Follow your Passion: Key Message from Guest Speaker at Holy Cross

“I always loved making up stories,” said author ReShonda Tate Billingsley, in a conversation with Holy Cross communications. We were able to speak to her before her presentation at the parish’s spaghetti dinner fundraiser on February 3, 2017. Mrs. Billingsley decided, after a 20-year career in broadcast journalism, to channel her creativity into books..

As a news reporter, Mrs. Billingsley was used to ‘writing tight,’ and her first book was only 63 pages long. She has since learned to develop her themes into longer books and now has 40 books to her name. She creates her wonderful stories by drawing on “ideas that come from all around.”  She illustrates the process best by saying, “I observe a lot and take in my surroundings, and then my ‘what if’ imagination takes over.”

Christianity is a central theme in her books. Mrs. Billingsley likes to provide a message to her readers, as she puts it, “I entertain, enlighten, and educate.”

The theme of her message for the youth of Holy Cross is:

“Follow your passion and don’t let obstacles get in the way. [If] the front door closes, find another way to get in.”


Photo of ReShonda Tate Billingsley with Holy Cross teens at the Say It Loud Youth Trip fundraiser.Mrs. Billingsley indicated during her speech, not everyone was supportive of her decision to write a book and become a published author. She was pushed in the direction of continuing to work a traditional job, but she decided to follow her dream. Now she is a national bestselling author. Three of her books have been made into movies and three more are slated to be made into movies in the near future. Mrs. Billingsley’s national bestselling novels include "Let the Church Say Amen," "The Secret She Kept," and "The Devil is a Lie," all of which were made into movies. Additionally, she is a winner of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work for the novel "Say Amen, Again," another bestseller.

ReShonda Tate Billingsley’s was an entertaining, inspiring, and enlightening presenter at this event. We were blessed to have her present to our youth, and help us light a fire to achieve within them. We are grateful that Mrs. Billingsley took the time from her busy schedule to speak with our parish. Finally, a special thank you goes to the Durham Knights of Columbus Chapter, for assisting with this fundraiser. The proceeds of this event will go towards our church’s youth trip “Say it Loud.”  Read more about ReShonda Tate Billingsley.

Post authors: Anna Rzewnicki and Gina Cain-Tate


Tags: ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Holy Cross Catholic Churcch Durham, Say It Loud Youth Trip, Spaghetti Fundraiser

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