LaQuasha Hudson may not be exactly what you expect when you picture a person that considers herself a woman of God and an aspiring minister. Her lipstick and nails are bright, her well put together clothing is fashion-forward, face beat to perfection, and her hearty laugh is full of love and highly infectious. To see her you would not immediately associate her with being religious yet that is exactly what she proudly represents.
For a long time, LaQuasha struggled with her love of fashion concerning her lifelong commitment to the church. “I was conflicted for a long time about wearing certain things like a crop top,” Hudson laughs. Growing up she and her family regularly attended a Baptist church in the small town of Enfield, North Carolina and they were expected to not only be present but also actively participate whether it meant singing in the choir or becoming a member of the usher board. Though she loved being an intricate part of a church family, her parents ensured that she and her siblings received a life balance that included fun and practical activities outside of religion.
Religion is one of the things that we are taught early on not to discuss in public as it is a subject that is often heatedly debated. Some studies seem to indicate that millennials (born between 1981-1996) have fled from organized religion but as someone who resides practically in the center of what is referred to as the Bible belt, their results do not necessarily reflect the experiences of our area. Just like most everything else in the twenty-first century, the church and its followers have evolved. Hudson, who is also an educator, views much of the disconnect between Generation Z (born between 1996- 2015) and organized religion as more of a generational divide. She says “Millennials questioned more than Baby boomers and Generation Z questions pretty much everything”.
According to the Pew Research Center, Atheism has nearly doubled in Generation Z. While the numbers may present a stark view of the future of younger generations abandoning church or even the belief in God itself, no other generation has had as much access to information as Generation Z who has had the internet since before they were born. LaQuasha believes that this can be overcome by churches moving from more traditional approaches to appeal to younger people. She fervently reiterates that this does not mean abandoning sacred practices such as prayer or communion, but simply being able to relate to younger people by allowing for open discussions that sometimes may be considered taboo in religious settings.
Hudson notes that leaders, who genuinely love Christ, openly serve God, and who walk in their purpose can offer younger people the opportunity to see that religion is not just something that is often portrayed as negative. “Many younger people see religion as forced, strict, and having too many rules, “Hudson states. The thought of being boxed in may be scary to younger church members who may become rebellious if they find themselves bound by strict guidelines. She adamantly stands by the idea that individuals should build a personal relationship with God by studying the Bible and praying. She sees these principles as paramount in bridging the gap between the church and our younger generations. “People have to know what their own limits are. Someone may be conflicted with having a glass of wine in public while others may not.“ Hudson continues, “the main premise is that you do not have to completely lose who you are to love God for we are all fearfully and wonderfully made.”
LaQuasha Y. Hudson is an author, public educator, and fervent woman of God. You can purchase her initial book release Don’t Cast Your Pearls on Amazon or follow her on Instagram @fash1onmuse.