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Edwene Gaines

Edwene Gaines

Lessons from Edwene Gaines

Hi Friends —

What I have to offer on this page is an hour-long interview with Edwene Gaines, Unity minister, best-selling author and beloved guide and mentor to thousands. Scroll down to watch the intevew and read the transcript, see photos and have links to other resources.

Edwene Gaines is a native Texan who, before being ordained as a Unity Minister in 1979, graduated from the University of Houston; served public schools in Texas and Florida as a teacher, curriculum editor and community relations coordinator; became a newspaper reporter and photographer in Conroe, Texas; and eventually opened her own public relations business and began motivational speaking.

But what she really wanted to do, as you will soon learn in this interview, is to help people become fulfilled and happy. There are two clips in the interview when Edwene appears to puddle up—describing the pride her father had in her success and describing the pride she has in the success of her students. What she received from her father and what she conveys to her students is a deep sense of joy and pride in the extraordinary accomplishment of others. She is, by far, the most outwardly focused Unity minister I know. We have much to learn from her. Here are three things.


Edwene Gaines Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity

Edwene Gaines How to Become Debt Free: Forgive

Many of you know Edwene as a Penguin Random House best-selling author of The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity. She has a new book, How to Become Debt-Free: FORGIVE!. While you might sense this is a prosperity book, it is really prosperity at a deeper level. It’s not Edwene’s “5th spiritual law of prosperity.” Instead, it is the way we can take her four spiritual laws further in life. It is the equivalent to Catherine Ponder’s Prosperity Law of Increase—that which makes us a “full fledged prosperity thinker.”

How so? This book is about releasing old patterns of guilt, shame, anger, and blame. This book is about what makes the spiritual practice a joy. This book is about the wisdom learned from a lifetime of study and spiritual practice. When you order your copy, do yourself and others a favor—order two copies. You will, like me, know someone who deeply needs Edwene’s wisdom.

Centers of Practice

Edwene Gaines Workshop venue Rock Ridge Alabama

Much of our interview focused on Edwene’s transition out of pulpit ministry into workshop ministry. What you may not see is that, for Edwene, ministry is more a “center of practice” than it is a “faith community.” Typical churches are communities which gather on Sunday to worship. Centers of practice are places where people come to learn and practice a spiritual teaching.

Without clearly explaining what they were, the Fillmores encouraged the founding of “centers.” These were gatherings, held at times on Sunday morning, but more typically Sunday afternoon and evenings when Fillmore teachings were presented and applied. They were not churches, but centers of practice.

This is Edwene’s model. But by the time Edwene studied for ministry, Unity had become entirely focused on faith communities. The shift from center of practice to faith community has taken its toll in Unity churches. The worship focus has relinquished the center of practice to many non-Unity pathways. The fact is that a Unity church today has become a variety show for every imaginable pathway, except Fillmore teaching.

So Edwene had to set up her own center, which operated for many years in Valley Head, Alabama. Her Edwene Gaines Seminars held there have been extremely successful and hundreds, perhaps thousands, attended and rave about their impact. What we can learn from Edwene’s story is how centers of practice can flourish today, given the right skills and consciousness of the minister, but also given the proper support and focus by Unity Worldwide Ministries. Which leads me to how Edwene’s work models a new way of hybrid ministry.

Hybrid Ministry

Edwene Gaines Teaching Unity Baton Rouge

Edwene has closed her facility in Alabama and moved to Baton Rouge to be closer to family. She is, as you will see in one of the clips, a proud grandmother. But, most important, and immensely inspiring, is her presence at Unity of Baton Rouge, led by Rev. Lura Lisa Wall. Edwene is there nearly every Sunday. She offers classes onsite and has learned how to use Zoom for online activity.

If you subscribe to the church email list, you will see how two capable, collegial, and Spirit led ministers provide for the spiritual needs of an onsite and online community, one as Senior minister and the other as a wise teacher, speaker and prayer presence. Unity of Baton Rouge is a fully functioning faith community and center of practice, both onsite and online, operating in perfect harmony.

Sometimes I wish all those Unity ministers who are retired in Florida would return home to their former faith communities and open a center of practice in a collegial and supportive way at the church they once served. I don’t know if it’s possible, but I do believe it is a way forward for our brick and mortar congregations to serve in new ways. If they do, I will promote them as much as possible on the Events page of TruthUnity.

Edwene Gaines in her Merry Miler This is not the first time Unity of Baton Rouge has been a home for experienced and independent ministers. Many years ago, Marge Kass landed at the church after a career in her Merry Miler, launching study groups throughout the South and offering workshops nationwide. She passed on in 2013, at 92. I have always been moved by the way members of the church visited and supported her in her later years. The people at Unity of Baton Rouge are, like Marge Kass, Edwene Gaines and Lura Lisa Wall, outwardly focused on the needs of others. And God blesses them accordingly.

Excellence and Accomplishment

Edwene is also a Certified Firewalking Instructor and she facilitates the Firewalking Ceremony several times each year. Edwene has served as a member of the International New Thought Alliance Executive Board. In 2006 she was honored by the International New Thought Alliance with the Torchbearer for New Thought Award. That same year she was also honored by Unity Worldwide Ministries with the Light of God Expressing award at their annual conference. She is committed to power, passion, prosperity, and performance. In 2014, she was honored by Emerson Theological seminary with an honorary doctor of divinity degree. Visit Edwene’s website, Prosperity Products.

Mark Hicks
Sunday, June 2, 2024


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Interview with Edwene Gaines


Read and Watch Edwene Gaines Interview Clips

01. What brings you joy?

Talking to people and having them talk to me, finding out new things, learning, reading, taking care of family members, and pretty much everything, to tell you the truth, I am a very happy person, and I was not always, but I am now.

02. What changed?

I changed. I got to see how much power I had over the life that I live. I learned to love myself more, to forgive myself more, and to really see a larger picture for my life than I was seeing.

03. When did you think of becoming a minister?

I’m surprised that I became a minister to tell you the truth and the route that I was going. But something shifted in me when I saw an ad in the newspaper for a class called the Silva Mind Control. I didn’t know what that was, but it sounded interesting. I didn’t have the money to take the class, but I talked my mother into taking it with me, and she paid my way and it showed me a new way of thinking, a new way to use my mind.

And somehow those people seemed to know something that I wanted to know, and I found out that they went to a church called Unity in Houston. I’d never heard of it before, but thought, well, I like these people. I like the way they think. I’ll go check it out. And at the time, John Rankin was the minister in my time. I learned that at that time he was called Unity’s Mystic. I couldn’t understand one word that he said, but I knew it was powerful and I knew he knew something I wanted to know.

04. Tell us about John Rankin

John Rankin, when I saw him in his white silk suit, his purple silk tie, his purple silk shirt, white tie, and a huge gold cross on his chest and talking with just no notes or anything and just, I don’t even know what he said. I couldn’t understand a word. It was just way over here. But I knew that was God. That was God. And he wasn’t trying to tell me to do anything that I didn’t know was the right thing to do. And so I hung out there for a while until I began to understand more.

And as you said that we were talking earlier, I went to the bookstore and everything I could possibly afford I bought so I could figure out what are these people doing here? And it was like, oh my gosh, I’m home. This is what I hope to be true. But I wasn’t really smart enough at the time or educated enough, or I just didn’t have the tools to say it what it was. And the more I watched him and what he was doing in changing people’s lives.

See, I was there before he built the pyramid. I don’t know if you remember that time, but I was meeting over at Walett Hall watching him build this pyramid church. It was just a fascinating experience for me. And I saw him do miracles, just wonderful miracles in people’s lives. I want to do that. I want to do that. I want to do miracles not only in my own life, but in other people’s lives as well.

05. Edwene’s minister affirms her calling

So I applied for the ministry. I went into John’s office, made an appointment, went in and I said, I’m applying to become a minister and I expect you to write me a really good recommendation. And he did. He didn’t know me from Adam’s house Cat, because I had not even met him personally. It was a huge church to me. And I sat in the back just in case I could make a good getaway if I needed to, but it was really what you and I would probably call a divine appointment to get this kind of a teacher.

06. What did John Rankin‘s affirmation do?

I don’t know, other than that old fashioned kind of expression “I was called” and I think he knew it. And so when we talked, I told him some of the things I had done and what I wanted to do, and he says he’d be a perfect minister. I thought, okay, that’s what I’ll do. I’ll be a perfect minister. I believed him.

07. How did your mother like the workshop?

She loved it. I even took my daughter later on and she was only about nine at the time. So we all loved it. And I still use some of the techniques that they, some of the visualization techniques and are you familiar with it at all? One of the processes is you go within and you create an inner office or sanctuary or whatever you want to call it, and you invite in new counselors. So it was the first experience I ever had of turning within and getting information from inside that made it easy then to flow right into Unity to get the information from inside.

08. What did your mother think of Unity?

Oh, my mother loved Unity mother and my grandmother was Church of Christ, but she was a closet Daily Word reader. So the women were fine, the men, it sounds like too good to be true stuff and let’s talk about that. But all the women were right in alignment.

09. Tell us more about mothers in Unity

Well, my grandmother made me promise that I wouldn’t tell my grandfather, and my mother said, let’s don’t talk too much about this. My father was a very good man of integrity, a man of joy, a man of peace. But he was pretty traditional in his belief in being saved by Jesus Christ right now and that if we weren’t, we were going to hell. But I knew that wasn’t true from the first time anybody told me that I don’t believe in a God that loves his creation, would send any of them to hell. Would you send your child to hell because they spill the milk? No, of course not.

10. Was your father skeptical?

I don’t want to claim that he was skeptical. He just didn’t want to talk about it. But my father was very, very proud of me, as you talked about this morning, proud of me and proud of my accomplishments. I was really poor at the time. I was divorced and a single mom, but my father saw me get out there and it worked my tail off to make things work, start crying in a moment. But he believed in me.

11. Did you grow up knowing Bible stories?

I did. I had a very good religious experience in the Baptist Church until I was about 15, and then we moved from South Texas to Puerto Rico, and over there we didn’t find an English Baptist church. And so we fell out of the church life until I fell out of a church life for a long time because some of the things that they were saying in the church didn’t make sense to my soul. I just couldn’t believe that was true. So I dropped out and the first time I went back was when I took Silva Mind Control and it had shown me something that I needed. I wanted to know, I wanted to experience through these beautiful people who came and taught this class that I don’t know what I’m doing with it, but I still value it.

12. About parents of prospective ministers

This sounds a little bit harsh, but shut up and leave him alone. Yeah, if you have to say something, say, “I trust your guidance.” Yeah, tell’em you trust them. You don’t have to believe the way I believe, but you have to trust me that I know what I’m doing. At least I think I do. And if you think I’m, don’t tell me.

13. Explaining ministry to our parents

I don’t know that I would, unless they ask. If they can’t tell about my behavior that I’m doing something different, I’ll never be able to explain it to them. But when they ask, I’m willing to share it. I’m not trying to hide it from them, but I don’t want to tell them something that I’m afraid they might not like. I don’t want to bring any distress into their lives. It’s not affecting me that they don’t believe it. I don’t think so. If it did, then I would think I’m in the wrong position, wrong pathway. Yeah. I think I was born with a pretty strong constitution and probably an arrogance that I didn’t deserve that I’m going to do it my way back off. But I tried not to show that too much.

14. How was ministerial school?

It was challenging and it was wonderful. And I guess my biggest disappointment when I went to Unity Village for the first time I had gone to study to be a licensed teacher there, you had to go to the campus that time, and I was studying almost through with that. After several years, I realized I didn’t want to be a licensed teacher, I wanted to be a minister. Some of the teachers were just so powerful and so inspiring, and I had some magnificent teachers. I said some others that I judged pretty harshly because they weren’t teaching me the way I wanted to be taught, which they taught me a whole lot more than I thought I was learning from them.

So it was difficult and it was easy both at the same time, and the more I was able to stop judging and I wanted them all to be as good as this teacher or as good as this. They weren’t all, but they were different. And the lesson that I learned, I think I’ve learned it, is that instead of trying to control what they’re teaching me, pay some attention to what I’m here to learn. Took me a long time to learn that one. I’m not sure I’ve got it down completely, but I am here to learn, and as you said, everyone can teach us something. Everyone is important.

15. Who were the great teachers in the school?

Well, I had Martha Guidici. I had Hypatia who is fantastic. I loved her. I even got to teach at her church several times as a student, which was a big honor for Hypatia to invite you. The best Bible teacher in the world is Martha’s husband, Mr. Reverend Guidici, Frank Guidici. He was a great Bible teacher. And then I had Ed Rabel from Metaphysical Bible. Oh my God! I mean, he just spewed delicious information to me in his classes. So I love them all. Who else? We had quite a few, but those stand out in my mind as being, I would go back today any day to study with him.

16. Tell us about Hypatia Hasbrouck

Hypatia was direct, on purpose. She didn’t fool around. She was to the point. I went to her one day for counseling and I just said, “Hypatia, I’m tired. I’m working so hard here. There’s so much responsibility for me here to do all this stuff that I have to do.” Finally, she said, “The problem, Edwene, is you are trying to do this.” She said, “Let God do it through you.” So she pointed out that I might have a few control issues myself. I adored her. I adored her.

17. Tell us about Martha Guidici

Martha was in some ways like Hypatia in a directness, both of very strong women, and I studied [her]. Martha was a great innovator, and she took us to [what] I think it was a Catholic school, to teach meditation to the grade school, to teach meditation to the third, fourth, and fifth graders. And what a eye opener! The nuns welcomed us, the kids welcomed us. It was just a wonderful experience! And then she took us over also to the hospitals to work with the elderly and the retired and the people who had requested prayer. So she gave us a lot of unique experiences.

18. Learning Bible from Frank Guidci

Well, really, most of it was new because the first class I had from him was, excuse me, I’m messing with that. The first class I had with him was Old Testament in my church studies. We didn’t do much study as a growing up young lady. We didn’t do much Old Testament stuff. So it was really interesting how he pulled all those stories together for me and made more sense to history of the time prior to the birth of Jesus Christ. But I really can’t remember any of the stories other than I was fascinated and I wouldn’t have missed a class if I had been on my deathbed, I would’ve been there. He was really a good teacher.

19. Tell us about student fellowship at school

Oh, yeah. You mean the people, the students I went to school with? Yes. My favorite prayer partner at that time was Sallye Taylor. I don’t know if you remember her.

And then I prayed for Mike Matoin because was a smoker at the time, and every time at class, we had a 10 minute break so I could go have a cigarette, and right at that 10 minute mark, Mike Matoin would ask the question. I took him outside. I came talking to this him. I said, “How this is?” I hate to admit that, but that was, I haven’t smoked now in probably 40 years, but at that time, it seemed real important to me.

I prayed also with Rene Pare. I don’t know if you know, he was at Wilmington for many years, and Joan Gattso was a good buddy. Do you remember Joan? Joan is now retired in Maui, and let’s see, Jim Gaither was one of my favorite friends. I don’t know if you know Jim, but yeah. Anyway, we had a good class, but primarily Sallye Taylor was, I guess my closest cohort.

20. How connected are you with your class?

I was ordained in 1979, so it’s 45, 44 or five years. Well, many of them have passed on, but Joan and I correspond by email and phone calls occasionally. Sallye has passed away. Mike has passed away. I was in a conversation with Jim Gaither recently. Rene Pere and I were good friends for all those years, and his wife is also a very good friend, but I don’t keep in touch with them very much, to tell you the truth, because for 40 something years, I traveled every weekend except holiday to go somewhere to talk about my message, and I just didn’t take the time to enjoy those deep friendships when I really consider them deep.

21. Did you intend to become a pulpit minister?

I did. I did. And I was a minister in Knoxville, Tennessee. That was my first ministry, and then I was part of a ministry in Kansas City, the north, kind of a blue collar area storefront. Then I went to Jackson, Mississippi as the minister.

And I realized I really don’t like pastoral ministry that much. I don’t really like to do weddings and funerals. I love to teach. I love to work one-on-one with people, but what I really want to do is teach. And so I could do Sundays good. I could do classes good, but all the other stuff, I wasn’t called to do that, and it didn’t bring me joy. Yeah.

22. Was being a woman minister challenging?

Oh, yes, I did. When I went to Jackson, Mississippi, you can imagine, I may have been the only woman minister in the whole state. I don’t know. But the Ministerial Association was not particularly “invitational,” but I don’t know. This is just me. I just didn’t come to please them. It was not my job to please them.

So one of the skills I’ve learned as a minister is not to be so harsh in my responses. I can be pretty snarky. I have been in the past, and so I am doing my best to release all snarkiness from my psyche. I think that’s just a reflection of fear for me. So I don’t know. I really got it. I’m not here to please anybody except the God within me. That’s all I’m concerned with.

23. When did you begin to see alternatives?

Well, I was a co-minister with my ex-husband, and he had some issues that I didn’t agree with in terms of what to do as a minister, and I felt out of integrity when I was working with him. So he took a ministry in a large Texas city, and I decided I’ll just do workshops because I was a minister, but I didn’t want to be his partner at that church. It just didn’t fit for me. Eventually, the marriage didn’t fit for me.

I found that there was a real demand. I never did very much publicity for myself. It was “Joe told somebody and that minister called me, and then they told somebody” and word of mouth, for the most part, I may have told two or three people at conference, “I’m doing workshops now. If you’re interested, you can give me a call on prosperity.”

Ministers, for the most part, my experience, don’t like to teach prosperity because it talks about tithing and for whatever reason, they don’t want to talk about that at church. And that’s one of the primary teachings of Mr. Fillmore is prosperity. And so that’s why I had a job all those years, and I spoke as much in Religious Science churches as I did in Unity, if not more.

24. So your ministry is workshops?

Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, when I went to ministerial school, that was not a thought you wanted to entertain, because when I was there, the focus was on pulpit ministry. Absolutely. It was not on becoming a workshop leader. So it may have changed. I’m pretty sure it does. Now they have alternative ministries. There was no such thing for me when I got out there and that nobody approved. I even had a call from somebody power and influence who said, “If you continue doing this, you may not like the results.” And from their point of view, they were doing the right thing. I get that.

But what it did was just inspired me to go for it. And it’s one of those [things], I’m not particularly proud of this quality, but if you tell me I can’t do something, my inner voice says “Hide and watch.” Yeah, I bet you it’s somewhat that way yourself.

25. You are a Texas woman!

That's for sure! That's for sure! Yeah!

26. What do you tell people who want to be ministers?

Don’t do it! Don’t do it unless it’s the last possible thing you can do, because it’s going to make demands of you. If you’re going to teach you stuff, Sweetheart, you’re going to have to live it. And if you don’t live it, it’s going to bite you. Yeah. So your job, you better be sure this is what you want to learn because not all the lessons are fun. Yeah. Because ego has gotten in my way, way too many times for me to have a good time at this. But I’m persistent, and I came to find out something for myself, and I have found out that the most powerful thing in the world that I can do is love myself and love you. Not here to fix you, not here to correct you, not here to make it wrong, not here to fix you in any way. My job is to love you just as you are and praise every single thing I can see that is praiseworthy in you. That’s the way you grow, I believe.

27. When did you discover your message?

Well, I started studying prosperity because I was so poor. And that was one of the things that appealed to me in Mr. Fillmore’s teachings. And Catherine Ponder has been a wonderful mentor to me for many years. And I had this feeling that if they could do it, surely I could find a way to do it. And so I really began studying their work. And I love the way Catherine writes because it’s very simple—do this, and then this happens. Well, I can follow instructions and everything in every one of her books, whatever she told me to do, I did it. And I found results. Little by little, little by little. I kept finding myself becoming more and more successful.

And I got the idea that I should write a book. And when I was speaking in New York one Sunday years ago, unbeknownst to me, there was the publisher of a very prestigious publishing company in New York City in the congregation that day. And I got home from New York, and he called me, he said, “I want you to write a book. Whatever you write, I’ll publish.” And I thought, “Wow, this is wonderful.” But he said, “I can’t talk to you anymore until you get an agent.” I said, “Well, I’m not exactly sure how to do that.” He said, “I’ll get you one.”

So he got me an agent, had several call me and I interviewed them, picked out one that I liked, and she said, “How far along are you on your book?” And I said, “Well, I haven’t started yet.” She says, “Well, I had really like for you to work with an editor as you start.” I said, well, I don’t know how to get an editor. She said, I’ll get you one.

So she had these editors call me and I interviewed them, and I felt more alignment with one. And I asked them each, have you ever edited a bestselling book? And no, except this one had edited three. That’s the one I got. And so she guided me through the steps of putting the book together. And so we finished and I called the agent and within a year [of the] the manuscript, [I said] “Be sure and send it to the guy in New York, I know he’s interested.” She said, “Oh, we will, but I’m going to send it to some other publishers as well.”

The publishing companies got in a bidding war over my book, went on and on, and I finally came down to two publishers. So I asked the one in New York, “What is your vision for this book?” And he said, “We see this as a classic on the minister’s bookshelf and that every minister will want this in his collection.” And so I talked to the other one. I said, “What is your vision?” They said, “We see this as a bestseller published in many, many languages changing the world.” Well, which one would you go for? A classic on the bookshelf or the bestseller? So I went with this one, which was not the New York one.

It was one of the highest advances for an unpublished author that my agent had ever seen. And the first day that my book was in print in 2005, it was on the bestseller list, it tied with Wayne Dyer’s new book. So you got to know this is a God thing. Yeah. So right now I’m in process of writing a workbook for each of the four, spiritual loss, tithing, forgiveness, setting goals, and getting on purpose. So hold that in prayer with me. Will you?

28. How many students have you had?

Oh, I have no idea. Yes, I have no idea. I get fan mail from all over the world. Thank you, God.

29. Tell us about a favorite student

Well, I’ve had so many characters, really wonderful characters, outrageous people who didn’t understand the word “no” to them. And they’ve done, they’ve gone to teach in Ghana, they’ve invented things. They’ve made millions of dollars. They’ve had babies when it was impossible for them to have babies.

So I can’t tell you how excited I am for their successes. The biggest change I saw, I think in all of them, was changing their mind about who they are and realizing that they’re divine. That there’s nothing that shall be impossible. So they’ve stepped out of their little cocoon and flown, and that thrills me. That’s my payoff.

30. “and I’m also very prosperous”

And also, I’m very prosperous financially. Thank you, God. And I don’t work. I don’t do anything other than what I love to do. You know what? I spend hours at the computer and editing and writing, and one of my favorite things is to write affirmations. And I write affirmations for me all the time, and I write them for other people. And I just love it because I do know that business about with if you decree a thing, it will be established unto you. I believe that. If I decree it, and I don’t give up on my decree, and I don’t second-guess to myself and I don’t change my mind, it’s a done deal.

31. Conveying prosperity to grandsons

I have twin grandsons. I’ve taken them to Tibet, China, Peru, Brazil, Jamaica, just to say were growing up. I became their Auntie Mame. I don’t know if you remember her, but they got to see a part of the world. We even went into the rainforest and worked with a shaman. And so they’ve become incredible world citizens in doing wonderful things. Thank you, God. They are. They are. They’re mine. Thank you, God.

32. Keeping in touch with students

And I keep in touch with a lot of them, but there's just so many. Sometimes I don't even remember them because of have had a lot of students.

33. What kind of church do you like to attend?

I dunno that it really is. I like to be in a church. I like the minister here. Reverend Lura Lisa Wall is an amazing minister. I’ve never seen one work so hard in my entire life. And she’s brilliant. She’s a good teacher. And she gives a Sunday lesson that has meat in it. It’s not just flowers and butterflies. It hits the teaching at a deeper level than many ministers I’ve heard.

34. What haven’t I ask you?

My former careers, I taught school in Guam. I was a curriculum editor for Houston Independent School District. I was a newspaper editor and I couldn’t do any of those anymore. I had to go into ministry. And I’m so glad I did.

35. An affirmation for prospective ministers

I think I would say “I am willing to be changed at depth. Show me the way.” Because that’s happened for me. And I’m not through yet. But I am recognizing how very much I’ve changed being in the ministry and learning how to love people where they are not where I want them to be.

36. What do congregants need from a minister?

That I don’t believe in hiding who I am and people know who I am. I tell you who I am, and I have been really an imperfect, well, I don’t even want to say that. I have learned a lot about how to behave as a human being rather than as a scared child, a scared child who reacted to everything. So I want the congregation to know that I am not, I hardly ever use the title The Reverend. I just don’t use that because I’m not reverent. I’ve never been reverent. It’s a lie for me to say that. But I am a reverend with two doctorates who were given to me. But I want them to know that I probably have had all the issues that you’re having and may have them again. But let’s work through all this together.

37. What makes a good pulpit minister?

I don't know what the role is. I know what my role is. If you want to be pulpit minister, you have to be genuine as you were today as a perfect pulpit minister, absolutely genuine. You could tell with every word you spoke, every gesture, every point you were making, it was real. And people can see through that if you’re not real. And I don’t want that to seem me. If you see me, you see me with all the seeming flaws that we know they’re not true, but they seem to be flaws. But also, I want you to see someone when you see me as someone who’s really not through. When I was ordained, I thought I knew pretty much everything. And when I entered pulpit ministry, I realized how little I even know right now after 45 years of this is such a deep and profound and magnificent teaching that we get to play in. And I want people to enjoy it, not to fear it.

38. Edwene’s advice to ministers: Hang in there

To hang in there, to hang in there, because there’s a really, there’s people right now who still dislike what I do in the Unity movement. And they have a right to that. And some of them have told me and told me why. And that’s fine. You have a right to really whatever you want to believe. But I know what I came to teach. I know what my message is. And even though I have thought it’s prosperity, it’s a prosperity at a whole other level.

And I think the one message I’d like to get across, whether you use it or not, is this, every morning when I get up, thank you, God, for another wonderful day. And then I ask myself this question, how many people can I make happy today? And I started writing down names of what I could do for anybody. Give’em a call, send them a note, give’em a thank you. Give them a compliment. Whatever it is, it only takes a second to send an email you, but to give a compliment to the clerk at the store, it has to be authentic. But just to say, gosh, you have pretty nails. I like those. That person will never forget that compliment. And it may shift their day so that instead of being down, they’re open now to something more than just being depressed or sad or whatever. So that’s the possibility for me to have the ability to make people happy.

39. What’s the next stage for your ministry?

Well, I’ve started in just this last maybe three or four weeks, I’ve had three invitations to do... Churches are starting to reteach my book again around the globe. And so they’re calling me and asking or emailing me and asking me if I will do a Zoom welcoming to the study of my book and give them a little, maybe a pep talk about tithing and tell them the classes for them and hope that they enjoy and pray with them.

And I had to get a Zoom teacher into teach me how to do that. But I was able to do that. And I’m very proud of that. My learning experience. I’m not particularly a technical person. Maybe I need to change my affirmation on that.

But at any rate, I’m doing Zoom and I’m writing another series of workbooks and I’m teaching here, and I have a prayer group here at this church once a month and speak on Sundays occasionally.

40. You have a new book on forgiveness?

So yes, it’s called How to Become Debt-Free: Forgive. And I wrote that again for myself because I had done a lot of forgiveness work. And what inspired me was that line from the Lord’s Prayer in the King James Version is “Forgive us our trespasses as we for those who trespass against us.” Well, at the time I was living in Alabama, there’s a lot of “no trespass” signs in Alabama. And I knew I wasn’t going to be doing that. Okay, they’ll hang’ya in Alabama if you trespass. So I went back to another, I don’t remember which version it was, but it was “Forgive us our debts” — [instead of] “as we forgive those who trespass” it was “as we forgive our debtors.”

And so I got to thinking about, I had a mortgage. I’d like to get rid of that. I have a car payment. I’d like to get rid of that. I’d like to be debt free. So if the only thing that’s standing in my way of being debt free is my unwillingness to forgive myself and others, I can change that. And I got busy doing it. I did the 70 times seven. I wrote it out 35 times a night for seven days. “I, Edwene, forgive myself completely”, didn’t say for what. But anyway, after that, I did my father, my mother, my brother, all my previous relationships. And I became debt-free about 17 years ago. I paid off a 30 year mortgage in seven years. Ever since then, when I buy a car, I pay cash for it.

So I know that these techniques that I created for myself, they’re not all original with me. Some of the other people’s techniques that I kind of paraphrased that made sense to my soul. But they work. And I think that’s one of the reasons you mentioned earlier about joy. I think that’s really a big piece of my joy. It’s so wonderful. What I was hearing today, one of the things from you that was so powerful is to see everyone as the Christ changes your worldview completely. And I think, I won’t say that I’ve got that down pat, but I’m working on it. And I catch myself when I’m not paying attention to what I choose to believe.



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