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Actress Brenda Epperson's Story of Brokenness

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Actress: Played Ashley Abbot in The Young and the Restless (1988–1995)

Also appeared in: Spy TV, Vegas, City of Dreams, Passions, Day Of Miracles, Amore, Storybook, Follow Your Heart, Palmetto Pointe, Bug Buster, The Nanny, The Misery Brothers, Days of Our Lives, Celebrity Ghost Stories

Author: The Blessedness of Brokenness

Singer: Take Time (2013), If You Believe (1998)

Brenda is juggling a myriad of flourishing ministry projects.  She is the creator of Ascend, a yearly women’s conference where hundreds of women are saved and set free. She volunteers with inner city children with H.U.P. (Hollywood Urban Project). She also leads a small group Bible study. She has recently released her new song, I Cry Freedom, and is working on a new book series. She shared her story in the 2012 book, The Blessedness of Brokenness.  

As she says in her book, “I thank God because in my personal brokenness, I have experienced healing, restoration, newness, hope and God’s amazing grace. This is often costly, painful, and difficult. I remember times I could barely get out of bed to face another day! We can be broken in many ways, physically, through divorce, death of a loved one, or addiction, but I have realized that through everything we all have a choice!  We can remain unbroken in our comfort zone and in pain if we’d like, but when we choose to say 'yes' to Christ, He begins to break us and mold us so we can be healed and put back together in His image, not ours. If we remain unbroken, we have no impact or affect for God, or for others around this world.”


Brenda was born in North Hollywood, California.  She lived with her mother, father and sister, and led a very normal life. But when she was only 6 years old, she was molested. She held the secret inside and vowed not to tell anyone. 

When she was 9 years old her father, country singer Don Epperson, died suddenly in a car accident at age 32. Brenda had been very close to her father and was traumatized.   The pain from the death of her father, coupled with confusion from molestation, created turmoil inside of her. She says her heart began hardening toward God. 

After her father’s death, her mother raised Brenda and her sister alone. They struggled financially, especially since her father’s life insurance had been cancelled.  Eventually they moved from Southern California to Winnemucca, Nevada to live with Brenda’s aunt and uncle.

Brenda remembers her aunt and uncle talking often about Christ. On Christmas Eve, Brenda went with her family to a candle light  church service.  Brenda said, “I felt this overwhelming sense of love and peace come over me like nothing I’d ever felt before.” That night, she gave her life to Christ. Brenda says she began to realize she wasn’t alone, and that that God was always with her.  Over the years, she became involved in a good church and began reading her Bible faithfully. She frequently sang in church. Eventually, she gained the strength to tell her mother about the molestation. Finally, Brenda was free.

A few years after she graduated from high school, Brenda felt she was called to return to Hollywood.  “Hollywood is dark, it’s ugly, it’s self-serving, 'me'-oriented, self-hating,” she said. “I always knew God had a plan for my life and I knew since a young girl that I was going to affect the world, and not let the world infect me.  In all I did, I always made a conscious decision to be a positive influence and be light,” she said. 

Within a few years, she had landed the lead on The Young and the Restless. She played “Ashley Abbott” for over 7 years. After her time on Y&R, Brenda began her film career. She has starred in films on HBO and Lifetime, and has also appeared on a host of other networks including E!, TBN and CNN. She has also maintained a fruitful music career, releasing the albums If You Believe in 1998, and Take Time in 2013.   She has been featured on several movie soundtracks and has released several singles as well.

Guest Name / Person Interviewed or Featured in Article or Video: 
Brenda Epperson
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