God Is My Health

November 2001

Rev. Dr. Johnnie Colemon

The Reverend Dr. Johnnie Colemon was founder of Christ Universal Temple and of the Universal Foundation for Better Living. She was awarded an honorary doctor of divinity degree from Wiley College, her alma mater. Dr. Coleman won numerous awards including the Joseph Murphy Award.


In 1952 I was a popular young woman who had lots of friends and a busy, active life. After taking a physical, I received a telephone call from my doctor, who told me that I had an incurable disease and had only six months to live. My first thought was, How in the world can I stop living in six months when I haven’t yet learned how to live? I knew that I had to find an answer somehow.

I hung up the telephone that morning, and as I walked through the living room, I bumped into a table and knocked one of my mother’s magazines onto the floor. That magazine was Weekly Unity, published by Unity. As I reached down to pick up the magazine, a statement on its cover leaped out at me: “God is your health, you can’t be sick.”

I read aloud, “God is my health; I can’t be sick.” Standing alone in the middle of the room, I began to argue with that magazine: “A doctor just told me that I was going to die, and you are telling me that I can’t be sick!”

Just then my mother came into the room, and with tears streaming down my cheeks, I explained what the doctor had said. Then I asked, “Who writes this magazine, and how can they make such a statement?”

“Go to Unity Village,” my mother said, “and see for yourself who they are and what they mean.”

I did just that. I packed my bags and left Chicago for Unity Village, Missouri, where Unity World Headquarters is located. As I walked through one of the big arches at the entrance of Unity Village, I saw such beauty: flowers everywhere and a rose garden at the end of a row of fountains. As I walked on, I discovered rabbits nibbling grass, with no intention of scurrying into the hedges as I came near.

What impressed me most, however, was what I felt inside—something that I had never felt in my life. That feeling said to me, “Hey, I’ve found something here: the answers to my questions and even more.”

I was reveling in this feeling when a woman walked up to me. “Hello,” she said, “my name is Vera Dawson Tait. I’m on the faculty here at Unity.”

After I had introduced myself, she asked, “What brings you here?” I explained: “I’m here because I need help. I’ve been told I’m going to die in six months.”

With great enthusiasm, Vera said: “You don’t have to die! You do have to be willing to change your thoughts about dying into thoughts about living. Thoughts have power, and you are the thinker of the thoughts that make things happen for you and to you.”

That concept grabbed me. It’s true; I had control of my thoughts and could think anything I wanted to think. And I wanted to think of health and healing instead of the negative results that my doctor told me I would experience.

A Journey Begins
I wanted to learn more about this life-affirming way of thinking, so I asked Vera how I could. We talked, and in that conversation, she explained that there was a training school at Unity, offering a four-week session each year for four years. If I chose, I could register and learn about the Unity teachings, which were based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. At the end of the four years, if I was happy with what I had heard and felt a commitment to share it with others, I could become a licensed teacher and even go on to become an ordained minister.

Within two weeks, I was back and enrolled in Unity’s training school, happy as I possibly could be and excited about being surrounded in beauty and love. I knew I was on holy ground.

I enrolled in all the subjects that were offered that first summer, and I read Lessons in Truth, a book used in the classes. I began to love myself and then all people. As I began to understand that I am God’s love in expression in a body, I started to relax and settle down. I learned to live a daily practice of Christianity, using tools such as denials and affirmations. With denials, I pulled out, by the roots, the negative thoughts that were planted in my subconscious mind. Then I affirmed health and wholeness.

I declared: God is my health. As I lived this truth, everything about me changed. One day as I was saying my affirmations and praying, a still small voice spoke to me: “You have outgrown many things, so let them go.” I began living a new life, different from the one I had been living back in Chicago.

A Change in Attitude
I don’t know the exact day I was healed. I just know there was no more pain. My thoughts had changed, my feelings had changed, my attitude had changed. I was a new person, feeling good from the top of my head to the soles of my feet. I prayed the prayer that Jesus prayed: “The Father and I are one.” I accepted it as the truth about me and everyone else.

I have had many healings since then, because I know exactly what to do. I call on the Master Physician within me. The Master Physician who created me can remake me and revitalize me.

Those years of training challenged me and caused me to make adjustments. I believed I was fulfilling God’s plan for me. I held on to God’s promise: “I will never leave you or forsake you.” However, many nights I couldn’t sleep, and I asked, “God, have You forgotten Your promise?” The answer would come: “I stand on My promise. I am with you. You can call on Me whenever you feel that you need a friend. You are My beloved child, and I am expressing Myself as you, through you. So be strong, and be of good cheer, because I’m here with you. Just ask and you will know My presence.”

I established the first Unity church in Chicago, Illinois, with seating for 500 people. In 1985 I established Christ Universal Temple, which seats 4000.

My reason for being on Earth is to help people understand how to live a better life. My prayer is that I do those “greater works” that Jesus spoke of—and God knows I am willing.