Item description for Growing Up Pentecostal by J. Stephen Conn...
The compelling, disarmingly honest, and sometimes uproariously funny true story of a "preacher boy," who was the 3rd of 12 children in a Pentecostal preacher's home.
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Studio: Xulon Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 6" Height: 0.63" Weight: 1.07 lbs.
Release Date Mar 25, 2006
Publisher Xulon Press
ISBN 1600340857 ISBN13 9781600340857
Availability 110 units. Availability accurate as of Mar 01, 2017 12:56.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Growing Up Pentecostal?
If your momma had you in church three times a week, ... or more ... May 4, 2008
and you got saved every summer during the revival, whether you needed it or not -- if you spent a week going to Camp Meeting every July, and youth camp in June -- if bees could have lived in your mother's hair and your father had to hide to smoke or drink, you might have grown up Pentecostal in the South! And you know what a disorganized cultural bondage that was! But there is life after all that bondage - our ancestors walked in all the light they would accept - and it's not all bad, but there's a lot of useless emphasis on outward appearance, while` Grace is a foreign concept, and fear is the stock-in-trade. This book spells out and laughs at us all - and tells us it's alright. Growing up Pentecostal, once you've survived it, is like eating watermelon. The meat of grace is wonderful, as long as you spit out the seeds of legalism and fear. I intend to buy a copy for all my cousins who are likewise wrestling with the rules, rather than accepting the Grace.
Warm. Funny. Candid. Honest. Jan 30, 2008
GROWING UP PENTECOSTAL is a warm, funny, candid story of a pastor's kid in a strict denomination growing up with eleven siblings in Tennessee.
Conn captures a slice of Americana as he relives his childhood memories of growing up with a full house of brothers and sisters during the fifties. The "Mad Men Club", National Guard Armory, and impromptu church services with the neighborhood kids stories were priceless.
Having spent some time in a full gospel holiness church, I can relate to Conn's experiences in the church. The legalism of the holiness sects can stifle the grace, liberty, and love of the Lord. Only heaven will reveal how many people were hurt and disenfranchised by some of the legalistic Pentecostal denominations.
However, Conn seems to have survived with his faith and sense of humor intact. The book is great fun and makes you want to know him better.
Wonder what it's like to be Pentecostal? Read this Jan 12, 2008
This was a very well written book where J Stephen Conn shares with the reader his life growing up in a Pentecostal home. At times I laughed out loud and I've shared several of his stories with friends in the past couple of weeks. There were parts that I could relate to from my own upbringing and there were parts I hope my kids never experience (hint: most of the clubs). It really is a very personal view that the author shares with us and really let's us experience being in a Pentecostal home with 11 other siblings on a pastor's salary. I was moved throughout the book and thought J Stephen Conn's writing style is very down to earth.
Having never been Pentecostal (and having never attended a Pentecostal service) I have to admit I am curious to see how much things have changed from the description we are given of the Pentecostal church 40 years ago and now. I believe he puts a human face on something that has been misunderstood over the decades.
Each time I put this book down in order to do chores, it unrelentingly lured me back and they wouldn't get done! Dec 12, 2007
Very rarely are words absent from my fingertips, hindering my ability to write a review on an excellent book. Today, however, I am having such a dilemma because this book has almost left me speechless. In fact, I had just gotten the kids off to school and settled in to finish its last two chapters, when an alarm set on "snooze" in the next room began obnoxiously sounding off. That alarm yelled out its insufferable collage of squeaks and horns for 42 entire minutes, and I didn't even care. I was NOT going to put that book down NOW!
In his true story,Growing Up Pentecostal, J. Stephen Conn effortlessly carries his readers down the captivating, hilarious, and tenderly emotional road that is/was his life.
Mr. Conn bravely and honestly lays his whole heart wide open for the world to see. He lets his readers watch as he candidly examines the deepest crevices of his thought life while growing up as a preacher's kid, and lets us know what he's learned along the way. It leaves the reader with a fresh and renewed awareness that every single one of us, even preachers and their kids, are all still very human. We simply share a bond that includes desperately needing Jesus for every breath, every heartbeat, every second of every day, and in every circumstance of life that comes along.
Having not grown up in church one single day in my childhood, this book gave me a delightful look at the people I always perceived to be the "lucky" ones. I was so very lonely in my love for Jesus when I was a child.
Mr. Conn, your book is a wonderful gift to any pair of hands that hold it. Through your story, you prove that anything can be accomplished when one surrenders the reigns to Jesus and lets Him do the steering. You taught me to take risks- to jump right out there, unafraid- and let the will of God be done in my life. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for writing your life's story.
Carrie Lynn Jones Author of It All Began... When Jesus Gave Me Sneakers
Find a cozy spot and enjoy! Dec 10, 2007
J. Stephen Conn's biography, "Growing Up Pentecostal," provides a keen insight into the Church of God from the perspective of a child growing to manhood. Conn's wit, candor, and ability to look over the horizon in both directions create a fun and fascinating journey. From the first pages sketching the author's parents, the book follows Conn from earliest memories to the cusp of independence and manhood. Conn's journey is not just one of physical maturity, but also of spiritual growth. From the blind faith of a child to the graceful faith of maturity, Conn unflinchingly bares his soul's groaning while keeping the pace quick and the subject matter light.
The settings and situations are unique. Only Conn's Church of God holds the hands-down absolute conservative holiness Pentecostal line during a period of shifting values and emerging consumerism. The narratives tell as much about the time as they do the author. Conn's explanation of the Church of God's debate over the wear of wedding rings provides humor, insight, and even a bit of pastoral theology. The reader easily connects with Conn's amazement and anguish as he listens to the elders debate the issue with fervor and venom yet without Godly discernment.
For the uninitiated, Conn's tales of deprivation from television, movies, or other "worldly" entertainments as a preacher's kid seem almost too much to believe. The author takes us to a place even more sterile than Andy Griffith's fictionalized Mayberry. When mixed bathing (swimming with a member of the opposite gender) is a mortal sin and even drinking a Coke from a bottle might earn you a rebuke from a conscientious sister, the modern reader might likely respond with disbelief. Not so in this instance. The writer's narrative carries the ring of unvarnished truth.
This book commends itself on several levels particularly for those with a love for the Christian church. As a "just for fun" read, this book compares favorably with Brother Andrew's "God's Smuggler." Christian autobiography provides a wealth of valuable encouragement and instruction, and my children will receive this volume as part of their faith journey. I plan to give a copy to my church library as well, since a good book that respects the ethos of the Christian faith is hard to find.
Buy this book, find a comfortable spot, and turn-off your cell phone. Allow the author gently take you to a time of crew cuts, bobby socks, and the birth of rock and roll music, juxtaposed against a church where Hell lies waiting for those with pierced ears or bowling balls. Be sure to read this book in private so you won't need to explain your sudden laughter, gasps for breath, head shakes, or chuckles. More importantly, you won't have to share your copy!