Thomas Parker Boyd

Thomas Parker Boyd Jr. was born in Kentucky about 1864, the middle son of Thomas Parker Boyd and Mary Bosenquet Greenup. He worked in the tobacco fields in the summer and went to school in winter. His family moved to Texas when he was fourteen, and later to Oregon, where they bought and operated a flour mill. He was exposed to the Methodist-Episcopalian church circuit riders in his youth and greatly admired their "muscular Christianity."

“He attended a Western college, he said, ‘to learn how to think.
I didn't learn because they didn't seem to know how it was done’ ”

Dr. Boyd felt called to the ministry while he was still in his teens. In his autobiography, "Te-Pe-Be," he writes, "One day, when a family member was very sick, I prayed. I promised that if the Great Physician would come out of the Unseen and touch the sick one back to life, I would go and do what I was called to do. Next morning the sick one was greatly improved and was soon well."

He attended a Western college, he said, "to learn how to think. I didn't learn because they didn't seem to know how it was done." Then he entered the ministry, earned a Doctorate in Divinity, and spent many years as rector of several Episcopalian churches in Oregon, Washington and California. "I began to visit and pray with the sick and saw them get well. I took it for granted that the Master meant what he said when he included healing in the ministry." Dr. Boyd formed the Society of the Healing Christ right after the great San Francisco earthquake and fire in 1906. He noted, "I found that when I followed the guidance of the Spirit within, my work was most effective."

While serving as Rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in San Francisco, he learned of experimental work being conducted by the psychology department of the University of California, Berkeley, headed by Dr. George M. Stratton, past President of the American Psychological Association. They set up joint experiments with epileptics, using hypnosis as part of their treatment protocol. This coincided with Boyd's initial effort in forming a local branch of the Emmanuel Healing Movement (the subject of his first book), which originated at Emmanuel Church, Boston, to deal with the treatment of alcoholism.

Boyd studied psychology at U.C. Berkeley, earning another degree. He then used hypnosis with other professors, clergymen, and doctors on the West Coast. "I became interested in the various independent movements being carried on in the name of the Christ, and found much of their teaching and work bearing a more modern stamp of truth than is usually found in the churches." However, he thought they lacked a coordinating organization, and authoritative statement of truth.

The lack of trained people induced him to "become a teacher of teachers, to furnish them with the technique of correct thinking, and establish them in the basic truths of Being." Thus, Dr. Boyd used the Society of the Healing Christ to train people who wanted to be healers. This seemed justified, he said, by the fact that "barnstorming psychologists overran the country, with the merest smattering of true psychology. On the other hand, systems of truth, having a head and no heart, had also overspread the country."

“His writings set forth a rational method of interpreting the truth
and applying it to the various needs of life”

This led him to become involved with the fledgling International New Thought Alliance, of which he served as President from August 1930 to July 1932. His students, having learned under the Society of the Healing Christ, then joined the International New Thought Alliance.

Encouraged by her mother, Clara Lister, Edna Lister met with Dr. Boyd December 5, 1925. "We spent all day planning how I would be trained," she said. She started campaigning with him and his staff of twenty-six in January 1927. Dr. Boyd traveled almost constantly for more than twenty years, visiting every state in the Union, and most of the cities and larger towns. They also went to England and Scotland and various towns and cities in Canada.

To scatter the healing message as widely as possible, he wrote ten books and several pamphlets, setting forth a rational method of interpreting the truth and applying it to the various needs of life. In 1934, Dr. Boyd retired, naming Dr. Edna Lister his successor as head of the Society of the Healing Christ. Thomas Parker Boyd passed to the other side in 1936.

Thomas Parker Boyd's Works

The Armor of Light: The Principle of Divine Protection
» Read it here »

Being and Doing: The ABCs and XYZs of Spiritual Healing
» Read it here »

Borderland Experiences: A Study of Spirit States and Activities
» Read it here »

The Christ Science of Being
» Read it here »

The Finger of God: Lessons in Spiritual Healing
» Read it here »

The How and Why of the Emmanuel Movement: A Handbook on Psychotherapeutics
» Read it here »

The Kabbala of the New Testament
» Read it here »

The Law and the Testimony: A Book of Daily Meditation
» Read it here »

The Meaning of Christmas
» Read it here »

The Mental Highway: Lessons in Applied Psychology
» Read it here »

A New Concept of God
» Read it here »

The Prospectus of Life in the University of Hard Knocks: Life's Curriculum
» Read it here »

Te-Pe-Be: The Autobiography of a Human Soul
» Coming soon »

The Voice Eternal: A Spiritual Philosophy of the Fine Art of Being Well
» Read it here »

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Thomas Parker Boyd, Jr.
1864 –1936
Episcopalian theologian,
teacher, preacher and author


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