Rebecca Alonzo's The Devil in Pew Number Seven details her horrifying childhood story of a terror campaign intended to expel her family from their home and her father from his pulpit. The account covers more than a half-decade of living in fear of harassment, bombings, and shootings, as well as the family’s unceasing prayers for protection. Rebecca's thrilling narrative, all the more chilling for its truth, is ultimately a message of reconciliation, mercy, and amazing forgiveness in the face of heartbreaking tragedy.
The tale highlights how Mr. Watts, a religious power-broker, used every means available to drive away Rebecca’s father, Robert Nichols, and regain his lost influence in the community. Following Rebecca as she grows, living under the constant fear of death, the book ranges from touching romance and spiritual revivals to tension-filled hostage situations and acts of terrorism. The firsthand account and emotional testimony make apathy impossible; Rebecca’s experience is as compelling as it is realistic.
What gives the story its power is the humility and obedience with which Robert obeys God's calling to remain, despite the attacks on his family. “One side does its fighting with terrorist tactics-- dynamite, letting air out of tires, cutting phone lines and shooting out lights. The other side answers with preaching, prayer, patience and the sheriff.” Despite the danger, the book not only emphasizes, but repeatedly lives out the biblical maxim: “A good shepherd will lay down his life for his flock.”
The Devil in Pew Number Seven is a powerful, potentially life-changing book. It practices exactly what it preaches: sound doctrine, and grace far beyond the norm. There is violence, but it is not gory, exaggerated, or glorified. Ultimately, this book can provide anyone a convicting, modern-day example of the power of forgiveness. This book is highly recommended for all. – Ryan Dennison, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Rebecca never felt safe as a child. In 1969, her father, Robert Nichols, moved to Sellerstown, North Carolina, to serve as a pastor. There he found a small community eager to welcome him—with one exception. Glaring at him from pew number seven was a man obsessed with controlling the church. Determined to get rid of anyone who stood in his way, he unleashed a plan of terror that was more devastating and violent than the Nichols family could have ever imagined. Refusing to be driven away by acts of intimidation, Rebecca’s father stood his ground until one night when an armed man walked into the family’s kitchen . . . and Rebecca’s life was shattered. If anyone had a reason to harbor hatred and seek personal revenge, it would be Rebecca. Yet The Devil in Pew Number Seven tells a different story. It is the amazing true saga of relentless persecution, one family’s faith and courage in the face of it, and a daughter whose parents taught her the power of forgiveness.