book for reaching men, books for inmates, books for jail and prison ministries, Crossway Books, getting black men to read, Hampton Ministers Conference 2009, Marsha Sumner, New Canaan Baptist Church Washington DC, Watson Memorial Baptist Church Louisville KY
The month of May marks the one-year anniversary for the publication of Where Are All The Brothers? Straight Answers To Men’s Questions About The Church (Crossway)! In recognition of the anniversary, I want to say “thank you” to everyone who has encouraged me with kind words about the book, and with accounts of personal and ministry blessings that have come through reading and sharing the book. So very briefly, please allow me to say thanks to the following groups of people:
Thank you to churches and pastors who adopted the book in their ministries. Special thank you to New Canaan Baptist Church, Washington, DC and Watson Memorial Baptist Church, Louisville, KY, who purchased the book in great mass; to Southwest Christian Fellowship, Atlanta, GA, whose men read the book as a group over the course of a year; to Fairview Heights Baptist Church, Inglewood, CA, who gives away a copy of the book to every new man who joins their fellowship in membership; and to a servant in Virginia who keeps a stack on his desk to give away to every man who comes into his office. May the Lord reach many men through your ministries.
Thank you to the radio programs and ministries that invited me to do interviews surrounding the book, including multiple interviews locally by Marsha Sumner. May the Lord kindly increase your radio outreach for his Name’s sake.
Thank you to jail and prison ministries that have utilized the book in talking with men about Christ in incarceration facilities around the country. Thank you also to those individuals who told me that they sent a copy to a near loved one behind bars. It was my hope in writing the book that thousands of men behind bars could overcome hindrances to giving a hearing to the Gospel through reading the book. (I also wish to thank my publisher, Crossway, for keeping the book in a form that would be appropriate and acceptable in incarceration facilities.) May the Lord remember you in kindness for remembering those in prison.
Thank you to the campus ministries that acquired the book for the purpose of reaching young African American men on their campuses and/or as part of making disciples of young men in their campus ministries. Thank you also to many young ladies on college campuses encouraged by a copy of the book. May you see revival on your campuses as you remain zealous and faithful toward the message of the Gospel.
Thank you to several of you who published a review of the book online. Recently I heard that an academic journal reviewed the book, for which I am grateful. Also, thank you to many friends (and virtual friends!) who made notice of the book on their blogs, giving the book wide promotion. May your pens and keyboards be sharp for the sake of the truth of the Gospel; may those in need of encouragement and hope be pointed to your sites daily.
Thank you to conferences that invited me to speak on the contents of the book and brought me in for book signings. I do not wish to miss anyone in this category, so I will not be specific. However, you know who you are! May you see your conferences overflow with participants in the years to come, such that you will find need to expand to regional conferences and other formats for getting out your messages.
Thank you to many of you who purchased one personal copy of the book, a few copies of the book for yourself and others, or loads of books to give away to men in all walks of life. Thank you also to all of you who came to support me at local book signings simply because we are friends. Moreover, thank you to everyone who pointed other people to the book. I am hoping that many more men in general, and African American men in particular, who are outside of Christ, will find a copy of the book landing in their hands. I am very encouraged by those of you who have said to me something like, “I gave a copy to my father and it is the first book he has read in about 20 years,” or “I gave the book to my son and he never put it down!” Thank you also to those of you who prayed for me and the propagation of the book. May our merciful and gracious Lord be kind to reveal his Son in your loved ones and place them in healthy churches.
A huge thank you goes to the team at Crossway Books and Bibles for their belief in this project from start to finish. I am grateful that Crossway has joined hands with many of us who are burdened for reformation and revival in the African American church. Crossway has exercised love, vision and courage, and has displayed a heart for the Gospel that extends beyond their traditional and historic readership and marketing bases. I am grateful to Dennis Lane and Al Fisher for taking risks for the sake of the Gospel, and for taking a risk on a previously unpublished writer based on the lone recommendation of my friend, Mark Dever. I am grateful to an entire team at Crossway that went out of their way to provide some unusual marketing for the book, even being present at the Hampton University Minister’s Conference for a book giveaway. Also, a very special thank you to the former publicist at Crossway who went an extra ten miles for this book, not telling me that she was doing so and then telling me it was no problem once I found out I was asking her to make efforts outside of her normal duties – and this during a period of her own personal pain; I saw Christ in her. I was humbled by the grace of Christ exhibited all around at Crossway. May the Lord continue to place his favor upon all of Crossway’s publishing projects, giving them inroads into new communities and venues where the sound doctrine of Christ-centered publications needs to replace the error of man-centered, spiritually-anemic, mammon-loving, church-destroying publications of egalitarian, health and wealth, (semi-)Pelagian, Open Theistic, New Perspective, Liberation and Neo-Liberation Theology, pagan-sensitive, and pro-homosexual colors and stripes. May the Lord provide a gracious grant to get the works of your authors – especially those of Piper, Carson, Carter, Dever, and Anyabwile – into the hands of thousands of African American pastors and professors across the country.
May the glory be to God alone!