Associate Pastor Khristi Lauren Adams Releases ‘Parable of the Brown Girl’ in Time for Black History Month! (GIVEAWAY)

Hello World,

As you know, I.LOVE.BOOKS! And I’m a sucker for an intriguing title so when an email about an upcoming release Parable of the Brown Girl: The Sacred Lives of Girls of Color showed up in my inbox, I knew I had to share with you my dear After the Altar Call readers! And if you are intrigued, you can win a free copy of this timely book! Below is a synopsis followed by my Q&A with Kristin Lauren Adams, author and associate pastor at First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, New Jersey. (My Greenleaf folk know I love a female pastor as well 🙂 )

The stories of girls of color are often overlooked, unseen, and ignored rather than valued and heard. In Parable of the Brown Girl (adult nonfiction), readers are introduced to the resilience, struggle, and hope held within these stories. Instead of relegating these young women of color to the margins, Adams brings their stories front and center where they belong.

By sharing encounters she’s had with girls of color that revealed profound cultural, historical and spiritual truths, Adams magnifies the struggles, dreams, wisdom, and dignity of these voices.Thought-provoking and inspirational, Parable of the Brown Girl is a powerful example of how God uses the narratives we most often ignore to teach us the most important lessons in life. It’s time to pay attention.

1. Where did you grow up and live now?

I grew up in East Brunswick, NJ. I have lived a few places; California, Washington, D.C, Virginia. Now I actually both live and work in Pottstown, PA at a boarding school called The Hill School. When I’m not at The Hill, I’m back in NJ with my family in East Brunswick. So, I like to say I live in both places; East Brunswick and Pottstown.

2. What is your education/career background?

I went to Temple University for my undergrad. There I majored in Advertising because I had big hopes of becoming an advertising exec and working on Wall Street. While I was there, I explored my faith much more and got involved in campus ministry. I decided I wanted to go into ministry during that time. I went to work as a youth specialist for my church’s Community Development Corporation for 2 years after college and then applied to seminary. I only applied to one seminary, which was Princeton Seminary where I wound up going.

I obtained a Master of Divinity from there and upon graduating went back to my church (First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens), but this time to serve as a Youth Pastor. I stayed there 3 years and then moved to Southern California and accepted a position at Azusa Pacific University as an Associate Campus Pastor for Preaching and Spiritual Programming.

After 4 years there I moved back to the East Coast and took a position at Georgetown University as a Chaplain in Residence and an Interim Protestant Chaplain at Georgetown Law Center. I loved DC, but eventually moved back to NJ to help out at my home church as an Associate Pastor for a few years and then wound up getting the position I’m currently in as Firestone Endowment Chaplain and Instructor of Religious Studies at The Hill School. I recently got into a Masters in Clinical Counseling program with Capella University that I plan to start in the Spring. I think it makes sense that I get a second Masters and look towards becoming a licensed clinician, particularly since a great deal of my work is in the emotional and spiritual health of youth and young adults.

3. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? Or what first inspired you to write?

I used to enjoy writing plays and poetry when I was in college. I enjoyed seeing writing come to life on stage. I never thought about writing books until my Pastor (Buster Soaries) wrote his first book and one day said to me in casual conversation, “You know you should write a book.” I remember telling him that I didn’t have anything to write about and didn’t feel like I was an expert in anything. He said, “You write about what you know.” That stuck with me. At the time I didn’t think I knew anything, but I realized that I know what I know from my own experiences. It wasn’t long after that conversation that I wrote my first book.

4. What inspired your book?

My inspiration is the dedication to my book: “For all the black girls who courageously shared their story, their wisdom and their truths with me. Society may put you on the margins, but you are at the center of God’s heart.” The book is written for the black girls who have been unable to give voice to their lived experiences. I say this because I have had many conversations and crossed paths with many black girls who have so much to offer the world, but the world refuses to listen to or see them. I promised myself that if I were ever given the platform, I would place these girls at the center.

5. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

I was amazed by how consistent many of their struggles are with the stories I have heard from other black girls and women inter-generationally. I recognize their struggles and experiences in my own life. As I walked through the Smithsonian African-American History Museum and read about the lives of other black women and girls dating back to the 1500s, the cultural similarities were astonishing. Young black women in contemporary society are confronted with similar issues as many of those who have come before them.

6. What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I love to spend time with family and friends and playing with my dog, Daisy. I used to love training for and running half-marathons. I haven’t had a chance to train since I started working at The Hill School, but I’d love to get back into that at some point. Right now, I work out at a gym called Corefit and I like to do strength training a few times a week there.

7. Do you have a bucket list? What are some of the things on it?

I want to eat pizza in Italy. I’d like to go back to West Africa. I want to meet Oprah. I want to go to Essence Music Fest. I want to be a guest on Black Girls Rock. That about sums it up 🙂

Khristi Lauren Adams is the Firestone Endowment Chaplain, instructor of religious studies and philosophy, and co-director of Diversity at the Hill School in Pottstown, PA. Previously, she worked as Interim Protestant Chaplain at Georgetown University Law Center & Georgetown University, Associate Campus Pastor for Preaching & Spiritual Programming at Azusa Pacific University, and former Director of Youth Ministries at First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset, NJ. Khristi is also the Founder & Director of “The Becoming Conference” that began summer 2017, which is an annual conference designed to empower, educate & inspire girls ages of 13-18.

Khristi is a graduate of Temple University with a degree in Advertising and a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary where she obtained a Master of Divinity. Khristi is also currently an Associate Pastor at First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens. Her ministry and youth advocacy have been featured on CNN and her work has appeared in Huffington Post, Off the Page, and the Junia Project. When not in residence at The Hill School, she lives in East Brunswick, New Jersey.

For more information about Kristi, go to khristilaurenadams.com.

The first person to comment on this blog post will receive a free copy of Parable of the Brown Girl! Once you comment, I will comment and ask you to email your contact information to me!

Any thoughts?

See ‘Destination Wedding’ Novel Launch Party Photos & More!!!

Hello World,

It’s hard to believe that the first seven days of 2020 are now in the past…It’s even harder to believe that it’s been just over a month since my debut novel Destination Wedding was released on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019! After my blog post “Candace Bushnell from ‘Sex and the City’ Has Endorsed ‘Destination Wedding,’ Which is Out TODAY!!!” on Dec. 3, I took a hiatus from blogging but trust I still had more to do regarding the launch of my novel. One of those things was a fun LAUNCH PARTY at Auburn Avenue Research Library African American Culture and History in downtown Atlanta! Since you weren’t there, I’m sharing pics and a video from the big day! I hope you enjoy them 🙂

Isn’t that nice? My book cover on a cake…

A friend and my Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated sister helped me to set up before the event…

Just a few snacks for guests…

Dr. Stewart and my father, Dr. Holness, are from Jamaica so they had lots to discuss…

My supportive hubby taking pictures with my father-in-law in the background…

Guests helping themselves…

Me & Carla Morrison, president of the Friends of Auburn Avenue Research Library…

My line sisters greeting each other. I have the BEST line sisters…

My husband is so handsome…

My line sister brought me flowers!!!

Me and my line sister…

My parents and in-laws…I’m blessed…

They were into the conversation…

We were having a very enlightening conversation if I say so myself…

Dr. Stewart is focused…

It’s going well…

Dr. Stewart breaking it down…

And now book signing…

Why do I look so uncomfortable? Latoicha Andino of luxetipsmag.com says I’m not a good hugger…LOL…

Me and my younger soror and her friend…

So glad that so many of my friends came out and supported…

One of my friends bought SEVEN books!!!

I met one of my Twitter friends for the FIRST time. I had no idea she was so statuesque…

Me and my Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated line sisters who came out…

Me and my beloved parents…

Wrapping things up…We didn’t even plan to wear the same colors…

Also, check out snippet of our conversation below…

So if you haven’t checked out Destination Wedding, what are you waiting on?

Any thoughts?

Candace Bushnell from ‘Sex and the City’ Has Endorsed ‘Destination Wedding,’ Which is Out TODAY!!!

My Book Launch Event Will Be at Auburn Avenue Research Library on Dec. 11!!!

Hello World,

DESTINATION WEDDING IS OUT TODAY!!! As the topic of Destination Wedding is love, romance and dating in the city of Atlanta (although the story is applicable to love, romance and dating wherever you are), I was thoroughly inspired by Sex and the City, which is about love, romance and dating in New York City. In fact, below is the first paragraph of the preface of my book.

In December 2009, after nearly seven years of preparing myself to meet THE ONE through prayer, self-help books, counseling, online dating, seminars, and on and on, I finally lost hope that he was even out there at all. I felt like Charlotte on my favorite single-girl television show of all time, Sex and the City, when she whined to her friends Carrie, Miranda, and Samantha, “I’ve been dating since I was fifteen. I’m exhausted. Where is he?” before dropping her head, face first, onto the table in front of her. A relationship that I had dreamed of having years earlier finally happened—only to dissolve like a dream too good to be true within a couple of months. I was devastated and despondent. After swearing off my small library of self-help books on relationships that I had lovingly acquired over that nearly seven-year period and declaring that not a single dollar would be spent on another one, I concluded that God’s plan for my life did not include marriage and I would have to be okay with that.

So I wrote the preface at the beginning of this year. When I wrote that, it never occurred to me that I could seek an endorsement from Candace Bushnell, whose Sex and the City column led to the creation of the wildly successful HBO series of the same name! And I’m a major fan of Sex and the City! Just this summer, I attended a Sex and the City pop-up event at a local restaurant. But beside that, I have been on the Sex and the City bus tour in Manhattan, I have the Sex and the City trivia game, I have seen every episode of Sex and the City three times and more…

Well, at the beginning of September, I attended The Potter’s House in Dallas, Texas where Bishop T.D. Jakes preached a sermon entitled “Grasping the Moment,” and it really inspired me! Fast forward to the end of September! I attended a book signing event for Candace here in Atlanta. She was promoting her latest book Is There Still Sex in the City? Y’all, prior to the event, I wrote a letter asking for her endorsement and put it in a package along with an advance copy of my book. So when I got to the location of the signing, I contemplated sitting in the front row as I got there early and seats were available there. But this verse came to me: “But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests.” Luke 14:10. Y’all, I sat in the second row, and one of Candace‘s friends, who lives in Atlanta, just happened to sit in front of me in the first row. We got to talking. I told her about my book. She introduced me to Candace after the event. And it went from there. Check out a picture of us together (ABOVE) and the tweet she sent me after the event (BELOW)! Talk about grasping the moment! I wouldn’t have thought to do that if I hadn’t heard that sermon weeks earlier!

Below is her official endorsement:

“It’s terrific!” – Candace Bushnell, New York Times bestselling author of Sex and the City and Is There Still Sex in the City?

Short and sweet, but the point is made. But she is not the only one who has endorsed Destination Wedding! My favorite childhood author of ALL time Brenda Wilkinson also endorsed Destination Wedding! You can read how I tracked her down HERE: Lost Southern Voice Brenda Scott Wilkinson, a Georgia Writers Hall of Fame Nominee, Has Been Found…

Since then, we’ve met, and I took her out to lunch. And she signed my copy of her book Ludell and Willie that I’ve had since I’ve had since I was a little girl. And this is what she said about Destination Wedding:

“The timing of Jacqueline J. Holness’ story is perfect as the subject of ‘black women finding a suitable partner’ becomes the main topic of conversation when three or more of us gather. I discovered this to be true even among senior black women. I was a guest at a book club of professional women in New York recently where they went way off topic bemoaning the lack of mates for their daughters and nieces…Indeed, it is hard out there for a sister – which is why her book is important.”  – Brenda Wilkinson, Georgia Writers Hall of Fame nominee and author of LudellLudell and Willie and Ludell’s New York Time

And I’ve also been endorsed by three other authors that I respect for their work AND their character. Below are their endorsements:

“Jacqueline J. Holness has penned a delightful read that puts a new spin on the age-old dilemma of the beautiful, successful, single black woman finding a mate! Did I say beautiful and successful? Set in the Black Mecca – The ATL – Destination Wedding will have you asking, ‘Why is this so hard?’ I found myself in the moment, rooting for these women – and thoroughly enjoyed their journeys to happily-ever-after.” – Monica Richardson, author of the Talbots of Harbour Island series

“In need of a getaway? Destination Wedding is the read you need. Filled with characters that will remind you of your girlfriends and unexpected adventures,it’s the perfect vacation read.” Chandra Sparks Splond, author and blogger

“In Destination Wedding, Jacqueline J. Holness takes readers on page-turning twists and turns that hijack several friendships on the path to love. If you’re eager for an entertaining read that will leave you rooting for the characters as if they’re your friends, pick up your copy today.” – Stacy Hawkins Adams, multi-published author of Coming HomeWatercolored PearlsThe Someday List and more

Also, on Wednesday, Dec. 11, from 6-8 p.m., join me and Dr. Dianne M. Stewart, Emory University professor and author of the forthcoming Black Women, Black Love: America’s War on African American Marriage at a hub of African American culture in Atlanta, the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, on Sweet Auburn.

We will discuss the hijinks in Destination Wedding AND systemic and structural factors that affect black women and black love in America from a research-based perspective –a robust conversation that is needed during cuffing season.

As this is the official launch for Destination Wedding, copies will be sold ($15 plus tax) and signed following the conversation.

To register for this event, go to Eventbrite.com.

To order your copy of Destination Wedding, click on one of the websites below!!!

                       

Yay Destination Wedding! Yay God! Yay Me!

Any thought?