New Unity Leadership Brings New Opportunities to Santa Barbara Community


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June 6, 2022,—(Santa Barbara, CA.)—If ever there was a dream team for Unity of Santa Barbara, it became a reality in 2022 with the arrival of three award-winning leaders.  Rev. Temple Hayes, Rev. Cathy Jean Norman, and Executive Director Forrest Leichtberg comprise a powerhouse team uniquely prepared to bring about transformative growth of the center and fill the needs of the Santa Barbara community. 

            Plans for a plethora of new offerings that extend well beyond Sunday services include: Unity’s workshops, youth programs, festivals, lectures, concerts, banquets, world-renown speakers and other events to help individuals fulfill their higher purpose through the power of community. Unity will also make available space to rent on its newly renovated grounds for organizations and individuals to hold their own events, including inspirational, charitable, business, educational, community programming, weddings, celebrations, memorials, and more.

            Upon arriving at Unity’s Santa Barbara campus, Rev. Cathy Jean Norman gained immediate recognition for her inspirational talks at Sunday services. But her job does not stop there. She is an integral part of the daily operations of the center, as she has served Unity churches in several cities during her 39 years of ministry. One of the youngest women to graduate from Unity Ministerial School, she holds two master’s degrees: one in theology, the other in spiritual psychology. Her television show, “Heart, Mind and Soul,” an exploration of metaphysical principles, was one of the most popular in the spiritual field. She is also co-author of the book “Sermon on the Molehill: Spiritual Keys to Amazing Health, Wealth and Loving Relationships,” acclaimed as a timeless treasure.

            Rev. Temple Hayes is a gifted speaker and spiritual leader who has impacted numerous lives throughout the world. She brings to Unity a dynamic stage presence with her renowned inspirational Sunday services, while her ongoing participation in the internal workings of the center adds high-level expertise to its daily operations.  She is an acclaimed international motivational speaker for Fortune 500 companies and supports many causes to enhance the world, improve people’s lives and raise consciousness. After serving in the U.S. Army Reserve for three years, Rev. Hayes became a Science of Mind minister in 1991 and an ordained Unity minister in 2007. She led First Unity Spiritual Campus in St. Petersburg, Florida, as CEO and spiritual leader, attracting thousands of members who came to hear her speak. She is the recipient of many awards, including the People of Distinction Humanitarian Award (2016). In 2019 she was twice a featured speaker at Carnegie Hall on suicide prevention and awareness and the #neveralone movement. She is the author of several books: “The Right To Be You,” “How To Speak Unity,” “When Did You Die?” and “Being a Difference Maker.”

            Forrest Leichtberg is a young visionary with years of experience in the nonprofit leadership space who will now manage internal affairs for Unity. At 22 he founded the critically acclaimed Consciousness Network in Santa Barbara, which became center stage for a number of the most influential speakers in the global personal development community; many events were standing room only. Within months of its inception, Mayor Helene Schneider and the Santa Barbara City Council issued a proclamation honoring him for his leadership and role in promoting positivity and the productive exchange of knowledge. His experience with The Consciousness Network, and his work on several boards of directors of other non-profits, has provided him with a multigenerational following and invaluable experience at every level of running a non-profit, including: daily operations and decisions, event production, marketing, finance, grants and fundraising, sponsorships, event planning, creating volunteer networks, establishing co-sponsorships for events, helping community members in need, and much more. 

            Founded in 1970, Unity of Santa Barbara is an accepting, positive spiritual community that honors all spiritual paths. The community center is located at 227 E. Arrellaga Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101. The web address is unitysb.org and they can be contacted at unity@unitysb.org or 805-966-2239.

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