Coyle Funeral Home
1770 S Reynolds Rd
Toledo, OH 43614
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1770 S Reynolds Rd
Toledo, OH 43614
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Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020
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Coyle Funeral Home
1770 S Reynolds Rd
Toledo, OH 43614
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Rev. Gloria S. Moorehead

1934 - 2019
Rev. Gloria S. Moorehead Obituary
(News story) The Rev. Gloria S. Moorehead, who spiritually guided others as she followed her own path to New Thought and Angels Landing Spiritual Center, died on Dec. 11 at Sunset Village in Sylvania. She was 85.

She had been in declining health, most recently suffering dementia, said Malinda Meinhardt, a long-time friend who also saw her as a teacher and counselor.

"She was a master storyteller," she said of Mrs. Moorehead, whose message and teaching she credited with expanding the communities of Unity of Toledo and at Angels Landing Spiritual Center, which she founded in 2002. "She drew a lot on her personal experience."

"The deepest message she taught was that God lives within you," she continued. "Any question you have, any dilemma you're facing, you go inside and ask. And then you shut up and listen."

Gloria Sue Moorehead was born on March 28, 1934, the only child of Leah and Fenton Gilbert of Walbridge. Her family moved to Toledo when she was a teenager and she completed her education at Scott High School where she met her husband, Lawrence Moorehead.

Mrs. Meinhardt, who met Mrs. Moorehead at Unity of Toledo Spiritual Center in the 1980s, said the two married shortly after she graduated. (They would divorce after 40 years.)

Their only son, Parry Moorehead, was a focal point in her life. He was born in 1957.

His birth coincided with her path toward New Thought, a strain of non-religious spirituality that was a notable contrast to the Pentecostalism in which she had been raised, Mrs. Meinhardt said. Mrs. Moorehead even played the drums in her childhood church.

Her son was born paraplegic due to a birth injury. In an interview with The Blade in 2004, Mrs. Moorehead said his arrival caused her to re-examine her childhood beliefs and faith tradition.

"I was told that the sins of my forefathers was why Parry was born paralyzed, and I said, 'No! My God would not do that,'" she told The Blade. "My son is a gift, not a punishment."

Mrs. Meinhardt said her friend found strength in a wider variety of writings during lengthy and frequent hospital stays during her son's early years. She began "to look for something deeper."

"She did not want to be confined to a religion. She thought broader than that," Mrs. Meinhardt said of her friend, a prolific reader and writer who frequently called her to discuss or recommend books. "She studied all different types of writers, from Ernest Holmes to Rev. Spong to Eckhart Tolle. She drew on many forward thinkers."

Mrs. Moorehead would also credit the Rev. Donald Duncan, a spiritual adviser to her when she was a teenager, as a lasting influence. She wrote that in telling her she was special and that he believed in her, he laid a foundation for her later spiritual path.

Mrs. Moorehead went on to study at the Unity School of Christianity, graduating as a Unity teacher in 1990. She was ordained later that year by the Rev. Wallace Tooke of Unity of Toledo Spiritual Center. She also studied with the Coptic Fellowship, graduating as a spiritual teacher in 1992, and with the Divine Science Church, graduating as a minister in 1993.

In 2006, she was ordained as an independent minister by the Rev. Richard Billings.

She served as minister of Unity of Toledo between 1997 and 2001. Mrs. Meinhardt said the community grew under her spiritual leadership from about 40 to just under 200. When she later founded Angels Landing Spiritual Center in 2002, a handful of individuals expanded to around 100 at one point. Mrs. Meinhardt said many would have credited her as a mentor or counselor.

"I think probably everybody she touched felt that way about her," she said. "That was one of her biggest gifts, she made everybody feel special and loved."

Angels Landing opened on Yankee Road in Ottawa Lake, Mich., then moved to Meadowbrook Court in West Toledo, then 2400 N. Reynolds Rd., Suite A, where the spiritual center continues with a community of about 30 people. Mrs. Meinhardt is the executive director, and Mrs. Moorehead remained involved until her health forced her to step away in 2015.

Mrs. Moorehead described it as an independent spiritual center.

"Our journey together is based on the teachings of the 'Master Teacher,' Jesus the Christ. We focus on lessons from Scripture as well as the wisdom of many other enlightened teachers who have graced us with their expressions of this Divine Love," she wrote in a reflection on the spiritual center's website. "There are no 'religious' limitations on our exploration, discoveries or enlightened choices. We come together drawn by the Power of God expressing through, and as, each of us. That is why our community is called, 'Angels Landing Spiritual Center!'"

Mrs. Moorhead's son grew up and went on to be an athlete, advocate, and Toledo municipal employee. He died in 2004 at age 46. She has no immediate survivors.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Jan. 26 at Coyle Funeral Home, 1770 S. Reynolds Rd. Visitation begins at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, tributes are suggested to Angels Landing Spiritual Center.

This is a news story by Nicki Gorny. Contact her at [email protected] or 419-724-6133.
Published in The Blade on Jan. 13, 2020
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