In Association with Angelus Fellowship of Long Beach
Unity Church of Long Beach was founded by Reverend Louise Newman and her husband, Reverend John Samuel Newman, in 1923, as Long Beach Unity Society of Practical Christianity Church. The building site was purchased in 1933, and building funds were raised through a grass-roots fundraising campaign. Funds were raised, and the construction on the church began in 1940. The building is residential-scaled, drawing on Mediterranean and Romanesque sources. The interior has outstanding stencil decoration, and unique painted commemorative windows. The building was designated a Long Beach Historical Landmark in 1998. The building ties in strongly with the fact that Long Beach has a strong tradition of religious activity, dating from the city's early history. Unity Church of Long Beach is a member of the Unity Worldwide Ministries in Lees Summit, Missouri, which was founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore in 1889. We have the wonderful distinction of having had Charles and Cora Fillmore visit our church in 1941, and participating in our inaugural service.
The Angelus Fellowship of Long Beach was established in 1927 by Dr. Eugene Garlichs, who was the head of the church along with his wife Hattie Garlichs until he made his transition in 1952. Following Dr. Garlichs transition, his wife Hattie took over the leadership of the church. Hattie Garlichs provided leadership for the church until she made her transition in 1979, at which time the Rev. Michael J. Costello, Jr., Ph.D., who had been a church member for a number of years, and studied under Hattie Garlichs, in addition to obtaining his Ph.D., in Religious Studies, took over. Dr. Costello provided the leadership for the church from 1979 until the time of his transition in December of 2011. At that time, Associate Minister, The Rev. John P. Huffman, who had been ordained by Dr. Michael J. Costello in 2004, took the leadership position. The Angelus Fellowship had been meeting at the Whaley Park Community Center since 2009.
Unity Church of Long Beach and The Angelus Fellowship of Long Beach announced the joining together of their congregations in January of 2016, with February 7, 2016, being the first service of the newly formed congregation. Services take place at Unity Church Long Beach's historic landmark location at 935 E. Broadway, Long Beach, California 90802, at 11:00 AM every Sunday morning, with our Children’s Sunday School taking place simultaneously. The Metaphysical Organizations have a long and rich history in Long Beach. A collaboration of the two churches had long been an item of discussion between the two churches. This collaboration allowed for combined resources and talents to reenergize their focus on being one dynamic place of support, worship and spiritual growth for the Long Beach and surrounding area communities. The Angelus Fellowship had the leadership of the Rev. John P. Huffman for the five year period before the uniting of the two congregations. Unity Church of Long Beach had lay ministry direction at that time. Unity Church of Long Beach had a wonderful building to provide as a place of worship, while the Angelus Fellowship of Long Beach had long rented their meeting place. The combining of the various strengths of each allowed the formation of one incredibly dynamic church. The two churches, being of the same Metaphysical faith tradition, had enjoyed a long history of friendship, cooperation and collaboration. The Rev. John Bennett, who was the Minister at Unity Church Long Beach for many years, left his Minister position at Unity Church Long Beach in 2004 and became the Minister of Music at the Angelus Fellowship of Long Beach, until the time of his transition. Unity Church of Long Beach Board President, Mary James, was at one time the Sunday School Program director at Angelus Fellowship. This history of collaboration and friendship between the groups provided a dynamic basis for the joining together of congregations.
The Unity movement was founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore in 1890 as a healing ministry based on the power of prayer and the power of our thoughts to create our own reality. The Fillmores’ regarded Jesus as the great example rather than the great exception; interpreted the Bible metaphysically; and taught that God is present within all of us.
Today, Unity offers a positive path for spiritual living with teachings that help people live healthy, prosperous and meaningful lives. Its headquarter operations at Unity Village, Missouri touch millions of people each year through books, a non-denominational prayer ministry called Silent Unity, publications such as Daily Word® and Unity Magazine, an online radio network at www.unity.fm, and spiritual education classes, events and retreats. The movement also includes about 1,000 churches and spiritual centers worldwide. In 1965, the Association of Unity Churches was formed by ministers and churches for the purpose of establishing new churches, supporting existing ones, ordaining ministers and licensing teachers. The Association, which is now called Unity Worldwide Ministries, is the sister organization of Unity World Headquarters at Unity Village.
The five basic ideas that make up the Unity belief system are: