“If you turn that place around, you’ll be a hero. But if you don’t, no one will blame you, because that’s impossible!” (All Saints, pg. 17, paragraph 3)
Being a minister can be a challenging task in and of itself, much less, being a new minister fresh out of seminary and being thrown into a church that had just undergone a huge split and in a financial crisis due to a large mortgage. For Father Michael Spurlock, this was exactly the situation he found himself in when he took the vicarage at All Saints Episcopal Church in Smyrna, Tennessee.
All Saints by Michael Spurlock and Jeanette Windle details the true story of a church that was split down to 25 people when Father Spurlock took over and the way prayers were answered and the Karen people group not only helped them grow in congregation size, but helped them see how to make the most of the land they were blessed with and grow their faith (and crops) as God provided miracle after miracle. In the book, we read as this church goes from the brinks of having to sell the church building and property after a terribly messy church split, to being a thriving, flourishing, and growing church. This is also a story of the Kunzoo family of the Karen tribe and how God proved himself faithful to bring them out of oppression in Burma to a new life in America.
The book was very interesting and a quick read. The only part I didn’t really care for in the book was the last few chapters when it became more like a documentary to making the All Saints film rather than the actual story of the church itself.
If you’re looking for a book that describes the story of what it was like to be a refugee and unwanted people group in Burma in recent years, this is it. If you are looking for a story of the ways God works for the good of those who love Him, you will also find that in here. And if you are looking for a story to uplift you when you feel at the very end of your ropes and not sure if God is really listening to your prayers (or even if you’re trying to understand the sometimes humorous ways God answers prayers), then this is a book you will want to pick up.
For a preview of the novel or to purchase, please click here.
I received this book free courtesy of Bethany House Publisher’s Blogger Review Program in exchange for an honest review.