Reverend James Buchanan was born in Memphis, Tennessee, but he got to Texas as quickly as he could! He grew up in Unity, and before beginning ministerial studies developed an extensive background in business, accounting, and creative arts, all of which serve him well in his leadership position as Senior Minister at Unity of Dallas.
James began ministry leadership in his hometown at First Unity of Memphis. He went on to work for two years as a ministerial intern at Unity of Hawaii under the guidance of Reverend Sky St. John. The Hawaiian tradition of family, or `ohana, is evident in James’ example every day. Back on the mainland, James was the Spiritual Leader at Unity of Little Rock, Arkansas, until he moved to Dallas.
Besides Reverend Sky St. John, James benefits from the wisdom of many other Spiritual Leaders and Unity Ministers, but especially his mentors, Reverend Colleen Engel-Brown, from Little Rock, and Reverend Shawn Moninger, from Unity of Norwalk, Connecticut.
On May 8, 2016, James took the platform as Senior Minister at Unity of Dallas. Since then his welcoming spirit of joy and positive energy is attracting new members weekly. With his wife, Tyler, and their precious daughter, Kayden, James’ `Ohana is growing Unity of Dallas with love and joy.
I am committed to assisting Unity of Dallas in becoming a spiritually unique and diverse community that is one of the pillars of the larger Dallas community; and a home for those who are on a spiritual seeking path.
All are welcome to join in the spiritual awakening and connection at Unity of Dallas through the many activities offered. I serve to promote and grow our spiritual community for the benefit of all who seek something meaningful and authentic to them. I believe we should be in the flow of abundance while also being mindful of the needs of others.
I hold a vision to expand and promote youth and family connections within the Unity spiritual community.
I would like to see our membership grow along with spiritual and financial prosperity.
I will willingly support my Spiritual community in any fashion where I can not only use my God-given talents and life skills to their utmost but also in creating conversations of abundance, joy, dedication, stability and unselfish service.
It is my goal to show the world through my attitude and outlook that I am supported and loved by my UoD family and to be openly willing to share how my community is a standard that suits my beliefs and efforts to be the best human I can be while experiencing this lifetime.
To also be of assistance and to support UoD in its inspired goals to be a thriving, self-sustaining, healthy and happy community of like-minded people.
To welcome all who cross our threshold with a handshake, a hug or a loving and open smile.
My passion for the Unity Movement has become my calling, to listen to Spirit and act accordingly. I envision dramatic growth, financial prosperity, and expanded outreach—for UOD to be the ultimate example of what it means to celebrate a world healed through spiritual awakening and connection. I do what is mine to do with zeal and enthusiasm.
My desire is that all who connect with Unity of Dallas receive kindness without expectations, guidance without judgement, peace without doubt, and love with no limits.
My vision is to provide Spirit-led guidance to support Unity of Dallas to continue to Grow and Thrive in all that we choose to do.
Led by Reverend Ruth Gillespie, the new Unity church consisted of one large room that could seat 100 with a small space partitioned off for the minister’s office. The congregation remained at that location until 1951 when the lease was not· renewed and the church only had a short amount of time to find a new facility. Reverend Gillespie found a building for sale at Greenville and McCommas in East Dallas. Originally a community church, then a daycare center, required a $10,000 down payment. In just one Sunday service, this dedicated Unity group of 100 people raised the necessary funds.
The group was joined by an associate minister, the Reverend Cora Mae Crandall, who served alongside Reverend Gillespie for another 19 years until both of them retired. In August 1970, the Unity church merged with a local Religious Science group, and Dr. Curtis became the minister of the new church renamed The Unity Church of Dallas.
In a very short time the congregation outgrew this space, so plans were made to build a larger church. The land was purchased, about six acres, at the present location at 6525 Forest Lane, and the first phase of the present church was built. The first service was held October 14, 1973, in what is now Fellowship Hall. That remained the Sanctuary until 1986. In 1974, the congregation split with the departing members re-establishing Unity Church of Practical Christianity at its original Greenville and McCommas location.
That purchase included the White House which was used for weddings, receptions and many other activities. In 1984, rapidly outgrowing the 350 seat sanctuary, Unity of Dallas began its “Build for Eternity” expansion program. In two years the present 1,000 seat Sanctuary, the Peace Chapel (renamed the John Webster Chapel in 2011), the Bookstore and Adult Classrooms were built. The first service in the present Sanctuary was August 24, 1986, with the official dedication service on October 12, 1986, just thirteen years after Unity began at this location.
In July 1992, Dr. Curtis decided to retire. The associate minister, the Rev. Ralph Lebkuecher, became the interim minister for 18 months. He was succeeded by the Rev. Marshall Norman for a period of eight months, after which the Rev. Debbie Tyson served as temporary minister. The Rev. Roy Healy was hired as senior minister in June 1995, but he also departed after a short tenure. Throughout these transitional years, John Webster, at the time a licensed Unity teacher, provided a steadying presence by conducting services whenever necessary and overseeing pastoral care. He was eventually ordained a Unity minister in 2001.
Donna entered a four-year ‘ ministerial program while working full-time at the church and was ordained by David at a celebration service in 2002. They brought in the Reverend Ellen Debenport as associate minister in 1999. She became senior minister in 2003 and served in that capacity until 2007. After extensive care for preserving architectural elements and decorative objects, The White House was demolished in 2007. Reverend Ed Townley served as interim senior minister for eight months in 2008. Reverend Karen Epps became senior minister in September 2008. She departed in 2010. Reverend Anna Shouse, Ph.D. served as transitional minister until February 2013. The Reverends Aliza Bloom Robinson and Rob Robinson became senior ministers in May 2013 and served for two years.
In May of 2016, we welcomed James Buchanan (LUT) as our Spiritual Leader. Onward and Upward!