Unity of Wilmington
In the beginning...
As with every new thing, the idea was first one in consciousness. The start of our spiritual community was no exception.
Friends Johnnie Mae Foreman and Jo Sellers met faithfully for many years to read and discuss principles set forth in Unity Magazine published by the co-founders of Unity, Charles & Myrtle Fillmore. Meanwhile, in Michigan, an electronics engineer and his family were being introduced to those same principles through a minister named Rev. Jack Boland. After only 18 months of study, René and Marie Paré said ‘yes’ to a job opportunity that moved their entire family to Wilmington. To their dismay, they found there was no Unity church here. Eager to continue on their exciting spiritual path, they ran an ad in the Star-News, “Anyone interested in studying Unity concepts with us please call 762-4131.” Jo and Johnnie Mae called! That was June 1975. A year later, the Parés moved to Unity Village so that René could pursue ministerial school.
Meanwhile, Rev. Jim Rosemergy became the senior minister of Unity of Raleigh. He was a man with a mission and weekly supported Unity study groups throughout Eastern North Carolina - Wilmington included. With his stewardship, the group grew in size and began renting a tiny two-room house. When it came up for sale, Unity of Raleigh financed the purchase of the building along with the adjacent property. Growth expanded further with the return of Rev. René in 1986. Ten years later the ‘old’ church became our present fellowship hall and offices while a new metal framed building housing the sanctuary and Youth Education classrooms, and adult meeting spaces was completed in 1996.
In the middle...
Several years before Rev. René’s 2005 retirement, there emerged from the congregation a dynamic leader, Russell Heiland, serving in many capacities as a volunteer, Board President and Church Administrator. Rev. Russell was ordained through Unity's Field Licensing program and became Senior Minister of Unity of Wilmington in 2005. He has since been called to bless Unity of Fairfax.
Rev. Richard Levy came along in 2009. He brought an expanded view of spiritual teachings ~ Zen Buddhism, A Course in Miracles, the Oneness Blessing and a raft of humor amid poignant life lessons. In 2014, Rev. Richard discovered that he had inoperable cancer making his transition later that year.
Our next adventure into the realm of deepening consciousness and spiritual maturity began with the arrival of Rev. Mindy Tucker in 2015. Under her leadership, the church clearly defined its mission, vision and core values. Unity of Wilmington is a vibrant, loving spiritual community expanding consciousness and inspiring personal transformation. The church also became free of financial encumbrances, including paying off the building's mortgage which it had carried since 1982.
onIn 2018 the Board of Directors shifted the paradigm of leadership to co-ministry welcoming Rev. Nickie Golden. Together they uplifted the music program, expanded spiritual offerings such as Ecstatic Dance, and expanded an online presence. Successfully navigating the pandemic with 15 months of a closed building, they ensured community contact and spiritual education with classes and dynamic Sundays services. In early 2022, Revs. Mindy and Nickie were called to service at another Unity Church in Arizona.
We are reshaping our purpose and expanding our services gradually while we operate in the "gap" between Unity of Wilmington of the past (pre-Covid) and Unity of Wilmington of the future. The board of directors and staff along with a Transitional Consultant and a team of committed volunteers have jumped in and are successfully navigating the tides of change. We know that we are here, at the right place, at the right time, right now, and when we select our new minister, we know it will be with clarity and confidence that we are making a perfect match. We continue to offer Sunday services with visiting speakers and we are offering more and more services each month. The best is yet to come.