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All Things Considered ...comment (0)

April 18, 2013

By Martine Bates Sharp


E. Byron Davis. Bloomington, Ind.: Crossbooks, 2012. 123 pp. (Paperback).

I didn’t particularly relish the idea of reading another memoir by a retired Alabama Baptist preacher. They are often too didactic, talking down to the reader from lofty experience, and too personal, giving details that only family can fully appreciate. Many of them, while wonderful treasures for family and friends, are simply not of general interest to someone who doesn’t know the author. (Yawn.)

What a refreshing surprise this book was. Byron Davis, a pastor who grew up on Sand Mountain and served as pastor or interim in a number of Alabama churches, wrote this collection of short vignettes, mostly autobiographical, but so devoid of conceit or self-aggrandizement that the book was a delight to read. The stories are entertaining and exceedingly well told, in no obvious order — just a string of short episodes from the author’s life. Many are funny, all are interesting, and most contain a pointed, easy-to-accept message of God’s grace. 

I hope Davis has more stories to share. 

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