Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Book Tour: Holy Ghost Girl
Book Tour: Holy Ghost Girl: A Memoir
I wasn't born until the 70s, so I missed out on the tent revivalist craze of David Terrell. The true stories contained within this memoir though, remind me of some other travelling evangelists that have come to light over the years. I try to remain non-judgmental, because we all sin and make mistakes. Nevertheless, I will admit that I was shocked reading about some of the things that occurred behind the scenes that I had never heard before. Cult like communities and exploitative evangelists upset me because I think they tarnish the reputations of Christians as a whole, they also turn so many away from God.
This book was griping, and it holds you in its clenches until the very end. Even when relating true stories that are completely vile at their core, the author manages to portray the facts with compassion and grace. This is an excellent nonfictional memoir book that I highly recommend.
She was just three years old when her mother signed on as the organist of tent revivalist David Terrell, and before long, Donna Johnson was part of the hugely popular evangelical preacher's inner circle. At seventeen, she left the ministry for good, with a trove of stranger-than-fiction memories. A homecoming like no other, Holy Ghost Girl brings to life miracles, exorcisms, and faceoffs with the Ku Klux Klan. And that's just what went on under the tent.
As Terrell became known worldwide during the 1960s and '70s, the caravan of broken-down cars and trucks that made up his ministry evolved into fleets of Mercedes and airplanes. The glories of the Word mixed with betrayals of the flesh and Donna's mother bore Terrell's children in one of the several secret households he maintained. Thousands of followers, dubbed "Terrellites" by the press, left their homes to await the end of the world in cultlike communities. Jesus didn't show, but the IRS did, and the prophet/healer went to prison.
Recounted with deadpan observations and surreal detail, Holy Ghost Girl bypasses easy judgment to articulate a rich world in which the mystery of faith and human frailty share a surprising and humorous coexistence.
***Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book to facilitate my review, no monetary compensation was exchanged. No positive opinion was requested or required, all opinions expressed are solely mine and were not influenced in any manner.