The Apostle to the Opelousas

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About the author:
Randy Willis is an American novelist, biographer, and music publisher.

He is the author of Twice a Slave, Three Winds Blowing, Louisiana Wind, Beckoning Candle, The Apostle to the Opelousas, The Story of Joseph Willis, and many magazine and newspaper articles.

Randy Willis...novels about adventure, family, faith, and the character of a man that touched generations....

Coming soon: A series of Children's Storybooks beginning with Ole Sally Swims the Mighty Mississippi.

Twice a Slave has also been adapted into a dramatic play ( and ( at Louisiana College, by Dr. D. "Pete" Richardson (Associate Professor of Theater with Louisiana College).

Randy Willis owns Randy Willis Music Publishing (an ASCAP-affiliated music publishing company), and Town Lake Music Publishing, LLC (a BMI-affiliated music publishing company). He is an ASCAP-affiliated songwriter.

He is the founder of Operation Warm Heart ( and ( which feeds and clothes the homeless, and is a member of the Board of Directors of Our Mission Possible ( in Austin, with the goal of empowering at-risk teens to discover their greatness . He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Joseph Willis Institute at Louisiana College.

He was born in Oakdale, Louisiana. He lived on Barber Creek, between Forest Hill and Longleaf, Louisiana, as a boy. He currently resides in the Texas Hill Country.

He graduated from Angleton High School in Angleton, Texas, and Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, with a BBA. He was a graduate student at Texas State University for six years.

He is single and the father of three sons and has four grandchildren. All of his books are dedicated to them by name.

Randy Willis is a fourth great-grandson of Joseph Willis, and his foremost historian.


The Apostle to the Opelousas

Authored by Randy Willis

Joseph Willis's life is a story of triumph over tragedy and victory over adversity.

. He was born into slavery. His mother was Cherokee and his father a wealthy English plantation owner.

. His family took him to court to deprive him of his inheritance (which would have made him the wealthiest plantation owner in all of Bladen County, North Carolina in 1776).

. He fought as a Patriot in the Revolutionary War under the most colorful of all the American generals, Francis Marion, The Swamp Fox.

. His first wife died in childbirth, and his second wife died only six years later, leaving him with five small children.

. He crossed the mighty Mississippi River at Natchez at the peril of his own life, riding a mule!

. He entered hostile Spanish-controlled Louisiana Territory, when the dreaded Code Noir (Black Code) was in effect. It forbade any Protestant ministers who came into the territory from preaching.

. His life was threatened because of the message he brought to Spanish-controlled Louisiana!

. His own denomination refused to ordain him because of his race.

. Joseph Willis preached the first Gospel sermon by an Evangelical west of the Mississippi River.

. After overcoming insurmountable obstacles, he blazed a trail for others for another half-century that changed American history.

. His accomplishments are still felt today.

Randy Willis is a fourth great-grandson of Joseph Willis and his foremost historian.

Publication Date:
1512326062 / 9781512326062
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Biography & Autobiography / Adventurers & Explorers

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