Funk on Faith

Faith authors will soon be signing their books in Charlotte

Book cover for “Called for Life” by Kent and Amber Brantly
Book cover for “Called for Life” by Kent and Amber Brantly Courtesy of Billy Graham Library

I share my house with hundreds of books – the kind made of paper, with covers, that look inviting on wooden shelves. Maybe I’m stuck in the 20th century, but I still can’t imagine curling up with a good Kindle or Nook or whatever they call those e-book things.

With hardbacks and paperbacks, there’s also room for the authors to autograph them. And over the years, I’ve been thrilled to travel to book-signings to get the signatures of such wonderful writers as David McCullough, John Le Carré, Anne Lamott and Robert Caro.

I even enjoy escorting others to book-signings: Years ago, I took a friend who was a “Star Wars” fanatic to a James Earl Jones book-signing in Charlotte. The actor who provided the voice for Darth Vader made my friend’s year by scribbling these words in his book: “Thomas, May the Force be with you.”

I tell you all of that to warm you up for news about some upcoming book-signings on the faith beat:

▪ At 4 p.m. Sunday (July 19), the Rev. Nancy Kraft will have a public book launch and signing for her spiritual memoir, “Threads: Pulling Meaning from the Tangled Mess.” She’s the pastor at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church – where the event will happen. The address: 1900 The Plaza.

The book – $12.99 in soft cover and $7.99 on Kindle – covers everything from the trauma of viewing her father’s corpse when she was 6 to a disastrous marriage to a bigamist to pastoring a congregation that was in the legal and faith forefront of bringing same-sex marriage to North Carolina.

▪ At 11 a.m. on July 25, Kent Brantly, the missionary doctor who survived Ebola last year, and wife Amber Brantly will sign copies of their new book at the Billy Graham Library, 4330 Westmont Drive. It’ll be the couple’s first book-signing in the country for “Called for Life: How Loving Our Neighbor Led Us Into the Heart of the Ebola Epidemic.”

Brantly contracted the deadly virus while working at a hospital in Liberia for Samaritan’s Purse, the Boone-based charity that’s headed by Franklin Graham. Brantly and fellow missionary Nancy Writebol of Charlotte, who also contracted the disease, were flown to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, where they were successfully treated. Brantly later testified before Congress about the Ebola scourge in parts of Africa.

Details about the book-signing:; 704-401-3200.

▪ At 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 29, best-selling author and scholar Brené Brown will speak about her new book, “Rising Strong,” at Ovens Auditorium, 2700 E. Independence Blvd. Christ Episcopal Church is bringing Brown to town. And after Brown’s keynote, the Rev. Chip Edens, the church’s rector, will interview her onstage.

Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work and, for the past 13 years, she has been studying – and writing about – vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame. Her previous best-selling books were “Daring Greatly” and “The Gifts of Imperfection.” She also did widely viewed TED talks in 2010 and 2012.

It’s expected to sell out, so act fast. Tickets are $35, and include a signed copy of “Rising Strong.” Tickets and details are available at