Welcome, Rebecca Dwight Bruff! Rebecca will be a panelist on January 27, 2024 at First Baptist Church, Perry, GA. Check out her novel, Trouble the Water (more below). Rebecca was born in Amarillo, Texas which she remembers as flat, brown, and dry ­– and later moved to the Dallas suburb of Richardson, which she remembers as flat, a little less brown, and humid.

Bruff earned an education degree at Texas A&M. Because she had no clue what she wanted to do with her life, and couldn’t choose a major, she was encouraged to take placement tests to streamline the process. She placed out of all the English and writing requirements and never took a class in what she loved most: language, words, and stories. A decade later she went to seminary and earned her Master and Doctorate degrees in theology (Southern Methodist University). 

An ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, and served several Dallas area congregations, focusing on spiritual formation and cross-cultural partnerships. Rebecca has organized and led numerous youth and adult work teams in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Louisiana and international teams in Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Ecuador, Russia, Nigeria, and the Taizé community in France. She says she’s better at getting people out of the church than in it. And she’s witnessed and heard remarkable stories because the world is full of them.

After writing hundreds of sermons, lessons, wedding homilies, and funeral eulogies, Rebecca heard the story of Robert Smalls on her first brief visit to South Carolina in 2013. She was so captivated that in 2017 she left her job and, with her late husband Tom, moved across the country to research and write this extraordinary man’s story.

Trouble the Water has received First Place/ Gold awards for Debut Novel and Adult Fiction, and a Bronze award for Historical Fiction from The Feathered Quill Awards, and First Place/Gold in Fiction from American Bookfest, and most recently the 2021 International Grand Prize for Best Book from Chanticleer Reviews.

Rebecca – and their silly golden retriever Bentley – is at home now in Beaufort, SC, enjoying the beauty of water, trees, birds, and the gentle pace of the lowcountry.

She now volunteers at the Pat Conroy Literary Center in Beaufort. She’s published a children’s book, Stars of Wonder, inspired by her own wondrous grandkids, as well as the non-fiction Loving the World with God, published by Upper room Books.

Rebecca believes deeply in the power of stories to inspire curiosity, cultivate empathy, and catalyze change. Every story matters. Learn more about Rebecca and her work HERE.

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