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Book Review: “The John Leland Story” by Don M. Fearheily
If we went for a coffee today, I might mention this book.
How did I get it?
This was the third of the three books I found in the library at Victory Baptist Church in Millbrook, Alabama. I was there to visit my aunt and my grandfather. After church, on a Wednesday night, I found this little room off the foyer full of books. This one caught my eye. There was nowhere to deposit my money, so, maybe, if Bro. Joey Byrd reads this, he will know where to find me, and I’ll send him $15 for the three books.
I love reading biographies of Christians, especially ministers. This fit that category and was a small book.
It comes from Larry Harrison’s Christian Book Gallery in St. John, IN.
What is is about?
This is a fictionalized rendition of the life of John Leland. It’s like if they made a movie about his life, they would make up all these conversations and dialogue and in some cases events in order to tell a plausible story and draw attention to the remarkable impact this man had.
He was instrumental in getting James Madison to put together the Bill of Rights. The Constitution had already been written and was in the process of being ratified by the States. John Leland was going to cast his influential vote against ratifying it because it had no explicit freedom of religion written into it. The remedy was the Bill of Rights. And, that, according to this author, was the genius of John Leland.
John was a Baptist preacher in Virginia. He grew up in Connecticut. He had a long and influential ministry for many decades after the Revolutionary War. His conversion was before.
Because there aren’t many details about his life, the author took some liberties to embellish the story. He’s a Baptist hero. He’s also an American Hero.
What did I think?
I’m continually amazed by the creative talents of people. This is no exception. I was blown away by the quality of the writing and storytelling. This author created a page-turner. John’s early childhood was vivid. His youth as a ruffian, independent, wild man was gripping. His conversion was precious.
Then, it was obvious where the recorded history kicked in. It made it much more important and significant.
This is a well written book, suitable for children and great for adults. It’s a helpful addition to our understanding of the birth of America.
Larry Harrison put out some great books! I enjoyed “Brother Sheffey” and “John Jasper” and now “the Story of John Leland” very much. It inspires me to put my efforts and skills, no matter how small and limited, towards helping others through education and distribution of high quality materials.
*** I love hearing from readers like you. What do you think? Do you have any books to recommend for a review?