Thursday, May 06, 2010
By David Stokes
OVERVIEW: The Reverend Doctor J. Frank Norris was many things: a pastor who led the nation's first megachurch, a provocative publisher, and a pioneer broadcaster. At his apex during the Roaring Twenties, Norris preached for a congregation of 10,000 at First Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. With the flair of a great showman, he railed against vice and injustice. Rev. Norris was also a killer. In 1926 he shot an unarmed critic to death. The killing and subsequent trial became a national media sensation. Author, David Stokes skillfully explores the events leading up to one of the most intriguing--yet least known--true crime dramas in America's legal history.
AUTHOR: David Stokes is a minister, broadcaster, and columnist. he has served as Senior Pastor of Fair Oaks Church in Fairfax, Virginia, since August of 1998. Prior to this, he led congregations in New York, Illinois, Ohio, and Texas during his 33-year ministry. Along with his early ministry education in theology and divinity, he holds degrees in history and political science.
MY REVIEW: My book shelves are over stocked with books about preachers and preaching. Being a minister for forty-seven years I have a great interest in knowing all about preachers and the lives they live. J. Frank Norris was possibly one of the most colorful and influential ministers in American history. He was high-strung, temperamental, creative and cunning. I was immediately caught up in this exciting story about a man who preached to thousands about right and wrong, murdered an unarmed man, went through a fascinating trial and was declared innocent. This is a fascinating book about a fascinating man. I have never believed any man should be called Reverend and I certainly do not think J. Frank Norris was Reverend. But he was fascinating!
I recommend this book. It is a well-written, entertaining and informative true crime tale.
(I received this book compliments of Kathy Carlton Willis Communications)