Upon This Rock: The Miracles of a Black Church

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9780060166106: Upon This Rock: The Miracles of a Black Church

Reverend Youngblood reveals how one man was able to build a spiritual community in the face of urban despair. By the author of Small Victories. 50,000 first printing. $50,000 ad/promo.

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About the Author:

Samuel G. Freedman, who has won numerous awards for investigative reporting and feature writing, is a former reporter for The New York Times. He has written frequently for Rolling Stone and has taught in the Columbia University Graduate Departments of Theater and Journalism. He lives in New York City with his wife, Cynthia.

From Publishers Weekly:

With the scope and grace of a master storyteller, Freedman ( Small Victories ) offers an indelible portrait of a New York City institution: St. Paul Community Baptist Church, an oasis in a blighted section of Brooklyn, led by the dynamic Rev. Johnny Ray Youngblood. Granted unrestricted access to Youngblood and his self-described "church unusual," Freedman writes movingly of struggles and dramas: the twice-reformed drug addict who leads the "Wounded Healers" support group and who has taken an African name, Osei, meaning "Serious"; the indomitable grandmother who gives shelter to cast-off children; the sole white congregant, whose sense of mission grows deeper over time. Freedman writes almost cinematically when he describes the church services and, in one chapter, intercuts two sensitive stories: a marriage counseling session and an internal church investigation of child abuse. Freedman also writes thoughtfully about Youngblood's theology, the church's history and its prominent political role in New York, building nearly 2300 one-family homes in a project known as Nehemiah. Youngblood, little known outside Brooklyn, is an intriguing character who has traveled--geographically, philosophically and theologically. He has a vision for his church and community, yet has his own crosses to bear. Freedman captures the minister's touching reconciliations with his son born out of wedlock and with his own long-estranged father. If there is a quibble, it is that the white author, who gets so close to his black subjects, himself remains an enigma. Nonetheless, this stunning book has much to say about religion and race, cities and change, community and faith. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo; BOMC alternate; author tour.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Freedman, Samuel G.
Published by Harpercollins (1993)
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