General background and education

Richard Hooper is a former Lutheran pastor who received his Bachelor’s degree in religion and philosophy from San Francisco State University in 1966, and his Master of Divinity from Berkeley’s Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in 1970. He was subsequently ordained by The American Lutheran Church (ALC) in 1972.

Under the auspices and funding of the American Mission’s division of the ALC, Rev. Hooper founded a multi-dimensional ministry to the "counter culture" on the Monterey Peninsula of California, where he was affectionately (and sometimes not so affectionately) known as "the hippie priest of Monterey."

Reverend Hooper's mission for the Lutheran Church

Richard’s main ministry was his half-way house, Mission: Possible, which provided sanctuary for hundreds of young people with a variety of problems and needs.

During this decade, Richard also produced more than five hundred radio broadcasts, interviewing such notable personalities as Ram Dass, Timothy Leary, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, Richard Bach and Dr. Stanislov Groff.

Decision to leave the church and create an audio production facility

Stating irreconcilable theological differences, Hooper left the Church in the early ‘80s and founded Tape Masters, an audio production facility where he produced audio programs for such institutions as the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the California State Parks system.


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During this time, Hooper was also the recordist for Earl Nightingale, producing Earl’s world-wide radio broadcasts and motivational series of recordings for the Nightingale-Conant Corporation.

Nature recordist, founder of record label and early pioneer of marketing music in the gift industry

During the mid 1980s, Hooper became a nature recordist and founded the Nature Recordings record label. A few years later, he added World Disc Music. Over the course of twelve years, Richard produced more than seventy albums with over two dozen musical artists.

Early on, Hooper convinced his wife, Sharon, to take over the marketing of World Disc Productions and together the couple became pioneers in the marketing of music and nature recordings for the gift industry.

Hooper’s recordings were featured in such venues as The American Museum of Natural History, The Smithsonian Institution, The San Diego Zoo, Disneyland, Hallmark stores, Busch Gardens and nature stores.

Recording label awards


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The Hoopers were two-time finalists as "Entrepreneurs of the Year" for Inc. Magazine. In 1992, the U.S. Small Business Administration named the couple Small Business Persons of the Year for Western Washington. Besides numerous packaging awards, Parents Magazine recognized the company with a gold star award for their innovative children’s recordings in the educational and fun Planet Me! series.

Since 1993

Having built World Disc Productions into a multi-million dollar corporation, the Hoopers sold the business in 1996. Having a passion for Pacific Northwest Indian culture and art, Richard then founded Natsalané— a Native American art gallery in Friday Harbor, Washington.

In 2003, the Hoopers moved to Sedona, Arizona, and Richard launched yet another career, this time as an author and publisher. Founding Sanctuary Publications in 2005, he has since authored three books relating to the historical Jesus.

He is an associate member of the Jesus Seminar and provides weekly religious commentary ("A Heretic in Babylon") for United Press International’s

Speaking engagements, retreats and other events

The Sedona Institute for Comparative Theology is a new venue to support others on their continuing spiritual journey. In mid-2008, the Institute will host discussion teleseminars, continue to write articles…and generally create a space for interested persons to learn more about different religions and how their concepts interact with one another.

The third Monday of each month, a popular Sedona bookstore, The Well Red Coyote, hosts Richard and attendees (everyone is welcome) in a discussion based on his newest, and popular book, The Parallel Sayings of Jesus, Buddha, Krishna & Lao Tzu.

Richard is available for speaking engagements and workshops. Please click on the Contact_Us link at the bottom of the page to request information about this or his discussion groups.


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