The Rev. Dr. Johnnie M. Colemon, Founder
The Reverend Dr. Johnnie M. Colemon is the Founder of the Universal Foundation for Better Living and Christ Universal Temple in Chicago, Illinois. In the early 1950’s Dr. Colemon was told she had just six months to live. Refusing to accept this diagnosis as the truth, Dr. Colemon, at her mother’s encouragement, visited the Unity School to learn the principles of spiritual healing. Not only did she recover physically, but she also discovered a whole new approach to living. From the moment she was exposed to the teachings of Myrtle and Charles Fillmore, founders of the Unity Movement, Dr. Colemon dedicated herself to teaching all who would listen how to live a better life. In 1956, Dr. Colemon was ordained as a Unity Minister.
Dr. Colemon founded the Universal Foundation for Better Living in 1974, after serving in various positions in the Unity Movement for 18 years. Her mission has been to create a platform of equality where all men and women can explore their divine nature and express their spiritual gifts. She has served as the Minister-in-Chief of Christ Universal Temple, the largest New Thought congregation in history, for over 50 years. Dr. Colemon is an outstanding example for women in ministry, paving the way for such ministers as the Rev. Della Reese-Lett, the Rev. Dr. Barbara King, and the Rev. Dr. Mary Tumpkin. Dr. Colemon has also earned the support of many of her male colleagues including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Minister Louis Farrakhan, and the Rev. Frederick Eikerenkoetter (Rev. Ike).
Known as a visionary and a builder, Dr. Colemon is a noted pioneer in the 20th century New Thought Movement. The present facility of Christ Universal Temple is the third church office built under her leadership. This magnificent edifice stands at the corner of 119th and Ashland Avenue in South Side Chicago, where Dr. Colemon is also responsible for the construction of a restaurant banquet facility and an elementary school, the Johnnie Colemon Academy.
Throughout her ministry, Dr. Colemon has brought excitement and innovation to the teaching of the abundant living message. She is firmly committed to the demonstration of the Holy Spirit in the lives of others, and her healing touch has blessed thousands of people. Dr. Colemon’s methodology is chronicled in Open Your Mind and Be Healed (DeVorss) and in It Works if You Work It: Jubilee Edition (UFBL Press). The story of her early life and ministry is documented in “Lessons in Living Abundantly: The Life and Ministry of the Reverend Dr. Johnnie M. Colemon” (UFBL Press). Dr. Colemon’s courageous work to empower all people to live prosperous and healthy lives is cited in several surveys of American Religion.
Dr. Colemon made her transition in December 2014.