Writers' Block

This is a new feature in the "TRANSFORMED!" and on this website. It is designed to give exposure to Christian authors related to the RCFN whose work sometimes goes virtually unknown. Inclusion in this column is in no way an endorsement of the viewpoints or opinions expressed by the authors.



Kathy Thompson is the wife of the chairperson of the River City Faith Network’s Board of Directors, Rev. Robert Thompson, Minister of Visitation at First Baptist Church.  Kathy has written a book, Learning Lessons of Faith From My Dogs, Eli and Brody.  It is said that a dog is a person’s best friend and that is certainly the case in our home.  Eli and Brody came into our family as two abused dogs.  These precious boys came sad, broken, and afraid.  They spend their days with us learning how to navigate their fears and insecurities, enabling them to grow in confidence and love.  We work on building a trust relationship with my heavenly Father.  God can take our fears, our inse-curities, and our brokenness and transform us.  We can live with confidence, love, healing, and trust in our world. I want our dogs to live whole and happy lives.  Our Father desires those things for us as well.

                 Contact Kathy Thompson at (804) 241-2190 to purchase your book(s). 

                Each book will be signed by the author, with a personal message added

                           for those you select for a gift.  Cost is $15 (cash or check).  

          For young Billy, summer means saying goodbye to city life and traveling seven hundred miles to visit his grandparents on their Tennessee farm.  It means long, humid days of snapping beans, milking cows, hunting for fossils in rocky fields, and trips into town for ice-cream sodas and comic books at the five-and-dime.  It means muggy nights spent on the front porch with family, the boys gathered around the big Philco radio, listening to The Lone Ranger over the low hum of crickets.  But most of all, summer means time spent in the long shadow of Grandpa, a massive Welchman, keenly observant, frugal of words and actions, but rich in experience and country wisdom.  On this remote patch of farmland, Grandpa’s word is law: “Always be learnin’ who you are.  It’d be the only way that yer ‘I’ can ever be more than your ‘Me.’ Knowin’ where you came from makes you part of somethin’ larger than yerself, and from yer beginning,’ you were meant t’ be larger than yerself.”

     Now William Hardison looks back on those summer days with nostalgic fondness and his own hard-earned wisdom.  In doing so, he rediscovers deeper lessons hidden within the adventures he so often took for granted as an energetic child.

     And along the way, he invites you and me to ponder:  When you look back on your childhood, what long-forgotten treasures might you unearth?

     William Hardison is a retired minister and former adjunct professor of Christian Spirituality at Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond.  He is well known for his gift of vivid storytelling.  Fellow author Anthony Romanello remarks, “Bill Hardison has given us a gift — a book I didn’t want to end, and one I will read again and again.  His stories come alive in the telling and remind me of what it takes to be fully alive.”

     A member of the National Storytelling Network, Dr. Hardison is a contributor to Character.org, a nationwide movement bringing fresh attention to the development of character in the lives of children through education.  Dinosaurs in the Cornfield is his first book and deals with the development of positive character traits learned through the telling of legacy stories.  Bill lives in Richmond, Virginia with his wife, Carolyn, and is the former pastor of Westhampton Baptist Church, also in Richmond.  He and Carolyn remain active members at Derbyshire Baptist on Derbyshire Road.

     You can find Dinosaurs in the Cornfield on Amazon.com.


            Previously Featured Books             (In alphbetical order by author's name)

“Mother May I: Daily Word”: a compelling book filled with daily scriptural verses and reflections for the heart’s healing and purpose. “Mother May I: Daily Word” is the creation of published author, Denise Bush-Canada, a graduate of Petersburg High School with a bachelor of science degree from Virginia State University.

Bush-Canada shares, “’Mother, May I?’ was a very popular yard game in Petersburg, Virginia, in the Blandford community. Our yard was one of the notorious places to play “Mother, May I?’ The leader would offer you giant steps, baby steps, bunny hops, umbrellas, and all sorts of ways to touch the leader first. You had to say, ‘Mother, May I?’ and obtain permission in order to move. If you moved without the permission of ‘Mother, May I?’ you had to start over. We did not have any grass in our front yard due to these yard games. As we became adults, the grass finally grew in. We taught these games to our children when we visited, but they didn’t play them enough to kill the grass. My mother and stepfather loved to see the porch filled with family and children playing in the yard.

“This book is a great way for one to journal their personal thought on the word today. These are the things to ponder to journal: How will this word impact your day? What is your thought of the word for today? Can it be used as a weapon to fight the enemy that day? Remember, Satan hates the Word, so utilize your daily Word to destroy his attacks. Enjoy the read and utilize the tool—God’s Word!”

Published by Christian Faith Publishing, Denise Bush-Canada’s new book is a heartfelt masterpiece that brings enlightenment and fulfillment to readers throughout their day-to-day activities.

Consumers can purchase “Mother, May I: Daily Word” at traditional brick & mortar bookstores, or online at Amazon.com, Apple iTunes store, or Barnes and Noble.


Click on the book above to send you directly to "Mother,  May I? Daily Word" on amazon.com.




Roberta Damon  holds a doctorate in marriage and family counseling from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  Her career includes missionary service in  South Brazil, thirty years of counseling at First Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia, and a time of serving on staff at the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.  She is a part of RCFN and her latest book is featured below!

Dear Mrs. Noah:

Letters to Unnamed Women of the Bible

There are so many women in the Bible whose stories we know, but whose names are not mentioned. Often, we know unnamed women by some event: "the woman at the well," "the widow’s mite," or "the women who followed Jesus from Galilee."

In Dear Mrs. Noah, Roberta Damon has written letters to thirty four heretofore unnamed women in Scripture. After each letter, the women receive a suitable name. Each name has a meaning which is appropriate for the individual woman. Following the letter and the naming of each woman, there is a section called "Reflecting." This section brings issues for individual pondering or group discussion to contemporary readers. Looking at scripture from a different point of view provides food for thought.

To know more about how to receive your copy or to schedule a book signing go to www.robertadamon.me.

Click on the book above to send you directly to "Dear Mrs. Noah" on amazon.com.

Others books by Robera Damon are:

Her newest - Dear Abishag: Letters to Little known Women of the Bible

Reprints - A Voice Beyond Weeping_Roberta Damon's Memoir; Theirs is the Kingdom 

Rev. Libby Mae Grammer is an ordained minister in the moderate Baptist tradition serving as a minister on staff at River Road Church, Baptist in Richmond, VA. She is a Doctor of Ministry student at McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University and has almost a decade of experience as an Immigration Legal Assistant at a large law firm in the Southeast. She also holds a Master’s degree in Theology, Ethics, and Culture from the University of Virginia as well as a Master of Divinity degree from McAfee School of Theology.

The issue of undocumented immigration cannot be described as either a problem or a possibility in the current political climate – it simply is a reality, and how individual Christians and churches respond to it relies heavily on their theological understanding of what it means to be an immigrant and what it means to be privileged. Taking a combined approach of scriptural exegesis and feminist thought/ theology, this book provides new ways to approach the pressing issue of undocumented immigration. Rich in immigration law and history, along with purposeful looks into the work of feminist scholarship and the stories of immigrants themselves,this book asks hard questions of those with privilege about taking risks to stand in solidarity with some of the most marginalized in U.S. society – our undocumented immigrant neighbors.


UPDATE: Rev. Libby Grammer, Senior Pastor

First Baptist Church of Martinsville, VA

23 Starling Avenue

Martinville, VA 24112



Click on the book above to send you directly to "Privilege, Risk, and Solidarity" on amazon.com.


The target audience for this book is tweenagers, fourth through sixth graders and/ or as a beginner's Bible Study. The following except has been taken from the back of the book. It is written to the young reader.


Life can be downright frustrating sometimes, can’t it? And if it’s not frustrating, it can feel difficult, and too often it’s easy to lose sight of the positive when times are bad. If you’ve ever struggled with staying positive, then the Old Testament story of Joseph who was given a coat of many colors by his dad—is an important story that can offer you hope, encouragement, and positivity for when your life’s feeling down.


From Brat to Boss is a devotional study about the life of Joseph—a life that was hard, and probably a lot harder than ours, but that is one we can still all relate to today. You may have grown up reading wonderful stories about people in the Bible. And you probably learned a lot, but have you ever wanted to read and learn more about the Bible than the Bible stories told? As you read Joseph’s story, you will see how God was with Joseph all through his life and how God is also with you! The story is a reminder that everyone has hard times, but it’s not necessarily what we go through that matters: what matters is the attitude we have.

Joseph’s story is one of love, hate, jealousy, betrayal, and forgiveness. So join along with Joseph through the lessons, prayers, scriptures, and activities in From Brat to Boss to see how Joseph went from being his father’s favorite son to a mature man of God.


Danette H. Moen is a pastor’s wife, mother and grandmother. She started teaching children’s Sunday school when her daughter, Arielle, was in the third grade—so she understands how hard it is to schedule around church, sports, music, friends, and school. Danette believes that Jesus doesn’t want us to give up the things we love: he wants to be a part of them. She lives with her husband in Ruther Glen, Virginia.


You may purchase her book on amazon.com. For paper back #978-1-9736-2157-7, ebook # 978-1-9736-2156-0.  Click on the book above to send you directly to "From Brat to Boss" on amazon.com.



Dr. William Powell “Bill” Tuck served the RCFN most recently as the Interim Pastor of Chamberlayne Baptist Church prior to and in preparation for the arrival her current pastor, David Peppler!  Bill, author of twenty-nine other books, is most recently the author of “Star Thrower, A Pastor’s Handbook.”                                                                   Julie Pennington-Russell, Pastor, First Baptist Church of Washington, D.C. says of the book, “So much more than a “how to” manual — it’s a compassionate and guiding hand on the shoulder of men and women serving in pastoral “trenches” everywhere.” 

John Killinger, pastor and author as well as a former professor at Vanderbilt Divinity School calls the book “the most valuable compendium of information for ministers I have ever seen.  If I had possessed it when I was starting my ministry, I would have been twice as effective as I was without it  — no, three or four times” more effective.                                       Drawing on his pastoral experience of over fifty years, Willian Powell Tuck shares in his latest book his perspective of striving to be an effective pastor.  He shares insights on how to prepare sermons, engage in pastoral care, manage church administration; conduct funerals, weddings, communion, and baptismal services; deal with church conflict; work with laity and church staff; while nurturing one’s own spiritual life and family time.

             William Powell Tuck has served as both a parish pastor and a seminary professor. Bill, a native of Virginia, is a graduate of Bluefield College and the University of Richmond, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and received his Th.D. degree from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served Baptist congregations as Pastor and Interim Pastor in Virginia, Louisiana, Kentucky, and North Carolina, including Harrisonburg Baptist, First Baptist, Bristol and St. Matthews Baptist in Louisville, KY and was an adjunct professor at Virginia Intermont College, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and at the Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, VA. He was also Professor of Preaching at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.

Bill was awarded the Parish Pastor of the Year award by the Academy of Parish Clergy in 1997, and received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the University of Richmond in 1977. He received the Wayne Oates Award from the Oates Institute in 2016.

You can acquire Bill’s latest book or other selections still in print through www.Amazon.com or Smyth & Helwys at www.helwys.com. Other materials produced by Bill can be see at his website: www.friarsfragment.com.


Click on the book above to send you directly to "Star Thrower - A Pastor's Handbook" on amazon.com.


Dr. William Powell Tuck has added another book to his collection of contributions to the thoughts and contemplations of the Christian community.  The title of this book is The Difficult says of Jesus pictured below.

           John Killinger, former professor at Vanderbilt Divinity School, pastor and author of many books, including The Tender Shepherd and The Fundamentals of Preaching writes of Dr. Tuck’s book: “What could be more timely in this age of feel-good religious books than William Tuck’s The Difficult Sayings of Jesus?  With his usual gift for clarity and insight, Tuck explores this fascinating topic in a manner that challenges our too-comfortable views of the spiritual life by reminding us of Christ’s gritty way of overturning everybody's most common assumptions about God, sin, and salvation.  This is a must-read for all of us who are floundering in a sea of self-congratulatory beliefs.  Buy it, read it, and pass it on to your minister!”

Tom Graves, President Emeritus of Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond writes:  “Any serious student of the New Testament, laity or clergy, raises questions about some of the teachings of Jesus. Is the resurrection believable? Why should I pray to an all-knowing God?  There are also issues just begging for explanation. What is the unpardonable sin? What is Jesus’ teaching on divorce? This book is a masterful guide for the minister seeking to preach on difficult texts in the Gospels. This book is also a very accessible and readable guide for the laity as they seek to understand the troubling teachings of Jesus. Tuck blends his scholarship with an ease of understanding that communicates well to a wide audience of believers and unbelievers alike.”

“While all Christians would acknowledge the importance of Jesus’ teachings, if we are honest with ourselves, few of us give every teaching the same weight.   Some are simply too hard to bear and others too challenging to understand, or so we think.  It may well be that the more trying sayings of Jesus are the ones we most need to hear because of how they allow God’s truth to soften the hardest places in our souls.  In The Difficult Sayings of Jesus, Bill Tuck expounds on some of these teachings and shows us how they can strengthen our devotion and give credibility to our witness, particularly in a day when many would characterize such sayings as irrelevant or unrealistic.  This book is neither for the faint-hearted nor the faint-minded.  But for those who desire a “red-letter” life, it will be more than worth the effort as Tuck’s treatment of these difficult teachings reclaims sayings we may have ignored for too long, the very ones which despite their complexity hold the most promise for our spiritual growth.” This review and endorsement is from Doug Dortch, Pastor, Mountain Brook Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama

Ronald Allen, Professor of Preaching, at Christian Theological Seminary encourages the reading of Dr. Tuck’s The Difficult Sayings of Jesus with these words:  “Every Christian has the experience of reading along in the Gospels and coming to a saying of Jesus that brings a person up short. Sometimes we puzzle over the clarity of the verse. Sometimes we puzzle over the meaning. Sometimes, a saying seems to have a hard edge that is out of character for how we think of Jesus. Noted preacher and scholar of preaching, William Powell Tuck, looks at 15 such sermons ranging from whether Jesus was serious about cutting off a hand that offends you through Jesus’ seemingly intractable teaching on divorce to what Jesus might mean by eating Jesus’ flesh and drinking his blood. In each case, Tuck is exegetically careful to place the text in its historical and literary context so as to identify what the text really means.  He is astute in thinking about the theological claims of the text. And he is hermeneutically pastoral in finding illuminating, practical, and compassionate interpretations. The sermons are lively. They move well. And the stories are worth the price of the book. Preachers and other readers will discover that if they face into these hard sayings in the company of wise guide William Powell Tuck, they will come away ever more impressed with the wisdom of Jesus.

The Difficult Sayings of Jesus is available by going online to either www.barnesandnoble.com www.amazon.com, or www.helwys.com and typing in the search bar: William Powell Tuck The Difficult Sayings of Jesus.




 Beth Reddish Wright is the director of Camp Alkulana. Shecame to the directorship on February 16, 2008, so she is celebrating her 10th anniversary. As a part of the 100th Camp Alkulana Anniversary celebration she authored a book called “Come Along, Join Our Song” that is full of pictures, historical narrative and testimonies of the camp which began in 1915.  Camp Alkulana is the oldest surviving summer camp in Virginia and one of the oldest camps on the eastern seaboard, probably only predated by the first summer camps founded in New England in the 1880’s. 

Beth has captured the rich history of our camp in a very beautiful way.  In many respects, the history of Camp Alkulana is also the history of Richmond Woman’s Missionary Union for the two have been inextricably intertwined throughout these more than ten decades.  No one can be more highly credited as having faithfully supported Camp Alkulana  than RBA WMU through the churches of the River City Faith Network of the RBA! 

     As Fred Anderson wrote in the foreward, Beth invited campers and leaders to share their remembrances of the camp’s past that “captures the spirit of Camp Alkulana, holding up its magical presence for the thousands of “Bright Eyes” who have played on its grounds, splashed in its stream, etc.”

     It is a delightfully interesting and inspiring read! Contact Beth R. Wright at River City Faith Network of the RBA for a copy.


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