church folk

Church Folk by Michelle Andrea Bowen

church folkJUST A THOUGHT….Church Folk by Michelle Andrea Bowen

Let the church say AMEN! Praise the Lord everybody! I can’t hear you! Let’s make some noise up in here for JEEESSUUUS! I don’t know about you, I don’t want a rock to cry out for me! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Now give God a hand clap of praise! Hallelujah!

If you have attended an African American church, then you know what I’m talking about. Everyone talks about the goodness of the Lord. An African American church can be one of the liveliest and loudest churches on any given Sunday morning. In the novel, Church Folk, Michelle Andrea Bowen, gives us an up-close and personal view of everyday church folk, as she introduces the readers to the up-and-coming new preacher, Reverend Theophilus Simmons.

Reverend Theophilus Simmons has just been appointed Pastor of Greater Hope United Church. The setting takes place in Mississippi in the 1960’s. Bowen brings to light the ups, downs, the good along with the ugly, and not so Holy Ghost filled church folks that will have you hollering and saying out loud, Amen!

While Bowen ushers you into the sanctuary showing you the real church folk, the reader begins to reminisce about their own church experience. Often shaking their heads and thinking… wow! That happened in the 1960’s… things haven’t changed at all. The same old thing is happening now, just as it did back then.

As Bowen continues to usher the reader down the aisle closer to the altar, we suddenly realize that Reverend Simmons is going to need help to make it through the muddy waters he has tracked into his house. We all have things that we would like to keep hidden and never reveal. Reverend Simmons is no exception. Reverend Simmons is young and single, and his weakness seems to be women. However, his previous indiscretion with Glodean, the girl that wants to please all, will tear at the very fiber of his being.

Reverend Simmons married Essie Lane, a woman he met at a “jook joint.” Little did he know that his escapade with Glodean would put his marriage to the test. Not only would his marriage be tested by church folks but other things begin to surface and run down the aisle like someone left the faucet running.

This novel addresses the politics, jealousy, church folk and the role they play in the church’s culture. As a reader, we should remember that Reverend Theophilus Simmons is only human! He’s just a man. Bowen explores the real men behind the clergy collar. We all make mistakes, even the preachers! But the one thing we have in common is that we can all repent. Take it to the Lord in prayer.

The doors of the church are open. As Bowen pushes the reader to the final destination….the altar, anyone can give their life to God and start over. Are you willing to cast all of your cares on Him? Remember He cares for you.