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Catherine Ponder remembers Bernard Dozier

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A Visit With Dr. Catherine Ponder remembers Bernard Dozier, A Southern Gentleman of Wit and Wisdom

Rev. Bernard Dozier, Unity Minister
Rev. Bernard Dozier, Unity Minister

Reverend Bernard Dozier is a "Southern gentleman of the old school" type. I first heard of Bernard in the 1950s when I was serving as minister of Unity of Birmingham, Alabama. People were proud of the fact that Bernard, with his Master's degree from the University of Alabama, had entered the Unity Ministerial School, after studying with Unity of Little Rock, Arkansas.

Bernard's quiet dry wit and brilliant mind were balanced with movie star looks. I was recently reminded of my long time friendship with Bernard when he sent me an autographed copy of his new book, Walking in the Light. I spent several hours quietly perusing its pages. Doing so left me feeling I had just had a personal visit with the author. He devotes a page to each day of the year, which makes it a wonderful year-round read.

Bernard has not only spent decades searching for the Light, but he found it and shares it in the pages of that book. Not only are its pages filled with down-home humor and experiences, but in it one finds the wisdom of the ages also shared: from Lord Byron to Charles Fillmore. It's all there: the world's finest thinkers, philosophers and poets. Bernard regards himself as a "country Methodist" who found the light.

That light includes a number of familiar stories that most of us have heard at random over the years. The author has succinctly gathered them all together between the covers of Walking in the Light.

He also includes various personal experiences he has had with family and friends, as well as observations regarding daily life and how best to handle it successfully.

Bernard has played an important role in my life: After pioneering Unity of Austin, Texas, for almost 10 years, I turned over that ministry to Bernard. He later served as Assistant Minister to Unity of Dallas, Texas at a time when Dr. Donald Curtis—also with movie star looks—was minister. My son, Richard, worked as business manager in that ministry at that time, and had the distinct pleasure of working with both Bernard and Dr. Curtis.

Sometime after that era, I attended an INTA Congress in Dallas, and gave a party for some of the participants. Bernard lingered long into the night and visited with my son and me. We spent hours together sharing memories of our lifelong work in the ministry. It turned out to be a "dusk to dawn" experience.

Although Bernard has now retired from serving in an active church ministry, he continues to work quietly and inspire many Truth students from his home in Tennessee. I shall always appreciate both the wit and wisdom Bernard has shared with me in the past and present. Knowing him reminds me of Charles Fillmore's observation, "When there is more joy in religion, there will be more religion in the world.

(Excerpt from New Thought Magazine - Spring 2010)

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