Friday, March 16, 2012

THE DEVIL IN PEW NUMBER SEVEN by Rebecca Nichols Alonzo with Bob DeMoss

As a true story, I found this a difficult book to read and review.  It is well-written and engaging, and hard to put down. Yet, it is also terribly sad that any family endured what they did. You know from the beginning that tragedy is going to strike, but the events that build up to it continue one after another after another until you want to yell, “Enough already! Get out of town. Run! Save yourselves!”

Mr. Watts, a prominent, wealthy man resents the new pastor and doesn’t like the way he has restructured the church. He begins to harass the pastor in an effort to make him leave. When he won’t give in and move, Mr. Watts sets out to chase the pastor and his family away from his town. Watts does horrible things to this family, and for some reason he gets away with it for years even though everyone knows he is behind it all. Over and over again, this family faces having their home violated, life threatening gunshots through bedroom windows, dynamite blasts that damage the house and more.

How this pastor could put his church and his congregation above his family’s safety is beyond my comprehension. He felt God was calling him to do this, and perhaps so, but he caused his family to endure it with him. Did he do the right thing? In hindsight maybe he would have chosen a different path, but we can all say that.

I can only imagine what Rebecca Nichols experienced as a child. Fortunately for her brother, he was too young to remember much. Both, however, lost their parents far too soon. Thank Heaven for a kind and loving aunt who took over. 

This pastor’s two, now adult, children have learned to forgive those who hurt them and their parents. Forgiveness is most valuable to the one doing the forgiving than to the one being forgiven, and so it should be. Rebecca Nichols Alonzo and her brother, Daniel Nichols, deserve peace and happiness after their tumultuous childhoods. So do their grandparents, aunts and uncles who also suffered heartbreaking losses.

This book is highly recommended. We appreciate the complimentary copy we received from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
—Gail Lewis

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (July 16, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1414326599
ISBN-13: 978-1414326597

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