Pioneer of New Thought Spirituality in Santa Fe

Richard J. Gregory, Jr. and his family in Santa Fe in 1960.

People like the late Richard J. Gregory have contributed to Santa Fe’s spiritual diversity. He brought the Science of Mind and Spirit to Santa Fe in 1960. Gregory was living in Salt Lake City in 1946 when he discovered the philosophy of Science of Mind. He believed that Christ’s universal presence lives within and that immortality continues on another plane once the body has outlived its usefulness. As a convert, Gregory wanted to learn more, so he traveled to Los Angeles to meet Ernest Holmes. Holmes was a proponent of New Thought, who began the Science of Mind movement in 1927. After his meeting with Ernest Holmes, Gregory devoted his life to the New Thought movement.

Laying a Foundation in Santa Fe

Within months of Gregory’s arrival in Santa Fe he began the distribution of the Science of Mind magazine. He soon discovered that several people were interested. Then Gregory began a discussion group at the First National Bank on the Plaza. By 1965 he had founded The Center for Spiritual Living on the corner of Grant Street and Paseo de Peralta. He brought in their first minister, Dr. Robert Stevens, who had been ordained by Robert Holmes. The group attained church status in 1967 and became the Santa Fe Religious Science Church. Later the church moved to Camino de los Marquez, where it resides today.

History of New Thought in America

The New Thought Movement began in America during the 19th century. Phineas Quimby, who was a mesmerist and healer, spearheaded the movement. He suffered from tuberculosis and with that experience Quimby came to believe that all disease was mental in origin. He reasoned that the only cure came through right-minded thinking. New Thought doesn’t have a set doctrine. Instead, the common belief shared by all members is that with the presence of goodness, impartiality, and availability of God, people can avail themselves of God’s gifts of health, wealth, and happiness.

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