For 635 days, Rev. Bill Shillady would wake up at 4 a.m. and send Chappaqua's Hillary Clinton a positive or inspirational message based on scripture while she was campaigning for president.
Shillady, who previously preached in Yonkers and Mamaroneck, has compiled these daily devotionals into a new book, "Strong for a Moment Like This," which is out next Tuesday, with a foreword written by Clinton.
Shillady first met Clinton at a 9/11 remembrance service when she was senator. They chatted backstage and Clinton's daughter, Chelsea, began attending Shillady's Methodist church on the Upper West Side. Shillady was the Methodist official at Chelsea's wedding.
At an Easter brunch, Clinton told Shillady of her presidential plans and he sprung into action.
"I would look at the headlines to see what had happened the day before," Shillady said. "I would look for scripture that related to that particular moment in time."
Shillady often prayed for her, especially during the most contentious times of the campaign. He said a prayer at the Democratic National Convention and attended the debate at Hofstra University.
On Election Day, Shillady sent Clinton a message every 30 minutes and attended her election party at the Javits Center. He sent her another devotional the next day, reminding her of Good Friday.
"That was the hardest devotional I ever had to write," Shillady said. "I reminded her that Sunday is coming."
While Clinton supporters may have lost their faith after the election, Shillady said he believes some good will come out of it.
"Maybe we will begin to find new ways of building bridges instead of building walls," Shillady said. "People will begin to change their dialogue and reach out to others. some of the things that are happening are hurting and harming the most vulnerable."
Shillady made some waves when he said Clinton was interested in preaching at Methodist churches .
"At Methodist churches, lay people have the right to preach from the pulpit," Shillady said. "She would make a tremendous preacher, she has a very strong knowledge of scripture. She has a significant depth of experience. People will hear about her disappointment and hope for the future."
Shillady remains in contact with Clinton and said the family is doing fine and that she loves being a grandmother to Charlotte and Aiden.
"Charlotte has grandma wrapped around her finger," Shillady said.
A book signing will be held at Scattered Books on Friday, Aug. 18 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
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