Book Review: Holy Roller by Julie Lyons

clip_image002Holy Roller, by Julie Lyons, was a fantastic book. I didn’t know what to expect when I opened the book, but it was clear from the start, that this book was special. Having grown up in Pentecostal circles, this book hit right at home.

Throughout Holy Roller, I kept thinking this must be some kind of fiction. I was waiting for the punch line. But, luckily, this was a true “I call it as I see it” story from a writer sharing from her heart. The way the book is told from a personal experience, as opposed to just writing about something she’s never been through, kept me wanting to read more. She bares her soul throughout the book, even the dirty little secrets that she hoped, at the time, no one would ever find out.

The book chronicles her relationship with Christ, her job, her family, her church and her marriage. She holds nothing back, that I could tell, and gives us a bird’s-eye-view of how she dealt with each.

I highly recommend the book to everyone. This book is about Missions, loving people who most people won’t, sticking with a church even though it is hard, race relations, dealing with inner conflict, finding out where God wants you, and most of all, watching as God shows himself faithful in every situation, even though it may not be obvious at the time.

I recommend you buy this book and read it. You can buy it at Random House.


Julie Lyons was working as a crime reporter when she followed a hunch into the South Dallas ghetto. She wasn’t hunting drug dealers, but drug addicts who had been supernaturally healed of their addictions. Was there a church in the most violent part of the city that prayed for addicts and got results?
            At The Body of Christ Assembly, a rundown church on an out-of-the-way street, Lyons found the story she was looking for. The minister welcomed criminals, prostitutes, and street people–anyone who needed God. He prayed for the sick, the addicted, and the demon-possessed, and people were supernaturally healed.
            Lyons’s story landed on the front page of the Dallas Times Herald. But she got much more than just a great story, she found an unlikely spiritual home. Though the parishioners at The Body of Christ Assembly are black and Pentecostal, and Lyons is white and from a traditional church background, she embraced their spirituality–that of “the Holy Ghost and fire.”
It’s all here in Holy Roller–the stories of people desperate for God’s help. And the actions of a God who doesn’t forget the people who need His power.


Julie Lyons is an award-winning writer, editor and investigative reporter who for more than 11 years served as editor-in-chief of the Dallas Observer, an alternative weekly newspaper owned by Village Voice Media. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a B.A. in English from Seattle Pacific University. She and her husband, Larry Lyons Jr., live in Dallas with their son.

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