Audrey Ward Releases New Title - Hidden Biscuits

April 16, 2015

Hidden Biscuits

Tales of Deep South Revivals Told by Heart

Every night of revival—1947 to 1956—the Evangelist and his family carried the mostly Appalachian people to whom they minister on up to a higher place. Worn down bodies in from the heat and dust of a sharecropper’s cotton fields or unventilated rooms of the mill barely make it over to the local Pentecostal church, to the shelter of a raised up tent or bush arbor. But by the time they sing, shout and pray in response to the Skondeen family’s music and preaching, something shifts.

While the outside world screams tensions of communism and segregation through newspaper headlines for those who can read, and talk escalates anxiety, these folks go to Jesus. The Evangelist’s birthplace, Russia, however, signals his alarm, sealing this as family secret even while they invite the confidence of people around them. And the young narrator, Audrey, takes segregation to a deep, personal level by her encounter with a girl her own age outside a women’s bathroom marked Whites Only.

Across more than a decade of revival years, the family changes. For the child telling the stories who began with unblinking faith, questions gather—God is all powerful? Does Jesus see color? The blood does what?—as she listens and observes. By the time she reaches adolescence, her conduct ignites a bonfire of fear in her father.

Hidden Biscuits…tales of Deep South revivals told by heart, provides a glimpse of Americana unknown to most people that has all but disappeared into the standardized world of television and the internet. Pentecostal Holiness people of this era who are often too deprived to own their own acres; too loud for their churches to be inside city limits; too emotional to be considered intellectual, in these pages are not caricatured, but are experienced in the mysterious, ecstatic depths of those who hold on to their faith like a death bed promise.

Audrey Ward
Audrey Ward has served as an elder in United Methodist Churches of the California Nevada Conference for thirty years and is currently the Pastor of the Saint Helena congregation in the Napa Valley. Her column “Regarding Children” has appeared regularly in local as well as national papers.

Hidden Biscuits
by Audrey Ward
Resource Publications/ Wipf and Stock
978-1-4982-0925-0/ paperback / $32 / Available
(Author Photo by Sharon Dawson)