Our History

The Salt Lake Center for Spiritual Living began as a fellowship in the mid-1950’s with a group of seekers and was incorporated as the First Church of Religious Science, Salt Lake City, in March of 1964.

The Fellowship was led by Rev. Faye Sherwood and Dr. Pearl Matthews. Among this early group were Howard and Bettie Bogarte, Dr. Clarke Odden, Jim and John Westbury, and many others. 

In October of 1964 Rev. Herbert Brandt became their minister. During this time they met at the YWCA, then at the Ramada Inn. In May of 1965, Dr. Bill Hornady, friend and assistant to Dr. Ernest Holmes, was a guest speaker at the Church. 

When Rev. Brandt passed away in January of 1969, there were only five active members and one Practitioner. Dr. Clarke Odden became the Interim Minister until Rev. Marvin Richards was hired in January of 1971. The Fellowship was chartered as a church, then called “First Church of Religious Science,” in March of 1971. When Rev. Richards left later that year, Dr. Odden again resumed the pulpit. 

During that time the church met in a house that had been donated to them. In 1972 the church sold the house and moved to the Unitarian Church, where meetings were held on Sunday evenings. Rev. Al Heard was hired as their minister in December of 1973, and in the ensuing nine years the church grew. Rev. Heard passed away in March of 1984, and Dr. Odden resumed the position of Acting Minister until September of 1984, when Kathianne Prendergast, now Rev. Dr. Kathianne Lewis, became minister.

Between 1984 and 1988, under Rev. Kathianne’ s leadership, the Church grew rapidly, and moved several times to accommodate that growth. In 1988, when Rev. Kathianne moved to a church in Seattle, Washington, Rev. Donald Graves took the pulpit. He stayed until May of 1991, then Rev. Bonnie Apps was hired. Rev. Bonnie left in 1995, and Rev. Barbara Hayes was hired as an interim minister. In 1996 Rev. Scott Awbrey briefly took the pulpit, to be replaced in October of 1997 by Rev. Donald Graves.

Under Rev. Donald’s leadership the name of the Church was changed to “Salt Lake Center for Spiritual Living,” and moved from a small space in a strip mall to the location on Fort Union Blvd. Rev. Donald stayed until January of 2007, and for part of that time Rev. Marty Bacher was our guest speaker, and advisor to the leadership. 

We hired Rev. Elizabeth O’Day in September of 2007, and again the congregation grew. When Rev. Elizabeth left in January of 2010 we had moved yet again, with the Church office in its present location at the Brickyard and Sunday services in the barn at Wheeler Farm.

Rev. Marty Bacher became our Senior Minister in March of 2010 and stayed until he summer of 2018. Under his leadership the Salt Lake Center for Spiritual Living grew and found new space in South Salt Lake.

In 2018 the Center moved to its current address on 21st South in Salt Lake, and we are still settling in. Currently we are also seeking a new minister to lead the congregation, and confidently look forward to a future filled with possibility.