She began following her dream of becoming a minister as the program administrator at Christ Universal Temple (Chicago) under her spiritual mentor, Reverend Dr. Johnnie Colemon. She is an ordained minister, a professionally trained social work administrator, has served as Dean of Community Relations at Malcolm X College in Chicago, and was a college instructor as well as Dean of Students at Spelman College in Atlanta. Dr. Barbara was the first non-psychiatrist director of the Emory Mental Health Center which was headquartered in the Southside Comprehensive Health Center in Atlanta.
Dr. Barbara has authored ten books and monographs, including the widely acclaimed Transform Your Life. She is also a major contributor to A New Thought for A New Millenium and Wake Up … Live the Life You Love in Spirit. Her most recent publications (2015) are In Me, As Me: Ten Principles for Finding the Divine Within and Leave With Love: A Spiritual Guide to Succession Planning. In 2016, a revised and expanded edition of Transform Your Life with exercises at the end of each chapter was released. She has also written several magazine articles and essays.
Dr. Barbara hosted her own television program, "A New Thought, A New Life," and has appeared as a guest on shows produced by Oprah Winfrey and Tavis Smiley. She has been called upon to offer commentary on national news programs, given guidance and counsel to heads of state, and participated in White House conferences and consultation with U.S. Presidents Carter and Clinton.
Throughout her professional life, she has received numerous honors, awards and recognition. In the New Thought movement, she was awarded the three highest honors—The International New Thought Alliance (INTA) Life Achievement Award; the Ernest Holmes Religious Science Award; and Unity’s The Light of God Expressing Award. Following are examples from recent years. In 2001 Dr. Barbara received the highest honor ever bestowed upon a woman when she was enstooled as the first female chief at Assin Nsuta, Ghana, West Africa of the Ashante tribe. Her stool name is Nana Yaa Twumwaa 1. In honor and recognition of nearly 50 years of service to thousands at Hillside and throughout the world, the International College of Bishops assembled and consecrated Dr. Barbara to the sacred office of Bishop on September 26, 2010. She made history as the first New Thought minister to receive that honor.
On January 28, 2011, as "a permanent tribute ... to the foot soldiers who waged the fight for equality and human dignity," Dr. Barbara’s shoes were added to the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame for her work in Dr. Martin Luther King’s Chicago movement. The shoes will be moved from the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, also in Atlanta. In February 2011, the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference presented her with the "Beautiful Are Their Feet" award which honors men and women throughout the international religious community "whose steps God has ordered and whose works are worthy to be praised" for accepting the role of servant leadership. She was inducted into the Board of Preachers of Martin Luther King Jr. International College of Ministers and Laity and her portrait hangs in the International Hall of Honor at Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College.
Dr. Barbara’s 2018 interview for “History Makers” is in the permanent collection at the Library of Congress and has been added to the “History Makers” digital archives, a unique resource used in 51 countries worldwide. In 2018, she donated her personal collection to the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History (Atlanta) which is used by researchers from around the world. The collection includes her writings, photographs, awards and memorabilia.
One of the foremost spiritual leaders of the 21st century, she has traveled and spoken around the world. Following are some recent engagements. In July 2011, Dr. Barbara spoke before 50,000 people representing over 151 countries at the World Culture Festival of the Art of Living Foundation as they celebrated their 30th Year at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, Germany. This was a global program viewed by millions via webcast and live telecast. In February 2012, she delivered the culminating address at the International Women's Conference in Bangalore, India to over 1,000 women who had gathered from various countries around the globe. Dr. Barbara, along with other New Thought ministers, spoke at the 2009 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Melbourne, Australia. She was a featured speaker during the Women’s Initiative for Global Advancement at the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake City, Utah, attended by over 3,000 women from around the world.
When asked how she would like to be remembered, Dr. Barbara said: “For my personal commitment to touch someone’s life and help them to see their very special talent to be given to the world as only they can do.”
Bishop Dr. Barbara Lewis King continues to create a legacy that heals hearts and transforms lives.