About Carol Ruth Knox


Reverend Carol Ruth Knox built Unity of Walnut Creek church from a 20-person-Sunday-morning congregation into a center of three Sunday services with 450 people attending. Her secret: she saw God in flowers and trees, in dogs and birds, in the desert and the ocean, and in the affluent and the indigent. God included everything both the animate and inanimate. And everything in God’s Creation created an opportunity for spiritual growth.

Each Sunday she shared how she had encountered God in the past week and the lessons she had learned. Reverend Knox challenged her audience with quantum physics, philosophy, Eastern Religions, and whatever subject that caught her interest. She possessed the unique gift of being able to explain the most complex ideas so that people could understand; and, she expected her congregation to be sophisticated and to accept responsibility to understand. She never ‘talked down’ to those attending her church. As a result, each Sunday attendees would leave with tools to help them in their daily lives.

Tragically in 1987, Carol Ruth Knox was murdered by an intruder in her home. Her powerful and truly relevant messages still resonate today and can help one achieve a life of meaning, of service and of spiritual mastery in today’s world by embracing The Path of God.


17 thoughts on “About Carol Ruth Knox

  1. Maggie Smith

    I would like to take a class I heard Coy Cross is doing about Carol Ruth Knox. Please let me know when and where it will be.

    Maggie Smith

  2. Erin Page

    Coy – thank you for creating this! It is sure to expand the number of people touched and blessed by Carol’s teachings. I remember her so fondly…. Erin

  3. Coy Cross

    Erin, it is a gift to me, too. Her teachings changed my life and what a gift to be able to share them with other. Love, Coy

  4. Kenneth Klaman

    Thank you Coy for your hard work on this publication. There are only two people that have touched with such power and insight. One is still with us, Dr. Terry Cole-Whittaker, minister and the other has transcended to a higher consciousness, Rev. Carol Ruth Knox. Rev. Knox has touched my live in a way that will ever leave a blessing on my life. Thank you Coy for editing and publishing her life for other to be moved and touched in a way that no-one else could possible do.

  5. Denise Kreps

    How spooky is this. I have been missing Carol so much lately. (And I found – Carol has a facebook page now, too?) I met Carol when I was 19 and was 33 when she was so abruptly taken from us that Sunday morning in February in 1987. A few days ago I turned 59. During those years at Unity Center in Walnut Creek I was blessed to have that time to spend with Carol on such a personal and profound level. And she still reaches out and touches us today! Good God, Carol! You always had the last word! 🙂 And you never stopped knocking us on our heads on those Sunday mornings trying to wake us up to simple truths. God how I miss her.

  6. Jamie Cook

    I too knew Carol Ruth Knox, but before she entered the ministry; she was my high school music teacher, in a small town in Connecticut in the mid-1960s. I had always loved music, but was rather aimless in my way of pursuing it, as I was generally in my life then. One day early in my sophomore year, I was walking down the school hallway talking with one of my friends and spewing profanity, as was my wont at the time. She grabbed me and told me that I could either join the a capella choir or get a week of detention. Having nothing better to do, I joined the choir, and the rest is history; I became a devoted “choir kid”, was accepted into All State choir in CT a few years later, and have been singing ever since. I have an old vinyl record album of choir and band music from our spring concert that year, with her picture and mine on the cover. She is a person who saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself; I suspect that she was that way with other people as well. I remember the last time I saw her, at a choir gathering after she had decided to leave teaching and go to seminary; she described her faith as a force that lifted her up and carried her through her life, and made a huge difference for her. We as callow high-schoolers did not know what to make of this; however, in retrospect, this seems to be what she preached about in your church, and likely how she lived her too-short life. It’s good to see that she lives in your memory as well as mine.

    1. dennis main

      Jamie, I assume that small CT town is Ledyard – I was in Carol’s initial bands/Chorus when the school started in 1963 – Graduated in the 1st LHS class in ’67 – Carol wrote the Alma Mater for LHS – still performed to this day – we sang it at our 45th reunion in 2012. (classmate added a verse relating to the Foxwoods Casino…)

  7. Judy Avery Rice, '68 LHS Class

    Sad and unfortunate the life of Ms. Carol Ruth Knox was taken early and with violence. I took a LHS Music Appreciation class she taught and to this day I remember studying Gregorian Chants in her class. A lasting image I have of her is how she walked and carried herself, always with a proud purpose. I viewed Ms. Knox as a woman with confidence and it was obvious she loved teaching all things music. The accomplished efforts and teachings of Ms. Knox were showcased on the football fields, at pep rallies and music and chorale concerts. She was a youth music ambassador turned ministerial ambassador, remembered fondly by many for her gifts.

  8. Gay Taay

    When I was invited to the Walnut Creek UNITY Church by a friend, I knew I was truly HOME with my spiritual beliefs because Dr. Carol Ruth Knox spoke so profoundly and beautifully about how we can express ourselves and be the LIGHT in the World.

    I was devastated when I learned she was no longer physically with us. Yet at 63 years old, I still think of her unbridled love for all of Humankind and being such a SUPERSTAR to always LEAD the way for others to discover their OWN LIGHT. We used to say that “we got our shot of Knox” each Sunday. Miss her greatly…she was one-of-a-kind…and her birth date is the same as mine: December 16th; very profound. I am struggling now in my life because of so many awkward twists and turns, but am so grateful for her SELFLESS gifts. Dr. Knox was bold, brilliant and beautiful…and was so very BRAVE!!

  9. scott alexander

    I first met Carol Ruth Knox in 1976. Over time we became friends and through that friendship I found many different ways to look at my life. Carol believed that our humanity was a vehicle to be used to fully experience life. She believed that we create our own reality and the way we process our experience determines the emotional and spiritual quality of life. She believed,lived and taught that God was and is in all things and in all actions. Her goal was to expand the conscienceness of others. When we learn to be happy with what we have in life and not to expect anything more then we are truly free.Then we can really touch God. I will always remember my time with her with great fondness and appreciations. She was indeed a special soul,and she was taken from us far to soon

  10. JOANNA

    Does anyone have any videos from Carol’s services in Walnut Creek? I am more than happy to pay for copying. As so many, Carol was a major force in my spiritual growth.

  11. Hosting

    The materials she has left us can help guide Unity to a richer spiritual tradition and to building more loving, vibrant churches. Carol Ruth Knox [name edited by admin] was educated at Tufts University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and Music and an M.A.

  12. Suzann /Susan Panek/ Robins

    I was part of CRK’s Lay ministry program at Unity of Walnut Creek at the time of her death. What a horrible experience to lose someone so suddenly and violently for no real reason at all. If anyone reading this was part of that class, I would love to be in touch. I am currently writing a memoir of my spiritual Journey spanning the years 1965-95. I am including my memories of that time in my personal growth and would love to be in touch. The best way to reach me is by email c
    My name at that time was Susan Panek.


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