Who we are

What to Expect When You Visit

If you are coming to Open Heart for the first time you might have some questions:  

  • "What is the Sunday service like?"
  • "Is there time for social connection?"
  • "What should I wear?"
  • "Are families with children welcome?"


Our Sunday Celebration services are just that - a time of celebration! We celebrate the blessings of our oneness with God and each other. We celebrate life. Our program includes inspirational music, a healing meditation, and a lesson/sermon. We begin at 10 AM. 


Attire ranges from jeans and t-shirts to dresses and sports coats. In other words, wear what "suits" you. You'll fit in no matter what it is. And yes, you'll have time to connect with others in attendance during the "Moment of Fellowship" and at the conclusion of our celebration when we share our hospitality through snacks, drinks and conversation.

We have a diverse group of people who attend and many guests have told us that we're one of the friendliest and most loving places they've experienced.


While we don't yet have a separate program for children, we are okay with them being active during the celebration. Their sounds are music to our ears.

Our center is a "Transformation Station" - a place that provides the spiritual resources to develop and grow in such a way that we come to know the truth of who we are: God expressing as us.  

Our Spiritual Director

Our Minister and Spiritual Director, John Gilmore, is committed to living life to its fullest and assisting others to do the same. His vision for organizing Open Heart includes being a place of transformation, healing and inclusiveness.

Meet John Marshall Gilmore

A Journey into New Spiritual Waters- An Interview with John Gilmore

“I’ve watched you and you have some of the gifts and graces of ministry”, he said to John Gilmore. “Have you considered it?”

These words struck John Gilmore like a freight train. Having recently graduated from Ohio University, he was in a quandary as to his next steps. The two “sure” job leads had vanished and he’d sent out dozens of resumes without a response.

He moved back with his parents in Shreveport, Louisiana and was attending the Leadership Training Institute of the 4th Episcopal District of the CME Church, where his father served as the presiding bishop. Not knowing why, he sat in on a class for ministers and as he listened to them, he pondered that path. But he quickly came up with a list of 5 reasons why that could never be the path for him.

The class adjourned and he was walking down the hallway when a close family friend, a minister himself, stopped John and asked him if he had considered the ministry as his path. That wasn’t an unusual question for this preacher’s son. What was unusual was that this minister went on to say, “I know you probably have reasons why you can’t” and went on to name the 5 reasons John had previously listed to himself. The shocking thing was the family friend has named them—verbatim and in order!

“How could he know?” John wondered, seeing it as some kind of important sign. Later that night, he prayed for guidance and the following morning he felt a sense of certainty. “Yes!” he thought, God is calling me to ministry.

He later shared his thoughts with his father, Bishop Marshall Gilmore, who told him that he always wondered about his path but was careful not to say anything because he wanted it to be something that John and God worked out. His advice was to enroll in seminary and further explore this call.

He applied to Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. It was the middle of the summer and they both knew that enrollment had closed. But John applied and was informed exactly that. However, a few days later he received a call saying that a slot had come open and he was accepted—with tuition and a housing allowance! “God was opening doors”, John recalled.

In 1987, John graduated from seminary and began serving his first congregation, Elizabeth Chapel C.M.E. Church in Dallas. In 1990 he left Texas to serve as pastor in Memphis at Martin Temple C.M.E. Church and later Mt. Olive Cathedral C.M.E. Church. His time in all three of those congregations provided many memorable opportunities and experiences. He would serve as the General Conference Secretary of the C.M.E. Church and in many other capacities.

He states, “I’ve always felt a calling to the community at large and have never confined my ministry to the church building”. That philosophy would put him at the forefront of issues that are still considered controversial for many: working with persons living with HIV/AIDS and being a straight ally of the LGBT community. “I am for radical inclusion”, Gilmore says.

Gilmore continues, “I take chances and risks because I believe in living the courage of my convictions”.

This outlook would propel him to take even more steps that might be considered risky. In 2001, he left the C.M.E. denomination to answer a calling from deep within. As a teenager, he was drawn to writings from authors who had a different take on faith. Their words resonated with him deeply and stayed with him from that time on. He didn’t know at the time that those works were part of a spiritual philosophy referred by many as “New Thought/Ancient Wisdom”.

There were people along the way that continued to point him to this teaching and as he studied it he became convinced that it spoke to what he’d been intuitively feeling all along. 

“For a long time, I truly knew that I was not separate from the Infinite or that God was “out there” but rather God manifests as me. In my practice of living in the present moment, I can sense the entire universe rushing in and flowing through me.”

He became a licensed practitioner in the then United Church of Religious Science in 2007 and has continued studying and teaching the New Thought/Ancient Wisdom principles.

In order to be true to himself and to provide a place for those of like minds, Gilmore organized Open Heart Spiritual Center, a place for the New Thought-Ancient Wisdom teaching in 2002. It is a place that teaches a spiritual philosophy that captures the threads of truth that span across the religions of the world. OHSC embraces all people, regardless of race/ethnicity, background, sexual orientation or belief.

It truly represents a journey into new spiritual waters for John Gilmore. A journey he absolutely feels is worth it.

Meet Our Ministry Team

Our History

Open Heart began in January of 2002. After several weeks of visioning, a diverse group of individuals came together and Open Heart Community of Faith was established. The idea was to form a gathering of people who were looking for a different way to connect with their own inner divinity. The original description developed was "Open Heart is a liberal, transdenominational congregation that focuses on mystical spirituality- a direct experience of ultimate reality and an outward sense of mission to others."


As time progressed, we began to embrace the ideas of New Thought, particularly the Science of Mind. The center actually existed as a Teaching Chapter of the United Church of Religious Science. As we continued to expand and deepen our knowledge, we became an independent New Thought/Ancient Wisdom congregation- a place where we continue to explore spiritual teachings in many traditions.

New Thought/Ancient Wisdom

New Thought is an American metaphysical religious movement that is approximately 150 years old. William James called New Thought, "[T]he religion of healthy-mindedness." And that's really the truth! Don't confuse New Thought with what is often called "New Age" in the media today, New Thought is actually a perennial philosophy, that thread of truth that is woven through all the world's great spiritual traditions. New Thought principles are found in Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Zen, Hinduism, African Traditional Religions and many other philosophical and theological works. There are several hundred New Thought churches world-wide, which include Unity churches, Centers for Spiritual Living, and independent New Thought churches like Open Heart.

Ancient Wisdom refers to the esoteric knowledge about life, the universe and all else that has been passed down through the ages. It is information that transcends even the written record. It is deeply held within each of us and active all the time. It is a matter of us acknowledging it and making it welcome in our daily affairs. 

What is taught in New Thought/Ancient Wisdom

1. That there is one Life, one Power in the universe, and that Life and that Power is God, the Good.
2. That as unique expressions of God, we are co-creators of our personal Good.
3. That Oneness with God can be experienced in our everyday lives.
4. That each person is free in matters of belief.
5. That the kingdom of heaven is within and that our purpose is to realize this kingdom on earth through removing the blocks to our awareness and experience of Love’s Presence.
6. That what we give, whether it be love, talent, time or dollars, multiplies and circulates back to us: “As you sow, so shall you reap."
7. That our essence is spiritual, that we are currently having a human experience and that our nature is to unfold as a spiritual being even after the transition we call death.
8. That service to others is the highest activity to which one can aspire.
9.That our natural state is perfect health: mentally, physically, and spiritually.

We teach clear, easy-to-follow ways to change our belief, to sow more mindfully, and to set only those causes in motion we're happy to experience. The main practice we teach is affirmative prayer, also known as spiritual mind treatment. It's spiritual, because it deals with the spiritually based causes of what we experience. It's mental, because it happens within our own minds and hearts. And it's a treatment, because it provides tangible, definite results! Thousands of people have experienced healings of everything from terminal, inoperable cancer, depression, poverty, bad relationships, and a lack of job fulfillment.

Is New Thought/Ancient Wisdom Christian?

In some New Thought denominations, such as Unity, New Thought is considered practical or applied Christianity because it puts into practice the essential metaphysical teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. At Open Heart we view the teachings of New Thought as belonging to all religions, and welcome Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Pagans, Hindus, Spiritualists and individuals from other spiritual traditions.

Of course, in the West, we love practicality. And it's the practical application of these principles that make all the difference. If you've ever watched Oprah Winfrey, and seen her interview a guest who explains a way to make your life better by changing your intentions, you've seen New Thought principles being taught. If you've read some of the works of Deepak Chopra, which focus on how to heal your body by healing your mind, you've read about New Thought.

We greet you. We bless you. We see God in you.