About Eric ButterworthTranscriptsMy Gift to the WorldAbout Unity


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 themselves.

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.

Born 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 Fisher Hall 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 them.

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."