Recommended by Dr. Al Barrow

Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God
by Timothy Keller
Ever wonder if your petitions are finding their way to God’s ear? This renowned pastor delves into the many facets of prayer, offering biblical guidance and insight. Make your quiet time more personal, meaningful, and powerful, and learn how to establish a practice of prayer that works.

Draw Close to the Fire: Finding God in the Darkness
by Terry Wardle
Most of us want to run the other way or hurry through pain. But if we are patient, we will find that “God has placed blessings in hidden places” throughout our trials. Dr. Wardle is disarmingly honest as he shares his own struggle with depression. He challenges those experiencing emotional and spiritual upheaval to discover that God is in the darkness, waiting with incredible love and compassion.

Recommended by Pastor June Barrow

Suffering Is Never for Nothing
by Elisabeth Elliot
She was no stranger to suffering. Her first husband was murdered moments after they arrived on the mission field in Ecuador, and her second husband was lost to cancer. Yet, it was in her deepest suffering that Elisabeth Elliot learned the deepest lessons about God. He has walked the ultimate path of suffering, and He has won victory on our behalf.

What Is a Girl Worth?
by Rachael Denhollander
Go behind the headlines with the first public accuser of former U.S.A. Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar who abused hundreds of young gymnasts. Revealing her full story for the first time, Rachael shines a light on the physical and emotional impacts of abuse, why so many survivors are reluctant to speak out, and what it means to be believed. Hers is a story of great moral courage, relevant for our times.

Recommended by Biblical Counselor Maria Karl

by Brant Hansen
It turns out, giving up your “right” to be offended can be one of the most freeing, healthy, simplifying, relaxing, refreshing, stress-relieving, encouraging things you can do. It is a radical, provocative idea: We’re not entitled to get offended or stay angry. Imagine how this one change could make all of life better. Maybe we could learn to trust God more and forgive quickly… to become “the most unoffendable people on the planet.”

Recommended by Pastor Allen Walworth

Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life
by Henri Nouwen
This spiritual bestseller “is written in the conviction that the quest for an authentic Christian spirituality is worth the effort and the pain, since in the midst of this quest we can find signs offering hope, courage, and confidence.” Nouwen emphasizes that the more we understand (and not simply deny) our inner struggles, the more fully we will be able to embrace a prayerful and genuine life that is also open to others’ needs.


Each year, our congregation is challenged to read selected books together so we can stay connected over the summer months while nurturing our faith and knowledge of God. Our Summer Read selections are two amazing journeys. Both focus on faith, courage, and the power of God’s truth, and are available in the First Church BookCenter; orders can be shipped.
Another Gospel? by Alisa Childers
Beyond Valor by Jon Erwin and William Doyle