Peter Panagore

Rev. Peter Baldwin Panagore is the host of a daily two-minute inspirational Sunday morning TV broadcast on two Tegna/NBC stations throughout Maine on America’s oldest religious broadcast:
First Radio Parish Church of America. Peter is a sailor, a skier, a stilt walker, woods walker, and writer, who earned his BA in English from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an M. Div. from Yale Divinity School with a focus on systematic theology and Christian mysticism. His educational background, and his 35 year practice of Kundilini yoga and centering meditation along with his work as a community pastor with the dying and grieving has given Peter a unique insight, language and perspective on Heaven, God, death, life, love, beauty, and hope. The retired pastor, who blogs at HuffPost Blogspot, can be found at with links to daily broadcasts on FaceBook, YouTube, Twitter, and by eMail.

Synopsis Heaven Is Beautiful: How Dying Taught Me That Death Was Just The Beginning (Hampton Roads)

In the winter of 1980, college senior Peter Baldwin Panagore went ice climbing on the world-famous Lower Weeping Wall, on Cirrus Mountain, along the Ice Fields Parkway in Banff National Park, Canada. His climbing partner was an experienced ice climber, but Peter was a novice. On their descent, they became trapped on the side of the mountain. As the sunset, Peter was overcome by exhaustion and hypothermia. He died on the side of the mountain in March 1980. In his minutes on the eternal other side, he experienced hell, forgiveness, and unconditional love. Heaven, reports Peter, was beautiful. His Near Death Experience (NDE) changed his life and resulted in an intense spiritual journey that continues.


James K. Newman

James was born in 1965 and raised in Kentucky . Though a southern boy at heart he has taken the opportunity to live abroad for a portion of his adult life.
Life has been quite the journey, from Kentucky to Los Angelesto Brazil, the Hawaiian Islands, now residing in South Florida, having an appetite like so many others for a warmer climate.
Along the path of life, James' journey has also taken him through two amazing NDE's that over time and the allowing, have transformed his life. In 2005 James became very ill due to discontinuing medications, that in turn brought on two NDE's in February and March of that same year. "I am passionate about sharing these experiences in hopes of others taking the opportunity to allow themselves to also move forward in life as I have."


Karen Blance Thomas

Karen Thomas had her near death experience July 7, 1982 when she was 32 years old. At that time, she was married and the mother of a nine year old daughter and a six year old son. The family had moved to Alaska the year before so her husband could work on oil field equipment repair for the Prudhoe Oil pipeline. Karen was a physical therapist and found work at Alaska Hospital and Medical Center in Anchorage. Today Karen and her husband Bruce are retired and live in Mebane, NC, not far from their son’s family who live in Raleigh, NC. Their daughter lives in upstate New York in the same home town that both Karen and her husband Bruce grew up. Their son and daughter in law have two young daughters who are 8 and 7. Their daughter and son in law have a daughter and a son who are 16 and 13. After many years of integrating her near death experience into her life, Karen now works within a spirit filled church where she is a lector, regularly reading scripture during worship services, as well as being a Eucharistic minister to the church’s shut ins. In addition, Karen has become an active part of her local IANDS groups in Raleigh and in Durham where she has shared her story of her near death experience with the groups and participated in a documentary produced by Robert Neal Marshall and Yvonne Sneeden entitled ‘Back From the Light’ which deals with the challenges faced by Near Death Experiencers and their families. Karen looks forward to sharing her story with the goal of bringing hope and healing to all those who care to hear it.