A Visit With Dr. Catherine Ponder about Carol Marie Guental, the Lessons in Truth teacher
In 1950 I rode buses for two days and two nights to get from my home in North Carolina to Lee's Summit, Missouri. I had read my parents subscriptions to Unity literature, and to me, it sounded too good to be true. So I decided to check it all out in person.
When I arrived at Unity Farm, as it was then known, I expected to find a camp-down-by-the-river type of atmosphere. Was I in for a pleasant surprise! The beauty of Unity School and its surroundings was spectacular.
I was supposed to be gone from my job for no more than ten days. Three weeks later I was still at that Unity Retreat and didn't want to go home. The peace and beauty plus a ratified spiritual consciousness that exuded from what later was known as Unity Village had me spellbound. It was only when I received a letter from the law firm I worked for, enclosing a check and strongly suggesting that I come back to work, that I finally returned to my workaday world.
But my fascination with the Unity message of Truth had just begun. Among the many inspiring speakers at that retreat was a speaker described as the Lessons in Truth teacher. She was Carol Marie Guental, known simply as Marie Guental in that era.
She stood out as an attractive speaker of warmth and charm. I felt at home with her Southern accent. On the day when she impressed me the most, she was wearing an emerald green dress with earrings to match. With her auburn-colored hair, those clothes were a winning and memorable combination.
She related how she, her husband, and son lived elsewhere in Missouri. But when she found the Unity message of Truth, she would ride a train twice a week to Kansas City in order to study with Charles Fillmore. She explained that since her husband worked for the railroad, she was able to travel free on passes to and from her home. Nevertheless, it was a challenging schedule.
When I returned home from that retreat, I tried to describe to my mother the beauty of Unity Farm; also how surprised I was at the good looks of the retreat speakers. I had always assumed that people in religious work had a plain Jane look about them. Carol Guental was a happy surprise. My mother said, "I'm glad you found so much about Unity that you liked. But there must be something you did not like."
"There was one thing that bothered me. Mother, mother, did you know that Unity has women ministers?" We had only known women in religious work as Sunday School teachers or missionaries who went abroad. My mother replied in a shocked tone, "That does it, I'll never send Silent Unity another dime." And she did not—until another problem arose in the family. Then she did what she had done for years: she wrote Silent Unity requesting prayer help.
Later when my mother became the first lady Elder in her denomination, and I became the first lady minister in our family's history—we both realized it was time to expand our thinking about women in religious work.
But it was Carol Marie Guental who first introduced me to the fact that good looks and religion could go together. For me, that was a great lesson in Truth.
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Catherine Ponder. Used with permission.
TruthUnity Note: Carol Marie Guental attended the prosperity seminar that was recorded and is available as The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity Seminar. On the fifth tape we can hear Catherine Ponder introduce and tell an interesting story about Carol Marie Guental. Catherine Ponder's admiration for Carol Marie Guental is deep.
Carl Guental was ordained a minister in 1959.Biographical information for Carol Marie Guental