Published by Tyndale Momentum on August 1, 2010
Genres: Christian, Memoir
Pages: 304 (Paperback)
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Rebecca never felt safe as a child. In 1969, her father, Robert Nichols, moved with his family to Sellerstown, North Carolina, to serve as a pastor. There he found a small community eager to welcome him...with one exception. Glaring at him from pew number seven was a man obsessed with controlling the church and determined to get rid of anyone who stood in his way.
The first time the Nichols family received a harassing phone call, they dismissed it. The same went for the anonymous letter that threatened they’d leave “crawling or walking...dead or alive.” But what they couldn’t ignore was the strategy of terror their tormentor unleashed, more devastating and violent than they could have ever imagined. Refusing to be driven away, Rebecca’s father stood his ground until one night when an armed man walked into the family’s kitchen...and Rebecca’s life was shattered.
If anyone had reason to harbor hatred and seek personal revenge, it would be Rebecca. Yet The Devil in Pew Number Seven tells a different story. It is the true saga of relentless persecution, one family’s faith and courage in the face of it, and a daughter whose parents taught her the power of forgiveness.
I think we have a new winner for best memoir of 2010 folks! Rebecca’s story of terror, tragedy, and forgiveness proves Mark Twain’s hypothesis that “truth is stranger than fiction.” The first eleven chapters read like a horror novel, each attack by the psychopathic Mr. Watts growing more and more aggressive until finally the drama climaxes and Rebecca is left a traumatized and broken seven-year-old girl.Terror + Tragedy in 'The Devil in Pew Number Seven' by Rebecca Nichols AlonzoClick To Tweet
What is even more incredible is the compassion, love, and forgiveness with which Rebecca and her famil responded to this reign of terror. Rebecca’s parents forgave their tormentor right to the end, even praying for him, and Rebecca followed in their footsteps by proving the power of forgiveness.
This story is well written and told with just the right amount of detail. There are black and white photos at the beginning of each chapter that bring the characters and setting to life. This is a book you won’t want to miss. I can’t recommend highly enough.
Have you read this book? What did you think?