People of CSL

Dr. Chris Michaels
Dr. Chris Michaels – Spiritual Director
Dr. Chris Michaels is a national speaker and author. He founded the Center for Spiritual Living in Kansas City, Missouri in 1990 and has served as Spiritual Director for over twenty years. As an educator and counselor, he has helped thousands of people understand the basic spiritual principles that govern our lives. With over two decades of study into the spiritual nature of life, Dr. Chris is a leading authority on the new spirituality movement. He is the author of Your Soul’s Assignment and his new book, The Power of You, available at bookstores nationwide or on

Along with speaking engagements at conferences, churches, and special events nationwide, Dr. Chris was a guest on Martha Stewart Living heard on SIRIUS satellite radio. His weekly radio show, "Healing Your Life" With Dr. Chris Michaels, is offered via podcast at In 2013 over 105,000 people downloaded his spiritual lessons from 95 different countries around the world. View his website at  Contact Dr. Chris:


The word Practitioner may be new to you, and it simply means that these designated people are high-level practicers of the Science of Mind principles.

A Practitioner works to assist you in solving problems and experiencing greater good in your life. They work to help you understand your challenge and its cause, and then, through Affirmative Prayer, spiritual laws are set in motion to resolve your issue.

Having participated in extensive training to develop themselves into being Consciousness On Demand, practitioners are licensed and skilled in using Science of Mind principles and especially Affirmative Prayer. This requires a minimum of three years of class work and practice and passing a written paneled exam before licensed ministers and Practitioners.

You will see our Practitioners onstage at the end of services or standing by the side walls between services and wearing a purple stole around their necks. They are available at these times—free of charge—to assist you with your prayer needs or at other times by appointment on a fee basis. Feel free to contact any of our Practitioners for more information.
Rev. Hobbit Forrest
Rev. Hobbit Forrest - Prayer Team Director
(305) 807-7985

John Rossetti
John Rossetti - Prayer Practitioner
(954) 993-5171

Rev. Kandi Haggerty
Rev. Kandi Haggerty - Staff Minister
(954) 592-0055

Ray Lekowski
Ray Lekowski - Prayer Practitioner
(954) 565-7197

Rev. Glen Stocking
Rev. Glen Stocking - Staff Minister
(954) 865-6514

Tonya Topey
Tonya Topey - Prayer Practitioner


Antonio Edwards
Antonio Edwards– Musical Director/Lead Vocalist
Antonio is originally from St. Louis, Mo. and now resides in Wilton Manors, FL. His father was a minister, as was both of his grandfathers. His grandmother was a choir director and his mother was the lead vocalist in the choir. There was no avoiding becoming a singer in church. It was all around him. After many years working in corporate America and customer service, Antonio decided to move to New York City to pursue singing as a career. He worked as a contract musician singing for weddings, dinner dances, Broadway showcases, and corporate events. After visiting many times, he decided to make the move to south Florida to again pursue singing full-time in paradise.

Antonio was introduced to Science of Mind over 25 years ago in Dallas, TX where he was the lead vocalist. After moving to New York City, he became involved with Unity Church of New York as a member of the Voices In Unity choir as well as a soloist and a member of the world renowned vocal group Spiritus. Antonio is very excited to be the new Lead Vocalist for CSL Fort Lauderdale and looks forward to many Sundays filled with great music and moving messages.

You can catch Antonio every Wednesday night in the Manchester Room at the Alibi in Wilton Manors at 9:00 pm, immediately following Tony and Gloria on the stage. Also, on the second Wednesday of every month with Lenora Jaye for their DUETS show! Check him out on Facebook:


Dr. Chris Michaels
Dr. Chris Michaels – President

Wayne Gibson
Dr. Wayne Gibson– Vice President
(770) 861-2600

Dr. Wayne Gibson graduated from Huntingdon College and was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, while completing his PhD at Northwestern University. He has taught in colleges and universities across the Northeast and the Midwest, but the bulk of his career was spent as chair of the music department at Kennesaw State University in suburban Atlanta. Dr. Gibson is past president of the Music Teachers National Association, with a membership of 25,000 music teachers.

Dr. Gibson has volunteered on several arts boards and has served nearly fifteen years on the board of the Spiritual Living Center of Atlanta, founded and led for twenty years by his late partner, Kennedy Shultz. He was a Charter Member of the Atlanta Center and earned Science of Mind certificates through Level IV. He is pleased to have attended CSL Ft. Lauderdale for more than ten years now.

Pamela Bryant Pamela Bryant– Corporate and Recording Secretary
(954) 218-3208

Pamela Bryant has been a member of the Center for Spiritual Living Ft. Lauderdale community for over 7 years. She is a successful business owner, a student of the Science of Mind teachings, and the mother of two adult children who are her pride and joy.

Pam uses her skills as a coach, licensed massage therapist, and business organizer, to assist her clients in experiencing and expressing their optimal life in work and play. She brings her business savvy, and lover of Truth to her role as a Board of Trustee member in order to be a good steward of the resources that have been entrusted to her.

Francis Buckley
Francis Buckley– Lay Member
(954) 514-7715

Francis is a service oriented descendant from a family with a long tradition of public service dating back to a missionary to the Native Americans in Western Massachusetts. He has viewed his career as a public librarian as a helping profession.

Francis administered library services in Detroit, MI; Shaker Heights, OH; and Washington, DC. For five years he served as a political appointee in charge of the dissemination of U.S. government publications produced by the Government Printing Office. Francis has also served on the Board of a number of professional library associations, nonprofits, and community organizations. He tries to exemplify the values of peace, respect/love for others, care, and compassion. Being on the CSL Board or Trustees provides many opportunities to serve the community.

Ken Mikel
Ken Mikel– Lay Member
(954) 727-1685

Ken grew up in Atlanta and graduated from the University of Georgia with a BBA in Business Administration. He served in the military during the Viet Nam Era as an US Coast Guard Air Crewman in the Mediterranean where he found his love for travel. He has had several varied careers from owning and operating a pub to managing a Systems Design Group for a Fortune 500 clothing manufacturer finally landing in a career in high tech sales where he was high level technical support for large call center systems sales.

Always a seeker of spiritual development he found his way to the Atlanta Church of Religious Science in the early 1980’s. He took the first three years of Science of Mind courses from Dr. Kennedy Shultz and Reverend Karen Wolfson. He served on the Atlanta church Board of Trustees under Dr. Shultz and then under Reverend Paul Gonyea. Ken is a Reiki practitioner.

After getting an early retirement from corporate America he moved to Fort Lauderdale in 2004 and has been a member of CSL Fort Lauderdale since then. He is excited about the expanding consciousness and the broadening prospects of CSL Fort Lauderdale.

Jeanne Looper Smith
Jeanne Looper Smith– Lay Member
(816) 808-4464

Jeanne Looper Smith is a wife, mother of three adult children, grandmother of seven grandsons, a freelance writer, columnist, editor and a “Wild Woman of Wellness.”

The “wild” incarnation, and a business that resulted from it, came after a 2011 diagnosis of bilateral breast cancer. She chose to return to wellness through the application of an alternative mind, body, spirit approach rather than the conventional, allopathic cancer treatment protocol.

Jeanne is a passionate proponent of the body’s ability to heal, through “food as medicine,” exercise, meditation, affirmative prayer and removing toxic thoughts such as unforgiveness and resentment—all things that support the immune system in returning the body to homeostasis and health.

She attended the University of Kansas, is a graduate of the Hippocrates Health Institute’s Life Transformation Program and a partner in a business called “Be Wild and Well.”

She has recently begun a new writing service, “Creative Life Tributes”—thoughtful obituaries and eulogies that don’t read like an resume but reflect the personality and distinctiveness of an individual—thus capturing the essence of a life uniquely lived.

In December of 2016 she published her first book, “Retro Road Trip: Taking the Long Way Home,” a compilation of 12 years of her newspaper columns about growing up in small town mid-century America. (It’s a front seat look at the good, the bad and the ugly of that time and culture.) Check it out on Amazon at Retro Road Trip: Taking the Long Way Home

Ken Gesel
Ken Gesel– Lay Member

Ken Gesel is another ‘damn Yankee’ living in South Florida.  Growing up in Buffalo, New York, he is a graduate of SUNY Buffalo and brings his love of chicken wings, snowdrifts and consecutive Super Bowl losses to the Sunshine State.  After a search for the perfect spiritual home he has been attending CSL Fort Lauderdale regularly since 2012.  Ken is also our Community Outreach Director.  Every month he is active in getting our Center and our members working with, and giving back to our local community.  

After a successful career in (legal) pharmaceutical sales, Ken recently started his own business buying, rehabilitating and reselling homes in the Fort Lauderdale area.  His true passion is classic American cars.  Ken is currently single, this despite being rather awesome…   perhaps he shouldn’t be allowed to write his own bio next time.


Cherie Simmons
Cherie Simmons
(816) 289-1021

Cherie has over 20 years of industry experience working in education, coaching, training, and curriculum development. Her topic range is extensive and includes strategic planning, communications, grammar and writing, leadership, conflict management, teamwork, people skills, sales, and problem-solving.  She is also known for writing seminars and designing curriculum, and her talents have been drawn upon to deliver training to other trainers.  Her experience includes non-profit, corporate, educational, blue collar, and retail clientele as well as doing executive and personal coaching. Currently, she is part of a team that writes and builds e-learning for companies around the world.  

In 2009, Cherie discovered Center for Spiritual Living in Kansas City. It was a match in philosophy and spirit, and she began attending and getting involved in the community.  Within a year, Cherie became the Youth Director and later took on the role of Director of Development. In early 2017, Cherie moved to Florida; she is excited to be part of the Ft. Lauderdale CSL and to help continue the youth department’s growth.  

When she’s not at a computer or on the phone, you’ll likely find Cherie walking the beach or with her pets. 


Martha Suris
Martha Suris– Business Manager

Jim Johnson
Jim Johnson– Facilities Manager

Tom Pessolano
Tom Pessolano– Webmaster