The Reverend Della Reese will turn 80 years old in July, and her life is a testimony to all who know her. Reese is perhaps best known for her powerful voice and for her role as head angel Tess on the hit series "Touched by an Angel." She spoke with The Christian Post about her life, faith, and what lies ahead. Don't count on her slowing down anytime soon!
"I've been a vocalist & entertainer since 6 years old," Reese told CP. "I started singing in church and a chain of events, some of this, some of that, but all God led me to where I am now."
Reese gives full credit for her faith to her mother, who she says was a "friend of God. That was normal in her house. I saw my mother's relationship with God and saw that it 'worked.' She was able to do things my father's salary was unable to do, had peace of mind and a good relationship with every human being."
While Reese has enjoyed a successful career in the entertainment business, she says, "If the world had been different, I probably would have started in the ministry, but women were not allowed in the pulpit, women not allowed to teach at that time, which is ironic because of Mary Magdalene's authority and importance."
The hit series "Touched by an Angel" aired on CBS for nine years. It was one of the few primetime shows to spread the message of God's love. Reese played lead angel Tess, who helped younger angel Monica find her way.
Each show featured the message "God loves you," which Reese says she really liked.
"It was a gift to do all three things: speak on what I espoused, use music, and use acting ability," Reese explained. It also had a life-changing message, one that Reese says caused people to stop her "on the street, anywhere" and "tell stories of how this TV show helped to change their lives. I've never been in anything like it."
She recently returned to her love of acting in the new movie "Me Again" by Pure Flix. In it she plays the older maid Muriel, a woman whose experience profoundly affects a minister going through a mid-life crisis.
Reese said that she was interested in being a part of the film before she even got to Muriel's lines.
"The script was presented to me- I am a lyricist, so the words mean something to me- the tempo of the movie means a great deal, and I found Muriel interesting," she explained.
One of the crucial messages Reese hopes to share is that "God has had a bad agent. He's been presented in a negative light, when that is absolutely not true. What he has done has created a heaven for us, left us a book of instruction."
What's next for the performer and minister? Will she consider retiring and resting? Not this woman!
"I have to work, to do something … I'm at a very nice place now where I can choose. I have a need to work, and when I am presented with something that can make a difference, I grab it!" she said.
She recently finished an engagement called "My Life in Music, My Life in Song" in Los Angeles, which as the title says, focused on Reese's life in song.
"Me Again" is currently available on Amazon or through PureFlix.com.