About Unity of Roanoke Valley
Unity was founded in the early 1890s by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, not as a separate church or religious denomination, but as a spiritual movement within religions, dedicated to helping people of all faiths apply positive spiritual principles to better their lives. Unity was founded on the notion that God is within you, and therefore your purpose in life is to express your divine potential. It does not separate people into another body, bound by religious laws, doctrines, practices, and rituals. As Unity implies, we celebrate diversity. Everyone is welcome – we believe all religious, chronological, racial, ethnic, sexual, and cultural orientations are expressions of God.
Unity of Roanoke Valley was founded in 1971 by the Revs. Alan and Kathryn Rowbotham. We offer prayer support, spiritual counseling, classes, weddings, celebrations of life (memorials), home and hospital visitation, volunteer opportunities, small groups, the Body Mind Spirit Fest, spiritual education for children and adults, a bookstore, an outdoor labyrinth (open year-round), playgrounds, a picnic area, a rose garden, two water fountains, all on 26 beautiful acres. Our vibrant community is a home for the spiritual but not religious – come join us!
Our Mission | To inspire positive change in our spiritual lives and in the world.
Our Vision for the World | Centered in God, we embrace a world of love, peace and abundance for all.
Our Values | Spirit-Centered, Integrity, Inclusivity, Love, Gratitude, and Transformation
Transformational classes and seminars provide many opportunities for spiritual growth and fellowship at Unity of Roanoke Valley, and all are welcome to attend. We offer a wide variety of classes and small groups, including:
Sacred Sound Circle
Handbell & Voice Choirs
A Course in Miracles (ACIM)
Monthly Guided Labyrinth Walks
InStill Mindfulness and Service Club
Weekly Guided Prayer & Meditation
Spring Forest Qigong Practice Group
Spiritual Care Team (Prayer Chaplains)
Getting to the Other Side of Grief Group
Ongoing classes taught by Rev. Betty Tarpley
The foundation of our community is prayer. Our senior minister, the Rev. Rick Belous, is available for prayer support, as are our Licensed Unity Teachers and Unity Prayer Chaplains. Spiritual Education for our youth and teens is a high priority. Our dedicated volunteer teachers provide an environment in which children of all ages may understand and express their highest spiritual potential. ** We are looking for a YFM Director – could that be YOU? Contact Rev. Dr. Rick Belous for more information **
We host a Body Mind Spirit Fest each year in June where the community can gather to experience healings, readings, seminars, shop for metaphysical gifts and tools, as well as eco and green living items.
Sunday Services (during the ‘rona)
11:00 am – 12:00 pm | Service
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm | Fellowship
Our YouTube service is posted on our website and Facebook page every Sunday.
Meet the Minister
Rev. Dr. Rick Belous brings a great deal of creativity and compassion to his ministry.
Prior to his call to ministry, Rick was Vice President of Research and Chief Economist for the United Way system. He was also an adjunct lecturer of economics at George Washington University.
Following the death of his father when he was age 17, Rick didn’t want anything to do with organized religion. Then in his mid-20’s, he had several “profoundly mystical experiences” which led to his deep commitment to spiritual growth. Rick has been a part of the Unity movement since the mid-1980s.
“I am very glad for the years of spiritual doubt and searching because I know what the ‘spiritual but not religious’ people in our society are going through,” he says. “Unity does not ask people to check their minds at the door. It is free and open as a breeze on a hot day. Unity honors both spirituality and science. We look to Jesus as our way-shower, and we also learn from other enlightened teachers,” he adds.
Rick earned his BA from Columbia University and his MA and Ph.D. in economics from George Washington University. He also earned a Master in Divinity from Unity Institute and Seminary. He is an ordained minister by Unity Worldwide Ministries. In fact, he is now an advisor to Unity Worldwide Ministries. Prior to Unity of Roanoke Valley, Rick served as Senior Minister at Unity Center of Tulsa.
Rick also serves as president of Spiral-Pathways.org, a research network dedicated to studying and advancing the evolution of spiritual consciousness.
Besides being a noted preacher, Rick also specializes in pastoral counseling. “Other doctors may not do house calls these days, but I still do,” he adds. Rick is the author, or co-author, of 13 books and numerous articles. He has been interviewed on CNN, NPR, and The Today Show, as well as quoted by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and other leading papers. Rick has also served as an advisor to two U.S Presidential Commissions.
Rick lives in the Roanoke area with two daughters and a cat.
“When I first came to Unity, in Northern Virginia back in the 1980s, what really struck me was the love within the church. It really was a very special place. Unity of Roanoke Valley has that same warmth and compassion. The people here don’t just talk the talk – they walk the walk,” he notes.
Read Rev. Rick’s INSIGHTS Blog!