Julie Lyons, Wisconsin girl, turned skeptical crime reporter in Texas, was following a lead in South Dallas -- seeking stories, in this crime ridden community, of people who had been supernaturally healed from drug addictions.
She happened upon a small, rundown church, The Body of Christ Assembly, pastored by Rev. Frederick Eddington, and this encounter transformed her life.
In her recent book, Holy Roller, Lyons recounts her journey from a disengaged, conflicted, doubter to a full blown participant in a vibrant, pentecostal, African American faith community (She's the only white girl in the house.)
She shares frankly and openly about her personal struggles, as well as making troubling observations of those who abuse position and authority in the church. (After all, she was a crime reporter, remember -- turned religion columnist, "Bible Girl"-- but that's another story.)
It's encouraging to note that the pastor of the church, Rev. Eddington and his wife, Diane, are the genuine article. Lyons knows all the inner workings of this little congregation, and has nothing but positive and uplifting things to say about these unsung heroes on the front lines of ministry.
Holy Roller gives the reader an intriguing "front pew" view of African American Pentecostalism. I walked away with a fresh understanding and appreciation of these brothers and sisters, though there is definitely no sugar coating.
One of the most attractive things about the book is its stark honesty. There's not much nuance -- it's simple and real.
I also marvel at the power of the Holy Spirit, who certainly has performed some mighty miracles in the life of Julie Lyons. (I'm also glad to hear that after nearly two decades in Dallas, she still remains a loyal Packer fan!)