“The Devil in Pew Number Seven” by Rebecca Nichols Alonzo
“2011 Retailers Choice Award winner!
Rebecca never felt safe as a child. In 1969, her father, Robert Nichols, moved 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. Determined to get rid of anyone who stood in his way, he unleashed a plan of terror that was more devastating and violent than the Nichols family could have ever imagined. Refusing to be driven away by acts of intimidation, 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 a 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 amazing 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.”
This is a true story. A story after reading wasn’t true but at the same time I can see God working in the lives of the people around the Nichols and in the lives of those who hear their story.
The Nichols family lived in a small town. The father was a pastor. Everyone loved him with the exception of one man. This man made it his mission to get rid of this family from this town. He first tired discouraging them and scaring them away with late night phone calls and anonymous letter. When those didn’t work he started setting off bombs outside their house. The Nichols family did not leave. Mr. Nichols said if God wanted him to leave he’d hear it from him, not the devil. The torment went on for years. Even causing emotional damage to the whole family. But they did not leave making this one man even angrier. He started setting off bombs just outside the church during church in hopes others would want the pastor and his family to leave.
Then the family took in a women who needed to get away from her abusive husband. This made the husband mad and that is when the Nichols family lives changed in a way no one could believe. In the end they had to move away. But God was still working in their lives.
This story isn’t all about the tragedy of this family, but about the forgiveness they displayed.
Most of us fell we can’t forgive someone who has wronged us. Whether it’s an unkind word or someone hurt us, we feel it’s our right to hold a grudge. This book teaches you what the will of God is in forgiveness and what this family was capable of with this forgiveness. I don’t want to give away the ending but there was a huge change in the old man that kept bombing the family and I know a lot of it was the act of forgiveness this family gave. What I love too is how the parents raised their children and the impact they had on them for the love of God.
Be prepared when reading this book to feel angry, sad and in awe of the love of God. I read this book while riding my bike and had to stop many times to find a tissue.
I wish this family all the best and want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for sharing their story and helping me realize that I need to forgive much.
Disclaimer- Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for free for my honest opinion. I was not asked to give a positive review and all opinions are my true thoughts and may differ from yours.