By Martie Thompson

Rev. Yvonne McAndrew has been the minister at Unity Church for Creative Living on Race Track Road since 2016. Born and raised in Chicago, she said she was basically unchurched growing up, although her mother did occasionally attend a Unity Church there. By the time Yvonne was in her mid to late 20s, she said she was really struggling with her life and ended up checking out that Unity Church. “It was exactly what I needed,” she said. “They spoke my language and I felt like I was home.” Over the next several months she became more involved and eventually became a minister with the church. She has served churches in Columbus, Ohio and Norman, Oklahoma before coming to St. Johns. Previously married for 36 years, she said she is still friends with her ex-husband. They share a daughter, Shavonne, who lives in Tallahassee. 

Q: How did you become more involved and eventually a minister with Unity Church?
A: After I had been attending the church for about eight months, I had a blind faith moment and signed my then-husband and myself up for classes at Unity Village, outside of Kansas City. We spent our vacation time there and my husband was unsure about it at first. But after the first day, we knew where we needed to be and signed up for more classes for the following year. After a series of classes and a couple of years, I obtained my Licensed Unity Teacher certification, which meant I was licensed, but not ordained. I could do most things that a minister could do. I resisted for awhile, but eventually in 2012 I graduated from the ministerial program at Unity Village, so I am a minister now.

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Q: Why did you choose to become a minister?
A: My life took a 180-degree turn when I started going to Unity and I wanted to give back. Unity has changed my life for the better. I’m filled with gratitude for the opportunity to give back and love the community. Unity gave me hope and direction and I now have a personal relationship with God. I realized that life doesn’t have to be difficult all the time.

Q: How did you end up here in St. Johns?
A: I had gotten the nudge that it was time to move on. I prayed about it and my guidance was to go to Florida. I went online and saw that Unity had five openings at churches in Florida, so I sent my resume to all of them and then interviewed with three. When I came here, I knew this was where I’m supposed to be. The people were warm and welcoming. I love the church building; it’s similar to the Mediterranean style of the buildings in Unity Village. 

Q: What would you say is special about Unity?
A: Unity is a positive, practiced, and progressive approach to Christianity. It’s based on the teachings of Jesus and the power of prayer and meditation. Our affirmation is “God is good. All the time.”

Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: I enjoy reading and painting. I like to take painting classes at places like Painting with a Twist. It’s therapeutic for me to follow the instructor and be focused on the art. I like to connect with friends and I love being out in nature — being present in the beauty that surrounds us. I like taking photos of nature’s beauty as well.

[Author’s Note: For more information about Unity Church for Creative Living, visit]

Photo courtesy Yvonne McAndrew
Rev. Yvonne McAndrew

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