Thursday, April 05, 2007

Christian Fiction & African American book clubs are booming - says Denise Stinson

Denise Stinson, founder, Glory Girls (Walk Worthy Press)
Christian Book Club is Largest in the Country

In less than three years, Glory Girl™ has become the largest African American book club in the country with nearly 2000 members in 40 states as well as Germany – and they only read Christian books!

In the Amplified version of the Bible, Hebrews 12:214 directs Christians to be involved in "noble activities," said founder Minister Denise Stinson. "How noble are trashy movies? How noble is sexually explicit music? How noble is reading books that don’t glorify God?"

"I love to read good books and I had become frustrated that there was not a book club for those of us who wanted be involved with other Christians in fellowship around books that told good stories and lifted up the Name of Jesus. I began thinking about it in 19999 but it was not until 2000 I was given an assignment in bible school to create a church ministry that I really began to concentrate on how it would work."

In November 2001 Glory Girls: Reading Groups for African American Christian Women Who Love God and Like to Read made its debut with a simple purpose:

• To honor the Lord with what we read – and have a good time doing it!
• To provide and atmosphere where readers can seek fellowship with other book lovers while encouraging them in the choices they make in Godly reading materials.
• To offer readers fresh, contemporary, and entertaining yet scripturally sound fiction and nonfiction by talented Christian authors.
• To assist believers and nonbelievers in discovering the relevancy of the Bible in our contemporary, everyday lives.Every other month groups of three to 12 participants (persons of all races as well as men are welcome!), who along with a facilitator, have registered with Glory Girls™ online get together in homes, libraries, bookstores and homes to discuss a chosen book.

There are no membership dues and Glory Girls™ is careful to choose books that can be found in libraries so that anyone who wants to glorify God with what they read can participate.An important part of the Glory Girls ministry are the reading group questions found on the website,

Although each questions is relevant to the story there is also a biblical citation that leads the reader back to the Word of God. The questions, say Stinson, help readers stay focused no on the problem or situation the character is in but on the Word of God."This is ministry," says Stinson.

"We try to make it clear that although we may be considered a book club there is nothing exclusive or "clubbish" about us. We have gotten dozens of emails from women in these groups who joined not knowing anyone else and have been prayed for, spiritually supported and encouraged to find good church homes. Several have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior during a meeting. One group in Atlanta that meets at a restaurant even led their waitress to Christ!"