2975 Washington Circle, Escondido
Pastor: April Leona Cunningham
Born: Niagara Falls, NY
Formation: Palomar College, San Marcos; Harmony Grove Spiritualist Institute
Years Ordained: 9
San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon?
Pastor April Leona Cunningham: I don’t write out my sermon, but I get up and speak it. Remember what Mark Twain said? “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” If you’re really there for the right reason, you’re only the vehicle to be guided in what needs to be said and it just happens. I’m a doorway, and I’m allowing God to say what needs to be said.
SDR: What is your favorite subject on which to preach?
PC: Love. It really covers the whole thing. If you truly know unconditional love, everything else comes to life and becomes a reality and pushes out illusions. Love for God and love for one another is the same, as far as I’m concerned. It’s all a unity that God is the source and we’re the family….
SDR: Why did you become a minister?
PC: I think I was born this way. I’ve always been gifted….In my teens I tried to go to every church that I could just to be able to sit and feel the connection with everyone and realize it was about a destination and not about a journey.
SDR: Why spiritualism?
PC: I had nowhere else that I fit in…. I would get up in the middle of the night and I would predict Senator [Robert] Kennedy’s death, President Kennedy’s death and Martin Luther King’s death. I would predict earthquakes — make my family get out of the house 15 minutes before an earthquake — and stuff like that which would scare the daylights out of them. I used to say so-and-so is in the room; I could feel him and hear him. My brother used to say to me, “If I wasn’t sure I would think you were crazy.” But what I said would always prove itself. He’d ask if I was afraid. I’d say no, why would I fear something that is of love?... When you stand in truth — make yourself available for love — it creates God’s bridge for everything you need to know.
SDR: What’s the mission of your church?
PC: Our mission is to let people know that life is continuous. There is no end or true separation. Unfortunately, when we live on this planet change is always hard, especially apparent separation from family and loved ones. Often, you can sit and talk with someone and let them know a loved one that has crossed wants to touch in for the higher good. So, we have the opportunity to soothe wounds, allow people to go on with their lives, and let them know separation is temporary and we have forever.
SDR: Where do you go when you die?
PC: Heaven is a state of being. We go into a healing reality, which is unique to each person. We don’t split off into another dimension because everything that is on this planet is in space. The world has its own reality, so the planets and everything you see right now is connected to the separate experience. This was all created like a school and it was all created to be elevated. We go where we need to be, and it’s usually not outside this reality, but you go into healing.