Rev. James Dickey, a retired ordained clergyman, has not slowed down since he stepped down from the pulpit 14 years ago. Dickey, 75, is getting ready to publish his third book, “The Secret of the Bible,” which will be released this fall.
Dickey described how unusually busy he has been since he retired. He published his first book — an autobiography — titled “From the Trenches” in 2004. Three years later, he released “The Amazing Power of the Holy Spirit,” which he said has inspired readers and also stirred up emotions in people.
Back in 1986, Dickey had a revelation that the Holy Spirit was “God, our heavenly mother.” He consulted his discovery with his wife of 53 years, Sally, and she very much liked and supported her husband.
“It’s not to take away from God the Father or God the Son; it’s still the basic aspect of Christianity that has been the trinity,” Dickey said.
“It (‘The Amazing Power of the Holy Spirit’) has really gotten good reviews everywhere I’ve gone,” Dickey said. “I got about 15 pages of responses from people; all different kinds, for all different kinds of reasons.”
“The most interesting, most provocative part is chapter 13,” said Jim Burke, a former attendee from Trinity Methodist Church where Dickey was an associate pastor. “To me, the Holy Spirit has always been gender free and Jim places a great deal of emphasis on the Holy Spirit being maternal.”
“Most people thought it (the Holy Spirit being feminine) wasn’t a bad idea,” Dickey said. “Understanding the theory of the Holy Spirit being motherly has helped people who have dealt with battered women. It has helped with people who have been in severe problems.”
But not everyone who reads Dickey’s second book have been fans.
“There are a few that say, “Oh, I get to chapter 13 and I refuse to read anything else. I don’t believe it and therefore I’m not going to read the rest of the book’,” Sally Dickey said about the controversial theory.
“To me it doesn’t make any difference if the Holy Spirit is male or female. It’s not who or what it is, it’s what it (the Holy Spirit) does,” Burke said.
James Dickey and his wife have been seasonal residents in Estero — originally from Columbus, Ohio — since 2002. But Dickey has not spent all his time in sunny Florida relaxing. James Dickey was asked to teach a Sunday school class at North Naples United Methodist Church this past year. He was also given the opportunity to review his “Amazing Power” book with a mens group, a couples group and also on a retreat.
In Dickey’s upcoming book, “The Secret of the Bible,” his focus was on the total message of the Bible. The soon-to-be-released book offers a biographical point of view over every person mentioned in the Bible from the first book to the last. The book will also attempt to uncover the ancient manuscripts enclosing historical background about the Bible.
“He has so many ideas he wants to shares with others,” Sally Dickey proudly said about her husband’s writing and inspirations.