Award-winning journalist, author, and minister, Barbara Ann Reynolds, was born on August 17, 1942, in Columbus, Ohio. Raised by her step grandmother, Mae Stewart, Reynolds attended St. Cyprian Catholic School, Franklin Junior High School, and graduated from Columbus East High School in 1960. Starting at Central State University, Reynolds graduated from Ohio State University (OSU) with her B.A. degree in journalism in 1967. At OSU, Reynolds wrote for The Lantern and the Columbus Call and Post.
Employed as a social worker in Cleveland, Reynolds was hired by the Cleveland Press in 1968, where she covered the race riots. Hired by Ebony magazine in 1969, Reynolds became assistant editor and wrote the monthly food column, A Date with a Dish. A poet, Reynolds was published in Black World and was associated with Kuumba Theatre and the OBAC Writers Workshop. In 1969, Reynolds joined Chicago Today where she covered the murder of Fred Hampton; that same year, she moved to the Chicago Tribune, where she helped found Dollars and Sense magazine. In 1975, Reynolds wrote the controversial biography, Jesse Jackson, the man, the myth and the movement, which was revised ten years later as Jesse Jackson, America’s David. Reynolds was awarded a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University in 1976. Reynolds served as Washington correspondent for the Chicago Tribune until 1980 and wrote a regular column for USA Today until 1996. Reynolds hosted a radio talk show called Barbara’s Beat and was host of WHUT’s Evening Exchange. Reynolds penned No, I Won’t Shut Up: 30 Years of Telling It Like It Is with a foreword by Coretta Scott King in 1998, and the autobiographical, Out of Hell and Living Well in 2005. In addition to these activities, Reynolds was founder and president of Reynolds News Service.
Attracted to spirituality, Reynolds attended Howard University Divinity School in 1988, graduating in 1992. Reynolds was ordained as a minister in 1993 after a spiritual experience at the Door of No Return in Senegal, then earned her D. Min. from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, in 1997. Reynolds served as a minister at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. and was founder of Harriet’s Children, an organization that assisted women who abused alcohol and drugs.