Church adds science to Christianity

Recently celebrating its 20th anniversary in Odessa, the Unity of West Texas Church is following the 128-year-old principles of its Missouri founders to promote a consanguinity of Christian and scientific understanding.

Noting that the Unity Movement “is not Christian science,” lay speaker Janie Garms said it doesn’t ask its members to leave the church they’re from. “We’re supportive of all religions,” she said.

“If you are a Catholic, for example, we won’t want you to change from being Catholic, just be a better Catholic. We work to accomplish spiritual enlightenment to help people recognize the spiritual power of creation as the created spirits they are. We believe there is a spiritual world and a physical world, and the two are not necessarily separate. There is an intertwining relationship.”

An average of five to 10 people meet at 11 a.m. Sunday at the 210 E. 12th St. church to hear Garms and fellow lay speakers Anna Schwartz and Ed Rowland of Odessa and Ellen Myers and Cindy Jordan of San Angelo.

Janie Garms:

We believe God is spirit and we are able to tap into that source at any time. Our true self is divine and spiritual.

Garms became a registered nurse after attending McCamey High School, Odessa College and Lubbock Christian University. She retired at Medical Center Hospital after 27 years and is now a diabetes educator. She and her husband George have two children and seven grandchildren.

The Unity Church was founded in 1889 in Kansas City, Mo., by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore “as a healing ministry based on the power of prayer and the power of our thoughts to create our own reality,” according to With a worldwide membership of 1.5 million, its headquarters are in the Kansas City suburb of Unity Village.

“The Unity Movement offers freedom to seek the truth in all religions and cultures,” Garms said. “I’ve been able to explore my own personal religious belief system and to support others in their belief systems. When we start praying and meditating, the whole body starts calming down and we’re able to take things in and think things through. So we are able to work within our environment in a much healthier way, which encourages us to look for answers outside of what we already know.

“We believe God is spirit and we are able to tap into that source at any time. Our true self is divine and spiritual.”

Jordan, who wrote the popular 1983 country song “Jose Cuervo,” said Garms “is a very insightful person who can see the big picture.

“Janie comes up with great solutions that are good for everybody,” Jordan said. “She is incredibly spiritual, and her heart just bursts with love. She is funny and fun.”