Ida Bowles

Ida Bowles, Unity Minister ordained in 1962

Ida Bowles, Unity Minister ordained in 1962

Ida Bowles, Unity Minister ordained in 1960

Ida Bowles was an African-American Unity minister who was ordained in 1962.

Ida is one of the three people displayed above. The other's are Flash Washington and Ester Stewart. If you can identify which photograph goes with each person, please contact me.

I invite anyone who is related to Rev. Ida Bowles or who has any information about her to post a comment to this page or to contact me at

Recollections of Marilyn Jackson

Ida was a dynamic Truth Teacher & STAUNCH Fillmorean.

She led Unity of Hempstead to purchase a building & then burn the mortgage. She LOVED children. While in Hempstead she also served as Chaplain for the Police Dept. and on the Community Board of one of the local colleges. One of her infamous mantras was "Order is God's first law." She was a builder of leaders. During her tenure at Unity of Hempstead she impacted the lives of 5 congregants who eventually became ministers. Ida was a demonstrator of prosperity.


On July 14, 1999, at 8:10 p.m. Rev. Ida Bowles-Smith departed this life. She was born on January 4, 1922, in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Rev. Ida, as she is affectionately called, came to New York from Chicago, Illinois at the request of Unity School of Christianity in 1959. She was appointed minister of the Unity Center in Harlem in 1960. Under her leadership, the Center grew, and expanded its activities for a number of years. In 1971, in obedience to the Holy Spirit, Rev. Ida was led to open a Unity Ministry in Hempstead. Unity Church of Hempstead had its first service at the Hempstead YMCA Sunday, September 19, 1971 with the Rev. Ida Bowles-Smith as Founding Minister.

Rev. Ida was ordained in June 1962, by Unity School of Christianity. She was humbly grateful that God was using her as a channel of blessing for all people.

Rev. Ida believed that all people everywhere should know the Truth about their relationship to God and the oneness of all life. She was a firm believer and practitioner of the teachings of Jesus Christ and a much sought after speaker. She traveled extensively spreading the “good news” of the Divinity of Man.

She was very active for many years at the executive level in the Association of Unity Churches.


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