Eric Butterworth was Senior Minister of The Unity Center of New York City from 1961 to 2003. He made a peaceful transition into the Flow of Eternal
Life on Thursday, April 17, 2003. Eric was considered a legend and
spiritual icon in the Unity Movement. We will never know the countless
number of lives that have been changed by applying the Spiritual
Principles taught by Eric Butterworth. The author of 16 best-selling
books on metaphysical spirituality, a gifted theologian, philosopher,
and lecturer, Eric was a highly respected New Age pioneer and innovator
of New Thought, whose life was dedicated to helping people to help
Eric has often been referred to as a "Twentieth Century Emerson." His teaching was focused on the Divinity of all people, and his
desire was that everyone would know their Oneness with God. A visionary
and an innovator, he originated the Spiritual Therapy Workshops,
which he conducted for over 35 years. And, as a pioneer radio broadcaster,
he began his daily messages, which at times went around the world,
with the words: "You can change your life by altering your thoughts." His was a gentle voice that beautifully articulated a powerful
message, which inspired hundreds of thousands of people for over
fifty years. These vital radio messages, most needed in our time,
will continue to be heard every day on this website.
in Winnipeg, Canada in 1916, Eric attended Fresno State University
and Capital University in Ohio, where he studied music. He began
training for the ministry at Unity Village in Missouri during WW II.
He left to join the army and, as a lieutenant in the Medical Corps,
trained medical personnel and also served as chaplain and counselor.
After the war, he returned to his ministerial studies and graduated
from Unity Ministerial School.
A scholar and educator, Eric established three powerful Unity ministries.
The first was in Pittsburgh. He then moved to Detroit, where his
teaching resulted in the building of the Detroit Unity Temple, the
largest Unity church at that time, where
more than 2,000 people attended his Sunday Services each week.
While in Detroit, he authored his first book, Unity: A Quest for
Truth. In 1961, Eric began his ministry in New York City. He lectured
every Sunday at Carnegie Hall, then Town Hall, and since 1976, Avery
in Lincoln Center, where the weekly attendance grew to several thousand.
His devotees include people from all walks and
stations of life, all of whom state that his teachings helped to
change their lives. Oprah Winfrey says of his classic book, Discover the Power Within You, “This book changed my perspective on life and religion.” And, it is a favorite in her personal library. Dr. Maya Angelou says of Eric: "He has been,
is now, and shall forever be my teacher." The unique spiritual
bond that existed between Eric and Maya is evident to all who know
Eric was 86 years old but was always fond of saying: "My age is
none of my business," and "I am as old as God and as young as the
morning." We say to him in love and gratitude: "Good morning, Eric!
We bless you in this new beginning on your eternal journey
in the Light of Love."