History of Our Church

Center for Spiritual Living, Greater Las Vegas, is formerly known as Spiritual Life Center and First Church of Religious Science, Las Vegas. Our new name was adopted in 2009 as part of the United Centers for Spiritual Living campaign to unify our organization.

First Church of Religious Science, Las Vegas, as we were formally known, traces its origins to the early 1950s. Sometime between 1952 and 1954, a woman known as Dr. LeAllaire conducted religious services in various office buildings, calling her church "The Church on the Side of the Road." Later, Rev. Lee Mooney arrived and acted as Assistant Minister. After Dr. LeAllaire made her transition, Rev. Mooney took the leadership, and on November 7, 1954, Rev. Mooney had his Charter Presentation Service. Over fifty members had signed Charter Applications and the membership Roll.

On October 11, 1954, the Church Council of the Affiliated Churches of Religious Science of Los Angeles (of which Dr. Ernest Holmes is the founder) accepted the application and granted the Las Vegas church a charter.

Dr. Mooney left for another ministry in 1957 and was succeeded by Dr. H.A. Polite (also known as "HAP" Polite). Dr. Polite was formally installed in 1958. During Dr. Polite’s tenure as minister, he and many others began a search for land to build a more permanent church. Five acres of land was purchased in 1959 on Harmon Avenue, near the University of Las Vegas.

Following a sudden illness and transition, Dr. Polite was succeeded temporarily by Jeanette Haberly, who had been conducting Pre-Church services and who served as Chairman for the First Annual Three-Day Spring Seminar in 1959. Dr. Craig Carter, who had served nine years at the Santa Ana Church of Religious Science, began his services in Las Vegas in 1960. Dr. Carter gave the first accredited Practitioner course in Las Vegas with the assistance of Jeanette Haberly.

He left in 1962 and was succeeded by Dr. Barclay Johnson. During Dr. Barclay’s tenure as minister, the church building began to materialize. The site was dedicated in 1962, and the cornerstone was laid in 1963. Finally, on November 3, 1963, the church dedication took place.

Dr. Johnson moved in 1969 and was succeeded by Dr. David Howe, who had been the Assistant Minister. Under Dr. Howe, the Mid-Week Meditation was assigned to the licensed practitioners, and the bookstore was established. He was also instrumental in developing the Youth Group.

Dr. Howe resigned in 1975 to accept a call to the church in Oklahoma City. Wes McPherson, who had been assisting Dr. Howe, became the Senior Minister. Rev. McPherson was ordained in 1979, and under his leadership, the church grew to the capacity where the gift shop had to be removed to provide more sitting room.

Rev. McPherson resigned in 1981 and was succeeded by Rev. Raymond Cobb, who stayed until the late 1980s. Rev. June Darby served as an interim minister until the appointment of Dr. Fred McCoun in 1988. When Dr. McCoun began, the average attendance was 120 people; by 1993, membership had grown to over 900 people with an average attendance in excess of 450 people.

Rev. Dr. Carlo DiGiovanna succeeded Dr. McCoun as Interim Minister in 1996.

In 1999, the First Church of Religious Science in Las Vegas welcomed its current minister, Rev. Doug Foglesong. Under Rev. Doug’s leadership, First Church has centered itself in God and the principles of Science of Mind. Many exciting changes are afoot, including the establishment of a Vision Core, the church remodeling & rebuilding project, an expanded and vital Youth & Family ministry, and regular offerings of true Science of Mind classes.

In an effort to have our church name stand for the ideas we as a church community actively embrace, the congregation voted to change the name of our church to Spiritual Life Center in 2007.

Today we continue to grow and flourish under Rev. Doug's leadership and eagerly anticipate a glorious future in which we openly embrace the values and concepts that have brought us thus far.

The majority of this information was derived from a document compiled and written by Jeanette Haberly.