Rebekah"Bishop Bekah" Threlkeld
Discovering The Voice
Rebekah Sophia Threlkeld was born in Houston, Texas to proud parents Floyd and Ester Williams. As the daughter of a 4th generation pastor, Rebekah grew up in the church and as a very active youth, she began singing. At an early age, Rebekah moved to Dallas, Texas with her mother and her siblings. In high school she was a member of the Marine F. Bailey Concert Choir where she was lead soloist. While in high school, Rebekah landed the leading role in play "So You Want To Go To Hell", a T. D. Jakes & The Potter’s House Production; written and directed by D. J. Street.
Upon graduation from Lincoln Humanities/Communications Magnet in 2003, Rebekah was accepted to Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia. While attending CAU, Rebekah held one of the leading roles as an actress and singer in the "Black Voices Series," a musical theatre ensemble production written by Dr. Willie Todd, Jr. and directed by Dr. A. C. Myles 2004 - 2007.
While pursuing her degree at Clark Atlanta, Rebekah would come to discover that not only was singing a passion of hers, but there was uniqueness to her sound. In her junior year at the university, Rebekah set out to run for “Miss CAU.” In the fall of 2006 Rebekah was crowned Miss Clark Atlanta University and due to her singing abilities, she was the feature artist for the "Mighty Marching Panther" band at the Honda Battle of the Bands. In May 2007, Rebekah graduated Clark Atlanta University with honors and a BA degree in Psychology.
Rebekah's singing ability led her to sing background for gospel artists such as; Martha Munizzi, Byron Cage and Marett Brown Clark at the 2008 Gospel Heritage Awards. In 2012 she was honored to be an opening act for the Grammy Award winning Mississippi Mass Choir 25th anniversary concert. Such opportunities helped Rebekah began to discover that singing was not just a passion of hers... but it was "Her Gift" from God. She has recently released her two new singles “He’s A Savior” and “Keep On.
In 2006, Rebekah began to experience extreme weight and hair loss while competing for Miss CAU. Although the hair and weight loss could not be explained, she continued to have different symptoms that would begin to show up overtime. In the summer of 2007 after being hired as an Admissions Counselor by her University, Rebekah would one morning wake up to red spots on her legs and the inability to move. After visiting the hospital, she was told by doctors that she appeared to have some signs of what may be Lupus-- but because she did not have all 10 signs, doctors ruled it out.
In 2007, Rebekah would go on to meet and later married the love of her life, Antoine Threlkeld. Although it appeared that the scare of Lupus was just that a scare, she became pregnant with her daughter and soon began to notice her vision was beginning to deteriorate. While pregnant, she had days where she was unable to walk on her own without assistance from her husband and had inflammation in her blood and was unable to take any type of medication. Again, she sought the expertise of doctors to determine what diagnosis-- if any could be given. She was later told that she had Rheumatoid Arthritis; because of pregnancy, she was unable to take x-rays. As her pregnancy would continue, Rebekah began to experience more and more symptoms and was unable to carry her precious daughter full term. Alaina Rae Threlkeld was delivered after her mother had only carried her for 33 weeks and weighed only 3lbs and 14 ounces. Mother and daughter were and are both fighters; this beautiful baby would soon come home after only a few weeks in the hospital.
In 2010, Rebekah and her family packed up and moved back to Texas to be close to family. After a few weeks of being back in her home state, Rebekah went from buying her clothes from the Juniors Section of Department Stores to wearing a size 12 in the children's section. During this time, Rebekah's health quickly began to fail; she was not able to do many things without the assistance of family members. In 2011 Rebekah was referred by a family friend to book an appointment with world renowned Rheumatologist Dr. Samuel Pegram who after only one visit with him was immediately diagnosed with Systemic and Discoid Lupus. It was there that she discovered that if she had waited a few more weeks before seeing a rheumatologist, the Lupus would have completely attacked her kidneys
Although Rebekah has continued to battle this uncontrollable disease, she has continued to lift her beautiful voice for the one who has given her a special gift. As soon as it appears Lupus is resting; she again gets a swift kick to let her know its still there and in full swing. Each year since her diagnosis, she has experienced great bouts with the disease such as being hospitalized in 2012 for fluid overload and congestive heart failure; 2013 told she was legally blind; 2014 was unable to work for six months because of inflammation in the blood; inability to muster up strength to do simple daily chores at home and this year 2015 began to lose hair and notice her teeth were weak due to Lupus as her enamel of her teeth began to breakdown.
Discovering Strength & Purpose
Even though it may sometimes appear that Lupus is winning; this young woman continues to fight with every breath in her body and every ounce of strength she is able to dig up. Rebekah continues to draw from the faith instilled in her as a young girl. After receiving the diagnosis, she and her father would take the LUPUS fight to the one who is able to fight ALL fights!
She has made the promise to deal with this disease head on. Through much soul searching, and a desire to help others, Rebekah has combined her God given talent with the determination to beat LUPUS. She has done so by creating a Music Production called "The Revue" held annually. The Revue is a musical re-enactment of celebrity greats such as Frankie Lymon to Beyoncé. Aristis must audition to be apart with proceeds benefiting Lupus Awareness. Out of every pain and every obstacle is what birthed the components of what is now known as the Sophia Threlkeld Lupus Foundation, Inc. A foundation designed to inform, empower, and encourage those living with lupus and teach them how to fight this disease from "Outside In."
STLF Board Members
Rebekah S. Threlkeld