Meet Aretha Tatum of Courage Over Fear Productions
I am a minister, author and a filmmaker. I love to encourage and inspire others, specifically adults, reminding them that it is never too late and you are never too old to LIVE ON PURPOSE. I am a living witness. I obtained a degree in accounting and worked in various areas in the accounting field. I started off as an auditor with a top public accounting firm. I spent some time in banking, worked for the U.S. Government and even a radio station. I actually never planned on staying in the field of accounting, but every time I wanted to make a change I just ended up taking another position in the field. I actually took acting classes when I was in my twenties. I even had the opportunity to get paid as an extra in a Nike commercial which was directed by none other than Spike Lee. Eventually I decided that it was too much work to try to get into entertainment and accounting paid the bills.
It wasn’t until the year 2010 that my life changed forever. At the age of forty-three I was called into ministry and ordained Minister Aretha Tatum. I went on to publish my first book in 2014 at forty-seven and in 2017 completed my first short film which I was blessed to write, direct and produce at the age of fifty. I realized that media arts and entertainment is the area that God wants to use me in to minister to people and to use the books and films as ministry tools.
Usually when you reach forty you think you know who you are but God is good for the wow. It turns out that my early desire for the entertainment industry was actually part of a divine direction. So now instead of making my own plans now I just follow His.
It was always a struggle balancing between what I wanted to do and what I could do. I would always say that if I could do anything and money didn’t matter, I would be a motivational speaker. That is what I wanted to do. The how to do it was something I couldn’t quite figure out. However, what I could do was accounting. My very first job was as an accounting tutor in college. Throughout my career I was able to work at different companies in different positions but my heart still remained the same. I didn’t see myself doing this for the rest of my life. I would always come up with activities to raise the moral of my co-workers. I would by lunch for the group, create work related trivia games and give out prizes. etc. There was one time when I took a personality test and it said that the idea jobs for my personality were counselor, teacher and you guessed it minister. I wanted to test the validity of the test and asked a co-worker to take the same test and it was suggested that she be an auditor, which is what we were. According to the test, she was in the right field and I was not. For years I did what I was able to do and yearned for what I wanted to do.
I am the Director of Courage Over Fear Productions a facet of Free-Life Life Changing Ministries. My Pastor and Overseer is Sandra D. Bates. The mission of Courage Over Fear Productions is to uplift, encourage and educate with faith-based seminars and special events. We have done events which have raised awareness about domestic violence and our seminars have been on the subjects of the end times, faith and finance, and kingdom benefits. In addition COF Productions also does film premiere events to showcase faith-based films. We don’t have a set agenda. As the Lord leads we put together the various events and seminars. The events are truly a production. We create custom themed centerpieces for the tables at the seminars and themed giveaways at the film premiers. Our goal is to not just to have an event but to create an experience!
Success for me is fulfilling my purpose. Doing all that God leads me to do. Sometimes it is not easy. It takes faith. A whole lot of it. I didn’t plan on writing a book. The Lord said do it. I said I don’t know how. He said I will help you and He did. I rely on His help for all the things that I believe He wants me to do. Producing my first short film was a faith journey and God helped me with that. My first book was blessed to win an award. My first short film was blessed to win an award as well. I felt like a success when I was able to do something I had never even thought about doing and I see true success is being able to create or do something that adds something great to the world we live in.