Monday, April 30, 2012
The story of Rebecca Nichols Alonzo has been told on the Dr. Phil Show, where she and her brother faced the man who shot their parents, killing their mother, for the first time in over 30 years. The show has also aired on the OWN channel, and you can read about her story on the 4 part CNN series. And if you haven't heard Rebecca's story, you should definitely pick up her book about it.
The product: The Devil in Pew Number Seven is a true story written by Rebecca Nichols Alonzo about her family and the tragedy that came to them. She shares about her memories of the trying days her family faced at the mercy of a neighbor and member of her father's church congregation. And most of all you'll hear about a brave woman coming to grips with her past and what happened to her family. Through the power of God she is able to offer forgiveness to the people who made her life a horror story.
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 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.
What I thought: I was intrigued by the story I had heard about Rebecca Nichols Alonzo. What a sad, but true story about all the difficulties that she faced from a very young age. I'm sure when Rebecca's parents got into ministry, they never imagined the tough times they would face. And the things they went through cost them their lives. Not only that, but the children were forever scarred by the events that unfolded.
It's easy to see how someone could live a life like this and become a bitter person. But that's not what happened here. Instead of bitterness, Rebecca chose the path of forgiveness. Through her faith in God and dependence on Him, she knew that forgiveness was the only way to heal and go on.
Not only does The Devil in Pew Number Seven tell the story of this family, but Rebecca shares the years after and how it affected her and the rest of the family from day to day, year to year. She even includes thoughts and information about her appearance on the Dr. Phil show when she faced her parents' tormentor. How sad, but the true story is one of love and forgiving. I am amazed by the path Rebecca has followed. I am inspired and pray that I would do the same in a tough life situation.
I think you will enjoy this true story as much as I did. It's hard to imagine some of the events actually took place. I can't believe everything happened to this young family and yet they chose to serve. Amazing. When you pick this book up, you won't put it down until you read the whole thing.
Where to buy: You can find The Devil in Pew Number Seven in stores, bookstores, and online. It is published by Tyndale House Publishers.
How to connect: You can read more about the book and author at http://www.beckyalonzo.com/.
*Disclaimer: Tyndale House Publishers provided me with this book to review. All opinions are my own.*