Once Jackson met with the archbishop and with officials from Royal Bafokeng Holdings, he offered up a new Jacksonville-based company, African Business Development Group, to carry out the business end of the archbishop's plan on the ground in Africa.

A member of O'Neal Dozier's church suggested to Jackson that he meet the pastor, who might be able to round up investors. Dozier says he initially turned down the invitation. But Jackson called him again and put him in touch with the archbishop. Eventually, he accepted, buoyed by the prospect of making money and spreading his gospel message to Africa and beyond. Now he had a new title, one that could enable his dreams of acquiring both money and global influence.

"I am the president," Dozier said recently in his trademark slow diction, touched by a Southern twang. "My official title is 'President of the North American Sector of Archbishop Makgoba's Economic Development Initiative for Indigenous Africans and the Diaspora..." — he paused for a breath — "and the Friends of the Diaspora.'"

O'Neal Dozier
O'Neal Dozier
Winds of Change partner Julius Jackson Sr. (left) hosted Archbishop Thabo Makgoba (second from right) at an Anglican church service in Jacksonville on June 19.
Courtesy of the Holy Trinity Anglican Church
Winds of Change partner Julius Jackson Sr. (left) hosted Archbishop Thabo Makgoba (second from right) at an Anglican church service in Jacksonville on June 19.

The walls of Dozier's church office tell a story of his life. In one corner are pictures of him in college football uniforms and later, Army uniforms. Next to them, a certificate of honorable discharge. Books from his law-school days. A collection of anti-Islam writings and a plaque from an anti-abortion group. On the desk is a metal sculpture of Atlas, lifting the world on his shoulders. On a shelf: a tall-masted model sailing ship and a TWA jet, poised for takeoff.

Dozier, tall and lean, relaxes in a chair as he talks. He's wearing black slacks and a white T-shirt, translucent over a tank top. His giant hands are adorned with rings and a gold watch. His head, small for his gym-toned body, appears youthful, although the hairline of his flat-top has crept improbably backward. He is wearing sunglasses indoors.

He has been in the blue-collar town of Pompano Beach, originally an agricultural center, for most of his life. He arrived here, he says, "on a migrant farm bus" from South Carolina in 1955, when he was 7 years old. His family moved into a nearby migrant workers' camp. At midcentury, Florida was deeply segregated, and the prospects for black farmers' sons were dim.

"I had a choice to go the way of many of the people I grew up with," Dozier says. "But I decided not to go that way. I do not like poverty."

At nearby Blanche Ely High School, he played football and basketball. He moved on to play football in college, then professionally for a stint. He earned his J.D. from John Marshall Law School in Atlanta. He was drafted to serve in Vietnam, he says, and then volunteered to go back for a second tour with the Army in Germany. While overseas, his official church biography adds, "he competed in and won several European bodybuilding contests."

The law degree was prestigious, but Dozier says he found his calling to serve God. In fact, his looks and demeanor make it hard to imagine his doing anything else. Dozier opened his church 27 years ago and started scaring people away with his sermons until the only ones left were those who would truly listen to every word he had to say.

"My granddaddy used to tell me, 'One who will not tell the truth when they know they should tell the truth is a liar,'" says Dozier. Thus, burdened with knowing that the sinners would be punished, he felt compelled to warn his congregation and began mixing sociopolitical issues into his homilies. He dwelled on the passages of the Bible that have been glossed over by pastors more tolerant of gays, Islam, abortion, Democrats, or women's liberation. When other black churches were celebrating the election of Barack Obama, the pastor was there to, as he puts it, "quench the fire." A typical sermon at Dozier's church may include a rousing, hand-clapping celebration of the scriptural verse that says a woman should be meek and obey her husband. He once held a public funeral for an aborted fetus.

His conservatism and relentless networking have earned him friends in high places. A wall in the office is covered with framed pictures of the pastor meeting dignitaries, religious leaders, and politicians: Dozier with Jeb Bush. Dozier with George W. Bush. Dozier blessing Charlie Crist, dark-skinned hand pressing down upon the white-haired head. When Jeb was governor, he named Dozier to a judicial nominating committee, where the pastor helped choose judges who would support conservative and religious principles. "Jeb befriended me," he recalls fondly. "He saw me as an asset."

For every friend Dozier has made, there are people who despise every word that comes out of his mouth. And that's just the way he likes it: Jesus, he says, was also hated and feared in his lifetime. So Pastor Dozier plays chicken with the world.

In January, when then-presidential candidate Rick Santorum named Dozier as an adviser to his campaign and visited the church, national media outlets dug up the pastor's old quotes on homosexuality. In particular, his statements at the Reclaiming America for Christ Conference that homosexuality is an act so nasty and disgusting that... well...

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6 comments
redridinghood
redridinghood

Don't we have more than enough blaks in america cheating the government in food stamps ,welfare ,section 8 ?Do we really need African blacks to steal more money? Black pastors are more criminal minded than black crackheads.

Ronnie-Ron
Ronnie-Ron

  Black Africa has fallen from third world status from when all these African countries got their independence back in the mid-twentieth century to the new fourth world status today! They have gone backwards, while other third world countries have moved foward in varying degrees! Black Africa has always been this money-pit like an old jalopy car that as you put money in it the more money it takes to keep it running! As long as the area is unstable(social/economic/political/ethnic/religious/class structure instability), black Africa will always wallow in the mud! Funny how black leaders throughout Africa from the end of colonialism til now have always blamed "colonialism&America" for their present problems&poverty! How much money has been given since independence to black Africa? The future of that area is still going to be a "nightmare" with ever increasing numbers of people surviving on one-two dollars a day!

drakemallard
drakemallard topcommenter

Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man living in the sky who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time...But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He's all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can't handle money! Religion takes in billions of dollars, they pay no taxes, and they always need a little more. Now, you talk about a good bullshittt story. Holy Shittt! But I want you to know something, this is sincere, I want you to know, when it comes to believing in God, I really tried. I really, really tried. I tried to believe that there is a God, who created each of us in His own image and likeness, loves us very much, and keeps a close eye on things. I really tried to believe that, but I gotta tell you, the longer you live, the more you look around, the more you realize, something is fuked up.

 

george carlin

 

Jimbo99
Jimbo99 topcommenter

Wow, anyone buying that this guy wanted Africa to prosper and be enriched ? Africa was the cause, he and his cronies were the only one's that would prosper & be enriched from this ?

boca1959
boca1959

This setting would have been better at a Howard Jonhsons,remember 'my house is a house of worship.Give unto Ceasar what's of Ceasar,and to GOD whats of GOD.

MIAmarley
MIAmarley

 @redridinghood The answer to your question is yes but there are far more white and latino on welfare than blacks so whats your point.

 
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