News Release

Authors of ‘My Name Used to be Muhammad’ to Give Devotional Feb. 21

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Jeff Benedict and Tito Momen

Tito Momen and Jeff Benedict, authors of the new book “My Name Used to Be Muhammad: The True Story of a Muslim Who Became a Christian,” will give a devotional address on Friday, Feb. 21, at 11 a.m. in the Stoddard Center at Southern Virginia University.

Following the devotional at 3:30 p.m. in the Southern Virginia Bookstore, Momen and Benedict will sign copies of their book, “My Name Used to be Muhammad.”

The book tells the story of Momen, who was arrested more than 22 years ago in Cairo, Egypt, for converting to Christianity. Momen was raised in the Islamic faith, but changed his name from Muhammad to Tito — the Italian form of Titus, a New Testament missionary — when he converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Momen spent 15 years in prison after his conversion and subsequent arrest.

Benedict, who coauthored the book, is an award-winning author and a regular contributor to the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Sports Illustrated, and Deseret News. He has written a number of books including “Little Pink House,” “How to Build a Business Warren Buffet Would Buy,” “The Mormon Way of Doing Business: How Seven Western Boys Reached the Top of Corporate America,” “Poisoned: The True Story of the Deadly E. Coli Outbreak That Changed the Way Americans Eat,” and “The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football,”

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Benedict received a bachelor’s degree in history from Eastern Connecticut State University in 1991 and a master’s degree in political science from Northeastern University in 1995. He has served as distinguished professor of writing and mass media at Southern Virginia since 2007, and currently owns a farm in Rockbridge County where he lives with his wife, Lydia, and four children.

Community members and Southern Virginia faculty, staff and students are invited to hear forum and devotional speakers each Friday morning at 11 a.m. in the Stoddard Center. Recordings of past forum and devotional speeches may be accessed online.