Guidance Church

7225 Crenshaw Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90043 Office (323) 778-0773 Fax (323) 778-9618

Our Community

Guidance is a diverse and active community. Founded in 1967, we’re affiliated with the United Centers for Spiritual Living; the Global Heart (formerly the United Church of Religious Science). A trans-denominational spiritual organization. We welcome everyone to get to know us by attending our Sunday and Wednesday services [link to service times], participating in our ministries, attending classes and joining us at wonderful events. From our Spiritual Director, Reverend Nirvana Gayle to our Board of Trustees, Spiritual Practitioners, staff and entire congregation, we are an empowered group united by our deep belief in Spirit, the power of co-creation and our ability to uplift and transform the planet.


Our Community
Reverend Nirvana Gayle

Meet Reverend Nirvana

Reverend Nirvana Gayle is our Minister and Spiritual Director. He’s honored to serve at Guidance Church where his spiritual journey first led him to the teachings of Ernest Holmes and the United Church of Religious Science. We think of the Reverend as our Spiritual Avatar. He became a Licensed Spiritual Practitioner in 1980 and a Minister in 1995. Reverend Nirvana became a Transitional minister at Guidance in November 2004 and signed the Letter of Call on January 15, 2006.


Reverend Nirvana is deeply and passionately committed to global transformation and illumination. What is his vision? Our Reverend sees a world that truly reflects the highest and the most capable humanity; one that we co-create. An esteemed educator, he has facilitated a wide range of classes, workshops and retreats on spiritual topics like Meditation, Relationships, Prayer, Love, Mysticism, The Teachings of Jesus, Abundance & Prosperity, Leadership, New Thought / Ancient Wisdom, Science of Mind and Spirit and Sacred Sexuality. Reverend Nirvana is a phenomenal orator as well. We invite you to learn more about education opportunities at Guidance and to contact the Reverend’s office for speaking engagements.


A dynamic leader, Reverend Gayle served previously as the Chief of Ecclesiastics for the Global Operations of United Centers for Spiritual Living (formerly known as United Church of Religious Science). He was also the founding President of the Board, former Director of Education and Dean of Holmes Institute Seminary at the Agape International Spiritual Center in Los Angeles. He previously worked with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services as a Division Chief in Child Protective Services.


An author and performance artist, Reverend Gayle created a book of visionary sacred poetry entitled God Sings My Soul, which he has lovingly shared with audiences worldwide. He was featured in the PBS special “A Lasting Love,” with his wife Deborah. The Reverend has written numerous essays and articles for various publications and books including Inner Visions and the Science of Mind Magazine. He is also profoundly skilled and expresses himself as a singer, percussionist, poet and song writer.


A dedicated family man, Reverend Nirana has been happily married to his wife Deborah since 1968 and they have two adult children Zaid and Irisna. Grandson Amiri is a new and welcomed addition to the family.


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Our Ministerial and Administrative Staff

Our Licensed Spiritual Practitioners gather monthly for visioning, training and fellowship. We meet the first Monday of every month at 7:00 pm in the Angel house.


Assistant Ministers


Rev. Herracia Brewer

Reverend Herracia Brewer

Assistant Minister and Director, Youth and Family Ministries


Reverend Brewer has been a member of Guidance for 29 years. She graduated from Ernest Holmes College (now Holmes Institute) in 1992 and became an Ordained Minister of Religious Science. Inspired by the biblical scripture “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee”  taken from the 1st chapter and verse of Isaiah, Reverend Herracia stands on principle, acts in faith and lives in the present. As the Director of Youth and Family Ministries, she provides a comprehensive and holistic venue of spiritual, social, education, emotion, recreational and physical healing and resources for the entire family. She invites you to participate in Youth and Family activities and events.


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Rev. Marilyn DeLaHoussaye

Reverend Marilyn DeLaHoussaye

Assistant Minister and Director, Fellowship Ministry


Reverend DeLaHoussaye has been a member of the Guidance family for over 35 years. She graduated from Ernest Holmes College (now Holmes Institute) in 1979 and became an Ordained Minister of Religious Science shortly thereafter. In her capacity as Director of Fellowship Ministry, she keeps our community informed of happenings; a big task because we’re a busy church. To Reverend Marilyn, every moment that we live is the most important moment that we have. She encourages everyone to live it to the fullest and let the rest take care of itself. Our only responsibility is to get our own act together and find the center of truth within us. Her philosophy is anchored in Psalms 118:24 which declares, “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” She highly recommends the book Who Move My Cheese by Dr. Spencer Johnson and invites everyone to take part in the ministries, service organizations, worship services, and special events of Guidance.


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Rev. Christy Engels

Reverend Christy Engels

Assistant Minister, Director, Practitioner Core


Reverend Engels is an energized spirit who loves singing the names of God, telling stories that touch the heart, sitting in silence and dancing with freedom and joy. A member of Guidance since 2005, she has been a beneficial presence to our ministry and community. In addition to leading our Practitioner Core, Reverend Christy serves The Enlightened Ones (Seniors) Ministry and our Worship Service Support Ministry. She became a Religious Science Practitioner in 1991 at Agape International Spiritual Center and then earned a Masters of Consciousness Studies from Holmes Institute in 2003. Two years later, she founded Sacred Story, Sacred Song Ministries, where she tells inspirational stories and sings sacred songs from various spiritual traditions using her background as a storyteller. Reverend Engles agrees wholeheartedly with Ernest Holmes in his statement that “There is only one Life. That life is God's life. That life is perfect. That life is my life now.” She’s making the most of her life as a member of our growing community. Inspired by Neem Karoli Baba, Reverend Christy believes that "The best service you can do is to keep your thoughts on God [and] keep God in mind every minute."


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Rev. Patricia Hightower

Reverend Patricia Hightower

Assistant Minister and Founder, Community Empowerment Education Team


Although Reverend Hightower has only been a member of Guidance since 2006, she has been a dynamic contributor to our community. In addition to founding our Community Empowerment Education team, Reverend Patricia serves as the Recording Secretary Enlightened Ones, a service group for the senior members of our spiritual family. She also played a key role on the Practitioner Enrichment team. She is inspired by the biblical scripture, "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you" from Matthew 6:33. This reading empowers all of her activity. Reverend Hightower firmly believes that with out faith we are laws unto ourselves; walking prayers. She encourages us all to be mindful of each moment and what we are praying for. A graduate of Holmes Institute, she received her Ministerial Degree in 2006. Two of her favorite books are This Thing Called You by Ernest Holmes and Practicing the Presence written by Joel Goldsmith.


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Rev. James Sisson

Reverend James Sisson

Assistant Minister and Director Prayer and Meditation Ministries


Reverend Sisson has had a relationship with Guidance for over 20 years. An active member of Guidance from 1978 to 1988, he returned to us in 2007 when he earned his Masters Degree from the Holmes Institute. He has since achieved a Juris Doctor designation. Some of Reverend James favorite readings originated from The Play of Conscious by Swami Muktanada and the poetry of the Islamic mystic Rumi, specifically the poem Love and Light. He’s also inspired by the biblical text in Jeremiah 1, which declares "The word of the Lord came to me saying: Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you…I will make a new Covenant...and put the Law in their minds, and write it on their Hearts…for they will all know me." Reverend Sisson believes that Consciousness pervades everywhere as light, love and boundless Intelligence even within our very being. Influenced by Kashmir Shaivism which encourages all of us to "see the best in Life, the best in Love, [and] the very best of everything" we can truly know God.


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Administrative Staff


Church Office
Edwina Lofton, Office Manager
(323) 778-0773; Fax (323) 778-9618


Sharon McFatridge, Executive Assistant
(323) 778-0773; Fax (323) 778-9618


Guidance Federal Credit Union
Al King, President
(323) 778-8549


Guiding Light Bookstore
Layona Walker, RScP, Manager
(323) 778-8502


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Board of Trustees

Ted Brass, Chairperson

Guidance Board of Trustees Members from left to right:
James Brown, Ruth Hankins, Marlene Fleming-Chaka, Natalie Robinson, Reverend Nirvana,
Della Bishop, Dr. Norma Harris and Ted Brass (Chairperson).

Board of Trustees

Selected for longstanding membership and participation, as well as specific business and service acumen, Trustees provide operational oversight for Guidance’s administration. In particular, they ensure that our efforts (worship, ministries and service groups) meet the needs of our congregation. They’re governance is also focused on the congregation’s short- and long-term financial well-being. The Board has a standing meeting on the 4th Wednesday of each month at 5:30 pm in the Reverend’s office.


If you have any issues that you would like to bring to the Board’s attention, please submit them in writing by noon on the Monday before the meeting to the church office in person, or fax (323) 778-9618.


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What is a Practitioner?


Practitioners are individuals licensed as part of the ecclesiastical order of the United Centers of Spiritual Living (formerly known as the United Church of Religious Science). The designation "RScP" appears after their last name. These individuals have taken specific classes in the Science of Mind teachings and function as spiritual counselors who practice a form of prayer that is in alignment with universal principles governing the cosmos. To arrange a private counseling session with a Guidance Practitioner, consult our list of Professional Practitioners and contact us for additional information. Additionally, Practitioners are available for prayer at the end of each Sunday and Wednesday service, and they also participate in a 24-hour prayer phone line which anyone may call and request prayer


You can request prayer online or call our Prayer Hotline at (323) 778-3392.


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When Do I See a Practitioner?


Many choose to meet with a practitioner when faced with a specific challenge. Others work with a practitioner regularly to grow and deepen in spiritual awareness and individual healing. The practitioner teaches spiritual principles. As we apply these principles to our daily affairs through prayer and other spiritual practices, our lives change for the better. All of us at times get caught up in human experiences such as disease of the body; disharmony in our relationships; or discontent with ourselves, our careers, or aspects of our material world. At these times, it is especially helpful to see a practitioner. While understanding the human condition, the practitioner continues to see the wholeness in each situation and the perfection in us. To arrange a private counseling session with a Guidance Practitioner, consult our list of Professional Practitioner and contact us for additional information. Additionally, Practitioners are available for prayer at the end of each Sunday and Wednesday service, and they also participate in a 24-hour prayer phone line which anyone may call and request prayer


You can request prayer online or call our Prayer Hotline at (323) 778-3392.


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List of Spiritual/Prayer Practitioners


Our licensed professional practitioners are trained in the art and science of spiritual mind treatment, and serve to assist and enhance individual spiritual growth. Practitioners also offer workshops, memorial and funeral services, and various other life celebrations. You may contact a practitioner directly to set up a confidential appointment to discuss your need. Please note that Practitioners charge professional fees for their services.


If you would like to contact a Guidance Practitioner by telephone, please contact Edwina Lofton, Office Manager by telephone (323) 778-0773 during business hours or send an email request to Dr. Deirdre Y. Sermons, RScP, Practitioner Core President by email:


Emeritus Practitioners have received this honorary recognition granted by United Centers of Spiritual Living (UCSL), formerly known as United Church of Religious Science which grants them good standing ofr life and with all rights and privileges thereof. Portfolio Practitioners belong to a spiritual community in addition to or outside of Guidance church. All practitioners listed here are fully licensed and qualified to perform Prayer Treatments and Spiritual Counseling sessions.


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Title First Last Status
  Alayne Davis Portfolio
  Amy Hallowes  
  Angela Montano Portfolio
  Annette I. Welford Emeritus
  Ardell D. McCoy  
  Beverly Powdrill Emeritus
Rev. Dr. Clara Mosely Emeritus
Dr. Cora Currie Emeritus
  Cynthia Parrish  
  Daphne Germaine Emeritus
  Darhlene Dixon  
  Debra Keyes  
Rev. Dr. Deirdre ’Dee’ Sermons  
Rev. Della Bishop Emeritus
  Dorothy Hill Emeritus
  Eisha Mason Emeritus
  Elnora Rodgers  
  Erica Dymakkus  
  Esther B. Moore  
  Evelyn G. Howie Portfolio
  Felice Cargill  
  Irene Crayton  
  Irene Holmes  
Rev. Dr. Janet Knox  
  Jeane Black Portfolio
  Jo Anne Buckner  
  Judy Duncklee  
  Kaitlin O'Connell Portfolio
  Karen Minutelli  
Rev. Kevin Kline  
  Layona Walker  
  Lelia M. Harris Emeritus
  Leslie Caroline  
Dr. Lissa G. Sprinkles Emeritus
  Lorene Belisama  
  Lovey Curry  
  Marcia Bradshaw Emeritus
  Marianna Kitts Emeritus
  Marlene Fleming-Chaka  
  Mary L. Parker  
  Melvin S. Taylor  
  Michele D. Luster  
  Mona Kelsh-Dirrett  
  Monique Hunter  
Dr. Na’Imah Powell Emeritus
  Natalie Robinson  
  Nidra R. Bailey Emeritus
Dr. Norma Harris  
  Patricia Soto  
  Pearl M. Ottley  
Dr. Robert Stovall Emeritus
  Robert Travis  
  Robin Duncan  
  Romaine McCoy  
  Ron J. Herbert  
  Ron Lapointe  
  Ruth Hankins Emeritus
  Sabrina Buchanek Portfolio
Rev. Samuel Barnes  
  Sharon McFatridge  
  Shirley Lucas Emeritus
  Shirley Wallace Emeritus
  Tamara Sibley  
  Ted Brass  
  Tessa Adler  
Dr. Theresa Dowdell Emeritus
  Unity Imani-Imojah Emeritus  
  Von Elmore  
  Wanda Marie  
  Willi Bomar  
  Yvonne M. Hyde Emeritus
  Zachery Jenkins Emeritus


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Become a New Member

The wonderful thing about becoming a member at Guidance is that it’s absolutely easy. Just stop by the table located in the foyer and a representative from the Membership Committee will greet you. As a trans-denominational congregation, you are welcome to membership and may continue religious and spiritual affiliations at another organization. You will be asked to fill out a Membership Card. Periodically meetings are held to acquaint new members to our vibrant community.


To learn more about becoming an active part of our community, contact:

Vernell Morgan, Chairperson, Membership Committee or call (323) 778-0773.


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