One of my favorite novelist…Lew Wallace

One of my favorite novelist, Lewis Wallace, was inspired to write his second novel, in 1880, by an agnostic. The novel was conceived after sitting on a train, listening to Colonel Robert Ingersoll for two hours.

Wallace wrote that Ingersoll poured out “a medley of argument, eloquence, wit, satire, audacity, irreverence, poetry, brilliant antitheses, and pungent excoriation of believers in God, C…hrist, and Heaven, the like of which I had never heard.”

Until then, Wallace had been indifferent to the claims of Jesus. He wrote, “Yet here was I now moved as never before, and by what? The most outright denials of all human knowledge of God, Christ, Heaven… Was the Colonel right? What had I on which to answer yes or no? He had made me ashamed of my ignorance: and then–here is the unexpected of the affair–as I walked on in the cool darkness, I was aroused for the first time in my life to the importance of religion… I thought of the manuscript in my desk. Its closing scene was the child Christ in the cave by Bethlehem: why not go on with the story down to the crucifixion? That would make a book, and compel me to study everything of pertinency; after which, possibly, I would be possessed of opinions of real value.”

Wallace subtitled the book, a tale of the Christ. He later wrote, “It only remains to say that I did as resolved, with results — first, the book Ben Hur, and second, a conviction amounting to absolute belief in God and the Divinity of Christ.”

~ Randy Willis

randywillis@twc.com

Website: http://threewindsblowing.com

Amazon author’s page:
http://amazon.com/author/randywillis

Randy Willis Lew Wallace

Randy Willis Lew Wallace

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Twice a Slave | Randy Willis author

The son of a white man and Cherokee slave, Joseph Willis gains his freedom and swims the mighty Mississippi, in 1798, riding only a mule .

In the Louisiana Territory he preaches the first Gospel sermon by an Evangelical west of the Mississippi River.

Twice a Slave has been chosen as a Jerry B. Jenkins Select Book, along with four bestselling authors. Jerry Jenkins is author of more than 180 books with sales of more than 70 million copies, including the best-selling Left Behind series.

Twice a Slave has also been adapted into a dramatic play (vimeo.com/99360694) at Louisiana College, by Dr. D. “Pete” Richardson (Associate Professor of Theater with Louisiana College).

Joseph Willis’s life is a story of triumph over tragedy and victory over adversity!

✯ He was born into slavery. His mother was Cherokee and his father a wealthy English plantation owner.

✯ His family took him to court to deprive him of his inheritance (which would have made him the wealthiest plantation owner in all of Bladen County, North Carolina in 1776).

✯ He fought as a Patriot in the Revolutionary War under the most colorful of all the American generals, Francis Marion, The Swamp Fox.

✯ His first wife died in childbirth, and his second wife died only six years later, leaving him with five small children.

✯ He crossed the mighty Mississippi River at Natchez at the peril of his own life, riding a mule!

✯ He entered hostile Spanish-controlled Louisiana Territory, when the dreaded Code Noir (Black Code) was in effect. It forbade any Protestant ministers who came into the territory from preaching.

✯ His life was threatened because of the message he brought to Spanish-controlled Louisiana!

✯ His own denomination refused to ordain him because of his race.

✯ Joseph Willis preached (1798) the first Gospel sermon by an Evangelical west of the Mississippi River.

✯ On November 13, 1812, Joseph Willis constituted Calvary Baptist Church at Bayou Chicot, Louisiana. He went on to plant over twenty churches in Louisiana.

✯ October 31, 1818, Joseph Willis (and others that had followed him from the Carolinas) founded the Louisiana Baptist Association, at Beulah Baptist in Cheneyville. Joseph had founded all five charter member churches.

✯ After overcoming insurmountable obstacles, he blazed a trail for others for another half-century that changed American history.

✯ His accomplishments are still felt today.

Randy Willis is a fourth great-grandson of Joseph Willis, and his foremost historian.