Barbara Lewis King

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Barbara Lewis King is a bishop of the International New Thought Christian Movement of Churches. She is also the founder of Hillside International Chapel and Truth Center.


Barbara Lewis King was born in Houston, Texas, to parents Mildred Jackson Shackelford and Lec Andrew Lewis. She was raised by paternal grandmother, Ida Bates Lewis. At 13, she felt a calling to ministry when she volunteered as a Sunday school teacher.[1] At 15, she became a Woman’s Day speaker in history at Houston’s Antioch Baptist Church.[1]

She is married, with one son, Michael, whom she had despite doctors' prognosis that she could not have children because of a disease that she had had. She also mothers a young woman from Ghana, and is the grandmother of five and great-grandmother of three.

King earned a BA in sociology from Texas Southern University and a Masters in social work at Atlanta University’s School of Social Work.[2] She also obtained a Doctor of Ministry from the Ecumenical Theological Seminary of Detroit, Michigan in 2012. [3]


After obtaining her Masters, King moved to Chicago and worked as a social work administrator, leading the city’s public housing outreach program. There, she met Rev. Johnnie Colemon, the first female African American minister she had met thus far, and was inspired to redirect her path to ministry. King then worked as the director of administration of Christ Universal Temple, Rev. Colemon’s church,[4] and was mentored by her throughout her ministerial training in New Thought and Traditional Though at Missouri’s Unity Institute of Continuing Education and the Baptist Training School in Chicago. Following her training, she was ordained twice, by Rev. Roy Blake and then by Rev. Colemon.

She then became a professor of social work at Clark Atlanta University, and then the dean of students at Spelman College.[5] She started a Bible study group with 12 members, which grew to become Hillside Chapel and Truth Center. In 1971 she founded the Hillside Chapel and Truth Center.[5] The Hillside Chapel is non-demoninational and serves around 5,000 people.[6]

In 2001, King was named the Development Chief off the Assin Nsuta village in Ghana, West Africa, an area with historic routes in the Slave Route Site. She is the first woman to be ordained as a chief in the region.[7][1] Her stool name is Nana Yaa Twunmwaa I. [8]

King is the first Bishop in the International New Thought Christian Movement. She is committed to “[transforming] lives by practicing and demonstrating the teachings of Jesus The Christ”. She has taught and ministered in Finland, Russia, England, Canada, Israel, Egypt, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa, the Caribbean, Brazil, British Gyuana, and Australia. She led the formation of Hillside Fountain, a South African sister church to her Atlanta church. [9] She was ordained the first New Thought minister in South Africa and has joined the Sisters of the Boa Morte in Brazail, African origin nuns who were prohibited from serving the traditional church. In 2010, she became the first bishop of the New Thought Christian Movement of Churches.[10]

She has been a guest lecturer at Harvard Divinity School Summer Institute for Ministers, and has also been involved with Association of Global New Thought, Concerned Black Clergy of Metropolitan Atlanta, Regional Council of Churches, the American Jewish Committee, Life Members of the NAACP, Academy of Certified Social Workers, National Association of Social Workers, Life Member of the National Council of Negro Women, the National Women’s Law Center, Chaplain of the City of Atlanta Police Department, and the Mayoral Appointee to the Ethics Board of Metro Atlanta.


  • The International New Thought Alliance (INTA) Life Achievement Award
  • The Ernest Holmes Religious Science Award
  • Unity’s The Light of God Expressing Award
  • International Civil Rights Walk of Fame, for her work in Dr. Martin Luther King’s Chicago movement
  • No. 8 on Savoy Magazine’s Power Issue of 100 Most Influential Blacks in America in 2008
  • Beautiful Are Their Feet Honoree
  • International Hall of Honor at Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College


  • Transform Your Life[11]
  • Major contributor to A New Thought for A New Millennium and Wake Up … Live the Life You Love in Spirit
  • In Me, As Me: Ten Principles for Finding the Divine Within and Leave With Love: A Spiritual Guide to Succession Planning
  • Piddlin’ For the Soul [12]
  • How to Have Flood and Not Drown: Essays on Stress-Free Living [13]
  • The Church: A Matter of Consciousness
  • What is a Miracle?[14]
  • Prosperity that Can’t Quit


  1. ^ a b c "Reverend Dr. Barbara King". Los Angeles Sentinel. 7 October 2010. Retrieved 8 June 2017 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).
  2. ^ "REVEREND DR. BARBARA L. KING". The History Makers. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  3. ^ "About Bishop Dr. Barbara Lewis King". Hillside Chapel. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  4. ^ "About Bishop Dr. Barbara Lewis King". Hillside Chapel. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Noted Atlanta Minister Barbara Lewis King Weds Philadelphia's SELF, Inc. Founder Dr. Sylvester Outley". JET: 32. 4 July 2005.
  6. ^ "Program on South Africa to Celebrate End of Apartheid". The Buffalo News. 19 November 1994. Retrieved 8 June 2017 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).
  7. ^ "ABOUT DR. BARBARA KING". Barbara King Collection.
  8. ^ "About Bishop Dr. Barbara Lewis King". Hillside Chapel. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  9. ^ "REVEREND DR. BARBARA L. KING". The History Makers. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  10. ^ "Barbara King Named Bishop". Jackson Advocate. 14 October 2010. Retrieved 8 June 2017 – via HighBeam Research. (Subscription required (help)).
  11. ^ King, Barbara (2016). Transform Your Life. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
  12. ^ King, Barbara (2001). Piddlin' For the Soul. Barbara King.
  13. ^ King, Barbara (1990). How to Have Flood and Not Drown: Essays on Stress-Free Living. Devorss & Co.
  14. ^ King-Blake, Barbara. What is a Miracle?. CSA Press.
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