Thursday, July 17, 2008

From Homeless to Hopeful, Billy Ray Thomas' Announces his First 2008 Piano Concert...


Shortly (in less than a week), on the Evening of July 26, 2008 at 7:30 PM, Reverend Billy Ray Thomas will be performing a Benefit Piano Recital whose Proceeds will be earmarked to support his on-going activities of The Minister's Mission, a Ministry for Evanston, Illinois' Homeless. This Date will mark his First Event in over a year and is not to be missed.

The First United Methodist Church of Evanston serves as the Host of "The Rev's" (as he is known by his Friends and Co-Workers) ticketed Event.

Location: The Great Hall - 516 Church Street in Evanston, IL

(Evanston is the City directly north of Chicago, IL, home of Northwestern University).

Price: $20 in Advance; $25 at the Door

Reverend Thomas is a self-taught Pianist and Composer who will debut several new Medleys.

ABOUT BILLY RAY: Reverend Billy was born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1958 and now resides in Evanston, IL, happily married. Throughout the years, he has received critical acclaim in The Evanston Review, Northwestern Daily & Evanston Beacon for both his humanitarian work in the community and his musical talents. The Evanston Community Media Center produced 2 exquisite and enlightening Documentaries that protrayed Billy Ray's Rise "From the Garbage Can to the Grand Piano." Today, as he has been doing for the last decade, 'The Rev' actively ministers to Folks without homes, jobs and those mentally & drug-addicted, using Evanston, IL as his homebase. You can find him hard at work in Church Soup Kitchens, Clothing Distribution Arenas, Warming & Cooling Centers and he sets up Haircut Appointments (knowing that raising one's self-esteem is as important as feeding an empty stomach and soul). An Advocate of 'Green,' The Rev is endlessly seen peddling around town which, of course, lessens his carbon footprint although his altruistic blueprint speaks for itself.

IN RETROSPECT: In another much sadder Incarnation, Reverend Billy Ray was homeless and scouring garbage cans for a morsel to eat. Then, in 1996, knowing there was a 'better way,' he began a Journey of Discovery to teach himself to play Piano. Pursuing his Studies at Northwestern University of Music and through endless work, alot of faith and believing in himself, he serves as a role model to those who are experiencing hard times. And, these days, hard times are even affecting those who never had a monetary worry. 'Moving on' is what 'The Rev' works on every day in his Spiritual and Spirited Process. You could rightfully say that Reverend Billy is Illinois' Dalai Lama. The Comparison is uncanny.

His Discography includes a Fourth CD entitled 'Newly Yvonne' in 2005.


Reverend Billy also publishes a Monthly Newsletter (in Hardcopy Format) as the Executive Director of Minister's Mission, a Ministry for The Poor with Yvonne Smith editing the Text and Copy. Topics include:

The local Soup Kitchens at Arealand Churches,

Mike, the Barber who donates his time and supplies as a Barber for The Poor,

a photo expose of where the Poor 'scavenge,'

a List of Weekly Services Reverend Billy offers;

rundowns on where he is performing

as well as a Business Card Ad Section which helps generate income for his Ministry.

A B&W Photo Section at the Close of the 8-Page Newsletter cites many moving and inspirational Quotes, many of which can pull us through our Days. A List of growing Supporting Sponsors closes out the Newsletter as well as a 'What's New' Column at the Minister's Mission. Enjoyable to read and as well as a Commentary on Progress made in this Arena, The Minister's Newsletter is a work-in-progress that is truly a Labor of Love.

YOU ARE INVITED: Mark your Calendar to attend Reverend Billy's Concert on July 26, 2008. Make it a Family Affair. For those wishing to interview and/or film him 'in action,' email Reverend Billy Ray Thomas at:


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