closing offices. Professionally, Rev. Barrett is sought out for his style of teaching, combining his leadership development expertise with the co-active teaching method giving attention to the whole person.
Rev. Barrett has studied in many different bible studies including classes with Dr. Rocco Ericco and Bishop Jack Spong, and has taken theology classes at Emory University. He is certified with Toastmasters International as a ”Competent Toastmaster”.
In a loving relationship of 14 years, Rev. Barrett enjoys traveling, camping, and sailing. He is spiritually rejuvenated in the outdoors, understanding what Emerson meant by saying the laws of nature are our laws.
Angela Hill-Harmon, Associate Minister
Angela Hill-Harmon has centered the past 25 plus years of her life passionately supporting education & development of individuals and groups. Angela is entering her 18th year with IBM. She currently supports IBM clients as Worldwide US Country Manager. She interfaces with client leadership; managing authorization and client access to IBM systems, applications, tool & assets.
Angela is an inspirational speaker, a spiritual licensed Practitioner & Science of Mind Staff Minister for the Center for Spiritual Living Midtown. Promoting higher consciousness and to raise self awareness to promote peaceful, abundant living throughout humankind. Angela focuses her career on leadership development. She is an active participant in the IBM Coaches Network and is sought out for her style of coaching, combining her leadership development expertise with the CO-active coaching method, giving attention to the whole person.
Angela is currently enjoying the single life. She is the mother of 3 children and three adorable grandchildren. She loves traveling, listening to music, dancing, movies, jazz concerts and various water sports to name a few of her favorite things. Angela is beginning a writing career with several published articles in community newsletters and magazines; she’s also working on her first book.
Ursula Lentine, Youth & Associate Minister
Ursula Lentine is a certified Associate Pranic Healer, licensed Minister with Centers for Spiritual Living, New Thought Practitioner and Spiritual Advisor. She has worked with over 1500 clients individually and 1000’s more in groups, helping bring emotional, physical and spiritual balance to their lives. Ursula has been providing Sunday Services as a youth minister for several years. She holds multiple Certifications in Pranic Healing, and is a level three certified practitioner of a Self Leadership therapy called Internal Family Systems. Lentine practices these and other forms of healing in her private practice as well as at The Living Foods Institute in Atlanta. She facilitates a weekly group meditation that you are welcome to join at 7 pm Tuesday at With Love and Light Studio. She loves teaching Basic Pranic Healing class; are thinking about learning how to heal yourself and others?
Ursula is consistently answering the call to assist clients with the human longing for peace, clarity and wellness – attributes she had discovered through her personal path to spiritual balance, it is a part of her life’s purpose.
She can be contacted at http://www.ursulalentine.com or 404-246-6853
Marilyn Odom, Associate Minister
Marilyn Odom is a graduate of the Barbara King School of Ministry where she studied for 4 years at Hillside International Chapel and Truth Center, a leading non-denominational center in Atlanta, GA. She served as Assistant Minister to Dr. Barbara King and they traveled throughout the United States spreading the New Thought message to excited audiences. Marilyn’s call to ministry was inspired by the courage, eloquent presentations, and commanding presence of Dr. Barbara as she taught our oneness with a God that is everywhere evenly present, all-knowing, and all powerful, thus empowering women of color to rise up with feelings of greater self-worth. Dr. Barbara emphasized the significant contribution to the world that women of color offer and our commitment to teaching the idea of God from a higher point of view than the limited one taught in traditional religions.. While at Hillside, Marilyn taught many classes including meditation, prayer, Bible history, and world religions. She was the director of the new members ministry where she taught classes on the basic teachings of Truth principles as introduced at Hillside to the Metro Atlanta community. In 2011, Marilyn was awarded a second ministerial license in affiliation with Centers for Spiritual Living-an organization that teaches the principles of the Science of Mind based on the teachings of Ernest Holmes. She sought to attain licensure as a Religious Science minister with the intention of teaching the Absolute Presence of God in a manner that honors the path of Christianity and the valuable metaphors and parables of the bible while holding true to the intellectual truths and scientific principles as set forth in The Science of Mind.
Marilyn is a graduate of Savannah State University with a major in Accounting and Business Administration. She received a Masters degree from Georgia State University with a major in Education and Counseling.She has worked in positions in non-profit organizations and academia as well as small businesses. Marilyn was the accountant at the Spiritual Living Center of Atlanta (formerly Atlanta Church of Religious Science) from 2002 until 2013. She has also loaned her considerable expertise in church administration and finance to assist in the establishment of the Divine Truth Ministries founded by the late Rev. Carmen Young . Divine Truth Ministries sponsored an annual retreat in Jamaica and Marilyn presented workshops as well as coordinated the seminar programs. She established the business infrastructure for The Center for Spiritual Living Midtown in 2012 with her friends and teachers, David Barrett and Paul Gonyea where
she also serves as a staff minister. She is the “self-appointed” special events coordinator for the Center and creates lavish parties, entertaining concerts, and other events to celebrate with the CSLMidtown community.
One of Marilyn’s passions is performing weddings . She feels that she was created to touch the lives of couples as they pledge their love and devotion to one another. Her wedding ministry called ” I Do Ceremonies” is a way to express her creative talents and gifts, while providing a desired level of independence and autonomy. She has performed hundreds of weddings throughout the metro Atlanta area and provides personalized and professional ceremonies with her unique sense of style and eloquence. She has a dream to establish a wedding chapel on a beautiful island or ocean front and enjoy the thrill of performing enchanted weddings for couples with a view of horizon!
Marilyn is single and she is the proud “Auntie” of several wonderful nieces and nephews who have accompanied her on many trips and adventures. She loves to travel with Europe being her favorite destination and California or (specifically the Pacific Ocean) a close second. One meaningful travel experience was the tour of the Vatican In Rome, Italy where the the sight of Michelangelo’s “Pieta” in St. Peter’s Basilica touched her deeply. She also loves cruise ship travel, inspiring and fun music, all things Disney (cruises, Mickey Mouse), hikes in Stone Mountain park, fine dining, and reading. She is planning to reignite her workshop and teaching offerings as one aspect of discovering her next work expression and channels of abundance.