Category Archives: Kenney, Carl

Carl Kenney. Backslide.Victoria, BC: Trafford Publishing, 2010.

Backslide picks up where Kenney’s earlier novel, Preacha’ Man left off.  Simon Edwards is living in Dallas with his love, Jamaica, and teaching at a seminary.  Simon should be happy, but he feels uneasy with his decision to leave the ministry.  He knows that he is succeeding at the seminary, but he senses that this is not what God wants him to do.  When a phone call comes from Calvin, a former member of Simon’s church, asking Simon to come start a new church, Simon returns to Durham, North Carolina.

Simon throws himself into creating the new church, but success is not a sure thing.  Many of the same forces and individuals who fought Simon in his earlier ministry are still around, and Simon has to learn to move beyond bitterness and earlier definitions of success.  He also has to reconsider his feelings for some of the women in the church.  Simon is without Jamaica, who has stayed in Dallas for her work, and some of the tension in the book comes from Simon’s struggle with their relationship.

This is a slower-paced, more introspective book than Preacha’ Man.  As Simon reflects on his situation, he considers insights from modern theology as well as the Bible, adding depth to the story.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2010, 2010-2019, Durham, Kenney, Carl, Piedmont

Carl Kenney. Preacha’ Man. Victoria, BC: Trafford Publishing, 2004.

Simon Edwards moved to Durham, North Carolina to teach, not preach, but he allowed himself to be pulled back into parish ministry.  Shady Grove Baptist Church prospered under his care.  The size of the congregation grew, its finances stabilized, and the church brought inner healing to its members and concerned engagement to the community.  But not everyone liked that.  Deacon Andrews, whose family founded the church, is used to having every pastor under his thumb. The deacon spreads rumors about the pastor and stokes the flame of discontent among those who like the old ways.

Church politics can wear a man down.  Strong family support and a clear mind can save him, but Simon has neither of these.  His wife, Janet, suspects him of infidelity even while her actions threaten the marriage. Simon himself is full of pain from abuse and missteps earlier in his life.  As the novel builds to a conclusion, Simon must decide whether to fight for his pulpit or flee to a new life.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2004, Durham, Kenney, Carl, Piedmont