Dr. Reverend Michael Bernard Beckwith

Michael Beckwith was born in 1956. His first experience with religion was not entirely pleasant, and he left his native Methodist and Congregational church at age 16. As he has since said, “I just wasn’t feeding myself. I liked Jesus’ teachings, but I didn’t see people practicing what he said.” Like many other baby boomers, he began researching African and Eastern modes of spirituality in the 1970s. However, unlike many of them, he decided to found his own church when he was 30 years old.

The interdenominational church that became Agape was founded on the notion of New Thought-Ancient Wisdom – generally that focusing your mind and training your thoughts allows you to more fully experience the unique divine force at the heart of every living being and communicate it to others through through Your actions. Although the New Thought Movement is quite old, dating back in one form or another to early last century figures such as William Walker Atkinson and Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, it is still vital today as several different denominations such as religious science. .

Michael was ordained in Religious Sciences in 1985 and soon began teaching some friends at home. In 1986 he founded Agape International Spiritual Center in Santa Monica, California. In just a few years, the membership increased. Eventually, the ministry found a new and much larger home in Culver City, California, where it remains today.

What began as that small gathering of practitioners has today grown into a center serving an estimated congregation of nearly 10,000 each week. While the message may seem different from more “mainstream” churches, Reverend Beckwith’s church is responsible for a number of ministries such as helping poor and disadvantaged people in the United States and around the world. Other campaigns include supporting orphanages for AIDS survivors, the peace movement, distributing food to local homeless populations, and advocating for the environment.

Today, the Church itself is a model of interracial and interdenominational harmony. In fact, many members continue their various religions in addition to feeling the message in Agape. While the congregation includes the rich and powerful people who live and work in the nearby area, people of all backgrounds witness the exciting spectacle that is a Beckwith church service.

As a founding member of the Association for Global New Thought in 2000, “dedicated to creating a spiritual transformation for the Earth as a whole,” Michael continues to work to promote peace and forgiveness. The founding documents declare an emphasis on the shared nature of all life and the birthright of abundance which is the right of each member.

Reverend Beckwith has received a lot of attention lately from other devotional and service groups, appearing as a guest columnist on various devotional websites and magazines. With other members of the New Thought movement, he had an audience with the Dali Lama. At Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, the black men’s institution installed him in their Preachers’ Wall exhibit. He and the ministry have traveled the world carrying the message of peace and prosperity, calling for an end to nationalism, racism, environmental degradation and the conditions that foster unhealthy living.

Michael has also been the subject of a lot of media attention lately due to his involvement in the powerful and profitable The secret. He was a featured interviewee on the film and has appeared in television interviews promoting the film and the companion book along with the practice it contains. He has also participated in The secret seminars in the United States.

Continuing his education to better serve the 35,000 worldwide who have interacted with the message of universal love and peace preached by Beckwith and Agape, the Reverend earned a Doctorate of Divinity in Religious Sciences from the United Church of Religious Sciences in 2003.

While serving as Agape’s leader and keynote speaker, she fell in love with and married the choir director, former Rickie Byars. Rickie BB stands out in his own right as a musician, songwriter, and performer. She joined Agape in 1988 and was convinced by Michael to form a 30-voice Christmas choir. Almost 20 years later, it continues with more than 200 members and tours around the world. She continues, to this day, in her role as director of the church choir. The couple have appeared together on various albums of devotional music. Her four children are now older and have children of their own.

Reverend Beckwith continues to bring his message of peace and self-love to millions with his inspiring ideas. He is the author of several books, including recently Inspirations of the heart Y A Manifesto of Peace.

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