Story and Photos by Marshall Altom
Some people you encounter in life have an unusually high level of energy and charisma—movers and shakers who captivate our attention, whether it is in one-on-one conversation, in a room of people, or in front of a large audience. Terrence Bell is that kind of person. I was fortunate to meet him while we both attended the Huntsville Leadership Institute, and found the level of his multiple talents, interests, and vocations both amazing and inspiring. Terrence, however, would just tell you he is “blessed.” Finding a person with both charisma and humility is a rare combination. Postcards had the opportunity to visit with him so we could learn more and share about his experiences.
How long have you been in Huntsville?
My parents have lived here their entire lives, and I was born in Conroe, Texas on October 30, 1988. I attended Huntsville High School, and once I graduated, I attended Sam Houston State and graduated with a Health and Coaching degree in 2010.
Did you ever want to leave Huntsville?
Whenever I was younger, I had dreams of moving to Dallas. I had an opportunity to become a coach in the Dallas area, but on the day of my interview, my car had not one—but two—flats. Later, I thought of moving to Conroe or The Woodlands, but my mother’s health kept me nearby. Once my wife and I had a family, we decided to stay here. We were stuck, but in a good way. Huntsville is a unique community, and I am glad that every time I had a chance to leave Huntsville, God shut a door. I have no regrets about staying. I remember when the Ravenwood Village Shopping Center was a large area of trees. It has been a blessing to stay and watch Huntsville grow.
What was your first major job?
I began interning for Huntsville High School in 2009 and began coaching soon after. I stayed with the high school for 6-7 years coaching football and track. My first major coaching was with Huntsville Youth Football League; I was blessed to watch those kids grow up, and I have even seen some of them play in college.
When did you begin ministering in Huntsville?
I was a freshman in college, and I began having dreams of a pulpit and saw me preaching. It was odd, because I was not heavily involved with church. I knew the Bible, but did not read the Bible—because I knew I was doing everything wrong. I thought about it for a while and eventually asked God for a sign. Well, one night at dinner, a man I had never met before walks up to me and says, “I have some news for you. You know you are supposed to be preaching.” I have never seen him again, but on that next Sunday, I talked to my pastor. I preached my first sermon in December of 2010 at Greater Zion Missionary Baptist Church. It has been an incredible blessing to spread the word of God. I am able to travel and share my stories in so many cities and states and have gotten to meet so many amazing people.
I hear you are also a singer; what have you done musically?
After I began preaching, I started a group called Voices for Christ. We formed while I was in college and began building our sound. Once we got older, we split apart. Now I am in a group called The Willing Workers here in Huntsville. I started out as a drummer, moved to background singing, and finally a lead singer. It consists of my friends and family, such as my cousin and uncle. We write our own songs and are currently working on a CD, and it is close to being finished. I have been blessed to be able to tour with The Willing Workers and love that we sing for God. I have met a gentleman that I love hearing sing, and he is working on a tour for me for Philadelphia and New York City.
Are there any other hobbies you have?
I also act. My first audition was in 2015. A director came from Bryan looking for some talent. He has put on plays and movies. Friends of mine told me to audition, but ministry was so hectic at the time, I was struggling to balance everything. I auditioned and landed a lead role in one of his plays, but I backed out due to my schedule. He gave me another shot the day before the play, and placed me in two roles. I played a gangster and an old man, and the crowd loved it. I have been working with him steadily for almost five years now. We have toured and seen many different cities. I have gotten to speak with Tyler Perry, and we are currently trying to do a movie and hoping Netflix will partner with us.
What else do you do?
I currently work with the City of Huntsville as a Health Inspector. I used to work with the Parks and Recreation department and was blessed to be able to work my way up. I worked part-time with Parks and Recreation department for seasonal work in 2008. They have taught and trained me so well for both positions I have worked with in the city, and I am blessed to be where I am today.
When people think of Terrence Bell, what would you like them to remember?
I would like to be remembered by my track record I set in high school. I still hold it to this day. Another way I want to be remembered is by my singing and preaching. But most of all, I want to be remembered as a man of God.
Terrence is a testament to the truth of the scripture, “Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” I got chills when he related how he was called to preach. As his story unfolded about all that has happened since he answered that call, I see a promise answered in his life.