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Bios of Various Sizes for the Media

Dr. Arlene Dowdy, evangelist, educator and change agent uses convictions, gifts and global experience to enlighten, inspire and entertain.


Dr. Arlene K. Dowdy is an international traveler with a passion for people’s wholeness and for enjoying a maximized life.  She lives her life helping others and has learned that people everywhere have the same basic needs of love, acceptance and to belong.  She shares truth and insight to inspire and encourage the fulfillment of those basic needs.


Dr. Arlene Dowdy is a 1985 Tar Heel graduate.  She credits her parents, her faith in God, her career as an educator, all the books she read from her hometown library, Given Memorial Library in Pinehurst, NC, and international travel for her knowledge and understanding of life, people and our sometimes- scary world. In 2009, she received the surprise that changed her life.

Writing has been Arlene’s hobby and passion from a child.  She doesn’t understand how anyone can be bored, because ideas and stories live in her mind.  Arlene brings these stories to paper, her people, then to the stage, the screen or a book.  She entertains, inspires, and encourages people of all ages.


“If I can help somebody … my living shall not be in vain,” are the words by which Dr. Arlene Kearns Dowdy lives her life. 

Growing up in Eastwood, NC, a small community in the rural south, Arlene had fertile soil for the mysterious!  There were wooded areas, three graveyards, and a father, grandfather and uncle who were great storytellers!  There were also people who could see and hear the unknown, thus, the background for her first published book, Tales of Eastwood.

Arlene has been an educator in public schools for more than 29 years, earning National Board Certification in 2005.  She has enriched the lives of thousands of students, parents, co-workers and community members.

She has also served as an evangelist for more than 30 years.  Her work has helped to change lives of gang members, the homeless, depressed, fatherless, elderly, abused, lepers and others.  Arlene has served and inspired people all over America and abroad, along the streets, on public transportation, in parks, coffee shops, prisons, hospitals, and a leper colony,  to name a few.  She lived and ministered in Alaska and the Middle East, with repeated visits to African and European countries.  Her journeys are illustrated with photos, which she uses in her books. 

She finally married at the age of 50!  Christmas night of 2012, Arlene married Liston, a childhood sweetheart, who found her after 31 years! Dr. Dowdy now enjoys a quiet life in South Jersey, writing her poems, books and stories.

Arlene’s understanding of culture and people is phenomenal! She learned that people are basically the same wherever you go.  We all need love, support, and a source of trust, hope, and faith.  Rich or poor, these needs are often neglected.  Dr. Dowdy’s purpose for writing is to inspire the fulfillment of these needs and bring joy to all.


“If I can help somebody, … my living shall not be in vain.”  These words, made popular by the late gospel singer, Mahalia Jackson, are the words by which Dr. Arlene Kearns Dowdy lives her life. As a child, Arlene would hear Mahalia’s rich, thick, syrupy voice bellowing these words from her grandmother’s, now ancient, record player.  Bringing the words to life from a child, she followed and assisted her mother from house to house, caring for the sick, distributing the food she could spare, clothing that her nine children had either outgrown or never worn, and household goods, often cooking, baking, and cleaning the house, praying for healing and meeting other needs.  Later, Arlene continued this work.

Also in her mother’s steps, she was born a teacher.  At an early age, she visited her town library two or three times each week to check out books.  She was an avid reader, and she loved school!  She made her two youngest brothers attend her “summer school” that she developed with registration, record keeping, textbooks, and grades. 

The boys cried, “Mama, make Arlene stop, so we can go play! It’s summertime!”

To Arlene’s surprise, Mama said, “Listen to your sister.  It won’t hurt you to learn something this summer. Now, pay attention!” 

Growing up in Eastwood, NC, a small family community in the rural south, Arlene had a breeding ground for the mysterious and unexplained-- wooded areas, three church graveyards, a father, grandfather and uncle who were great storytellers and a porch where neighbors and relatives assembled!  There were also people who could see and hear the unknown, thus, the background for her first published book, Tales of Eastwood.

Arlene has been a teacher, leader and administrator in the public school system for 29 years, earning National Board Certification in 2005.  She has enriched the lives of thousands of students, parents, co-workers and community members.

Her work has helped to change the lives of gang members, the homeless, depressed, fatherless, the elderly, victims of abuse and poverty, lepers and many more.  Arlene has been blessed to serve and bless people all over America, in more than 14 countries on 5 different continents, and at least, three islands.  She lived in Alaska for seven years.  Then, traveling alone by car, Arlene drove from Alaska on the Alkane Highway, was enchanted by the Yukon and Canada, and mesmerized by sites from Montana to New Mexico and Texas and back up through Tennessee to her final destination of Pinehurst, NC.  She has ministered in Nigeria, Africa and countries in Southern Africa, where she resided among residents.  She has lived in the Middle East, spending almost two years in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and her life continues to be a blessing. She uses the amazing photos and video in her work. 

Arlene received a surprise in 2009 that changed her life forever! Her childhood sweetheart, Liston, found her again after 31 years!  At the age of 50, Christmas night, 2012, Arlene was married for the first time. She now resides in South Jersey, enjoying her new, quiet life and writing her stories.

Dr. Dowdy’s understanding of culture and people is phenomenal!  She has ministered to people, not just in churches and homes, but also along the streets, in parks, shelters, in transit, restaurants, prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, a leper colony, and the list continues.  She has found that people are all basically the same.  We celebrate with music and dance, and we all need love, acceptance, support, and a place called “home”.  Rich or poor, we all have these simple needs that too often are unmet.  Dr. Dowdy’s desire is that these needs are met for everyone, and this is why she writes.


Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About Me

#1: While visiting Flipper’s place in the Bahamas, a dolphin gave me a kiss after I fed him a little fish.

#2: I rode an elephant through a jungle in Zimbabwe, Africa.

#3: I don’t like spiders, large flying insects, and especially those spider crickets (camel crickets)! They always seem to fight back, instead of running, when I try to get them out of the house! War!

#4: I traveled alone by car, cross-country, from Anchorage, AK through Canada to Pinehurst, NC, stopping to enjoy the sites and nature along the way.

#5: I’ve gone snorkeling in the coral reefs of Mexico and watched gigantic, beautiful, florescent, tropical fish swimming all around me and in and out of caves!  There began a dream to learn deep sea exploration, to actually swim freely with those fish—a dream yet to be accomplished.  It’s okay to have a dream that’s never accomplished—as long as you can just enjoy the dream.  Once accomplished, it’s no longer a dream to enjoy.

#6: I used to get such a thrill out of scaring friends and relatives! I even organized and implemented a haunted house, using my sister’s trailer that had woods as its backdrop, live characters, sets, music and sounds.  More than 30 years later, we still talk about that Halloween Night!

#7: I was 50 years old when I first married, after my childhood sweetheart found me again.


Speaker Introduction

She’s been called “an angel” by some, and “crazy” by others.  She’s called “a blessing,” “simply amazing,” “a gift,” and by her husband, “Sweetness”.  Many have longed to “just sit at [her] feet”.  

“She” is Dr. Arlene Kearns Dowdy, from the small, southern, rural community of Eastwood, NC, where almost everyone is connected in one way or another.  Her father and grandfather were master storytellers.  Her mother was a nurse, school teacher, and for more than 42 years, a church pastor.  Arlene was raised on a farm with eight siblings, horses, dogs and cats and never a dull moment.

An international traveler, Arlene has traveled to more than 14 countries on five continents and at least four islands.  She rode an elephant through a jungle in Zimbabwe, Africa, was kissed by a dolphin in the Bahamas, went snorkeling in the coral reefs of Mexico, rode a camel in Dubai, UAE and enjoyed an unexpected dune bashing thrill through Dubai’s desert sands! 

Arlene attributes her phenomenal understanding of culture and people to her 29+ year career in public education, her travel and her deep relationship with God.  She has served and blessed people from all walks of life and believes all people have the same needs: love, acceptance, support, and a place to call “home”.  Rich or poor, these needs too often are not met.  Dr. Dowdy seeks to inspire the fulfillment of these needs, and this is why she writes.

Let’s give a warm welcome for Dr. Arlene Dowdy, author of Tales of Eastwood, There is Purpose in Your Valley and others!

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