New book features Rials Creek


Fiction will marry with reality on July 16, when Rials Creek United Methodist Church near Magee hosts Georgia author John Shivers for the release of Broken Spirit.

The book incorporates the Rials Creek family as one of the main components in a fictional story designed to show that faith is nothing more than believing that God can be depended upon to do what he promises.

Author of the previously-published Hear My Cry, Shivers will be joined in the special 11 a.m. service by fellow author and United Methodist musician Catherine Ritch Guess. She and her son, Jamie Purser, will present a musical concert as a part of Shivers’ presentation of the book.

The author is a resident of Calhoun, Ga., but has family roots in Simpson County. His wife is a native Mississippian, and it was through more than 40 years of visiting in the area that the idea for Broken Spirit took root. He has been published in more than 40 secular and religious publications and has received 16 professional awards.

“I needed an anchor for my main character,” he says, “and I found it at Rials Creek, where the atmosphere of ‘family,’ as I believe God meant us to be, is so genuine.”

Guess was a minister of music and organist for 34 years before becoming a published author. She is a Diaconal Minister of the UMC and has performed, written and/or composed programs for a variety of venues on conference, national and international levels. She is also a published composer and will perform some of her original music at Rials Creek.

Purser, 22, will be accompanied by Guess as he performs a selection of sacred music. His latest CD, This Is My Song, was recently selected as a Father’s Day feature by Christian Retailing Magazine. He is scheduled to appear at several national and international UMC events during 2006. His appearance at Rials Creek will follow a performance at the Christian Booksellers Association International Trade Show in Denver.