The Creative Thought Center gives back one tithe at a time

By Rachel Robles, Lifestyles Editor | Mar 20, 2014
Photo by: Rachel Robles GIVING BACK — The Rev. Frank Kish stands in front of the Creative Thought Center on Pigeon Street. The center's resale store donates regularly to the community.

Not many people know about the Creative Thought Center located at 449 Pigeon St. in Waynesville. And if they do know about it, they might not know exactly what it is.

The Creative Thought Center isn’t a church; it’s “an open-hearted, open-minded spiritual community” that is founded on the teachings of Ernest Holmes, author of “The Science of Mind.”

In “The Science of Mind,” Holmes writes that “religious science is a correlation of laws of science, opinions of philosophy, and revelations of religion applied to human needs and the aspirations of man." It is not based on any one established religious tradition and focuses on fostering a personal relationship with the Divine.

“We don’t preach; we teach people how to think for themselves, how to feel good about themselves,” said the Rev. Frank Kish, head minister of the center. “We teach people to come to a level of acceptance about themselves without feeling walked on.”

Kish, 66, is an ordained minister originally from Michigan who has lived in Haywood County for 16 years.

“This is my retirement, my passion,” said Kish. “I love this community. The Creative Thought Center is a much-needed religious outlet for people. They know there’s something they want to express.”

Housed in a 100 percent environmentally friendly building, the Creative Thought Center is an open, receptive community. Practitioners consist of Baptists, Catholics, Methodists and a variety of people who have fallen away from religion and are seeking a way back.

“We teach release, letting go of things that no longer serve your purpose, like anger,” said Kish. “We teach forgiveness. We teach all the teachings of Jesus without making people feel guilty about it.”

People of all faiths and ethnicities are welcome.

And there’s another aspect of the center most people don’t know about — its retail store.

The CTC Resale Center is filled to bursting with clothing, shoes and furniture — all donated — with the majority of the prices ranging from $.50 to $3, with a few exceptions.

“Our goal is to make is affordable to the community,” said Kish. “I get such a thrill when I sell a London Fog coat (the majority of which sell for well over $100) for $1.”

Each month, the Creative Thought Center tithes to the community, donating 10 percent of its earnings to various charities in the area. This equates to roughly $250-300 per month to a local organization such as The Salvation Army, the Open Door Soup Kitchen, HART Theatre, Haywood Christina Ministries and Kids Advocacy Resource Effort (KARE).

Speaking about the store, Kish hopes the community will donate rather than throw away their unwanted items.

“This is the place to come, rather than throwing their stuff in the landfills,” said Kish. “This is a throw-away society, even with people. That’s what we teach here — to not give up on yourself.”

The CTC Resale Center is open regularly from March to November from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. Donations are always welcome and can be dropped off at the center. For more information, call 456-9697.

“Our people are a volunteering type of people,” said Kish. “We’re doing everything we can to make people feel worthy.”