Holy Ghost Girl

Holy Ghost Girl

[a Memoir]

Audiobook on MP3 CD - 2011
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A compassionate, humorous story of faith, betrayal, and coming of age on the sawdust trail

She was just three years old when her mother signed on as the organist of tent revivalist David Terrell, and before long, Donna Johnson was part of the hugely popular evangelical preacher's inner circle. At seventeen, she left the ministry for good, with a trove of stranger-than-fiction memories. A homecoming like no other, Holy Ghost Girl brings to life miracles, exorcisms, and face-offs with the Ku Klux Klan--and that's just what went on under the tent.

As Terrell became known worldwide during the 1960s and '70s, the caravan of broken-down cars and trucks that made up his ministry evolved into fleets of Mercedes and airplanes. The glories of the Word mixed with betrayals of the flesh, and Donna's mother bore Terrell's children in one of several secret households he maintained. Thousands of followers, dubbed "Terrellites" by the press, left their homes to await the end of the world in cult-like communities. Jesus didn't show, but the IRS did, and the prophet-healer went to prison.

Recounted with deadpan observations and surreal detail, Holy Ghost Girl bypasses easy judgment to articulate a rich world where the mystery of faith and human frailty share a surprising and humorous coexistence.

Publisher: [Ashland, OR] : Blackstone Audio, Inc., p2011.
Edition: Library edition, unabridged.
ISBN: 9781455112005
Branch Call Number: AUDIOBK MP3 269.2092 JOHNSON
Characteristics: 1 audio disc (approximately 9 hr.) : digital, stereo. ; 4 3/4 in.
Additional Contributors: MacDuffie, Carrington 1958-


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Feb 04, 2012

Fascinating and textured. This memoir reveals the multi-layered complexities of following a charismatic old-time tent revivalist preacher. A couple of good things about this preacher: he did heal some of the sick (who sometimes could not afford medical care), and brought hope to others. He also integrated services in the deep south and stood up to the Ku Klux Klan. A bad thing: he took money, lots of it, from the desperately poor. A dumb thing: he didn't pay taxes on all he took in at the end, and he went to jail for 10 years as a result.

But none of this captures the fascination of watching all of this through the eyes of a young child, including watching her mother develop a relationship with the preacher as a secret second wife.

It's very well-written and quite gripping. It's also very funny in spots. I recommend you try it.


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