The Rev. Pennie Roland came to Lebanon with plans to kick back and relax…until she met Crystal Spirit House owner and medium Renee Anderson and found Lebanon was merely the next step in her spiritual journey.
Roland said the first time she stepped through the door of the Crystal Spirit House it felt like home.
“I just fell in love with it. It was just like going home, between the crystals and the smells and the belief system. My husband and I kept coming back and coming back. Then I got a reading. It was all about start a church, and Renee told me this was exactly what she had been praying for, so here we are,” Roland said.
Roland worked with the Institute of Spiritual Development in Sparta, New Jersey for about 25 years. She was ordained in 1997 and worked with ISD in various jobs. She was the secretary while she took ministerial classes and ran the bookstore, as well.
“All ministers are volunteers, and we all teach classes. I also sang in the choir,” Roland said. “When I first started in this field, this church was first started in Sparta, New Jersey, and it was a little tiny church. They first started meeting in a garage, and then they got this little tiny church. Everyone in Sparta thought that they did sacrifices, and we prayed to the devil because there was a Methodist church here, Protestant church here, there was a synagogue, but there was nothing that was alternative.”
The study of metaphysics is central to the belief of ISD churches. Metaphysics is the science of the spiritual, considering the nature of man, reality and everything in between in pursuit of a higher truth.
“Metaphysics parallels religion in that way, because as we begin to examine the universe, we are led to the conclusion that there is something that cannot be perceived by the senses that lies behind all reality,” said the ISD of Middle Tennessee website created by Roland.
Currently, there are four ISD churches, two in New Jersey, one in Washington, D.C. and one in New York. Each one differs slightly in their exact practices, but each one holds the same values, to explore human’s connection with the universe outside of mainstream religion. The Lebanon ISD church, once established, would be the fifth in the nation.
“I’ll tell you I love all religion, and I love all magic, and I love everything in between,” Roland said.
After her psychic reading with Anderson, Roland started working on bringing an Institute of Spiritual Development to Lebanon. The church currently meets as a discussion group in Roland’s living room, often with about 10-15 people in attendance. Roland expects to receive her official charter in September and is working to set up a small building at her house in which to hold services.
“I have formed this group hoping to help you find a way of life that lifts you above everyday drama and teaches you tools for peaceful living by helping you connect to your higher self,” Roland’s website reads.
The discussion group currently meets every other Tuesday at Roland’s house in Lebanon. For more information about location and meeting dates, visit ISD of Middle Tennessee at isd-middletennesse.org.