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African American Christian Books

African American Christian Reading a Book

Perhaps you’re wondering where you can find the best African American Christian books.

 

The unique experience of African American Christians is often overlooked in mainstream media, which is why it’s more important than ever to seek out books and other media related to the common experiences and themes faced by African American Christians in the world today.

 

Books are an especially great way for people of God to digest devotionals and spiritual quotes which can help them face everyday problems; seek resolutions to struggles of faith; find guides on raising children in Christian households; and even look for entertaining fictional media that has a quality Christian core.

 

In this post, you’ll find a collection of fiction and non-fiction books. These exceptional Christian books are one of the best ways to explore and reflect on what’s going on in our own lives—such as problems we’re facing in our relationships, struggles we’re hoping to overcome, dilemmas and obstacles we’re facing, and even tests of hope and religious faith.

 

These books also provide a great way to learn about the world around us, whether it’s learning about the past through a fictionalized look at the life of an important historical figure, or learning to put ourselves in the shoes of someone else, someone we may have previously judged without a second thought.

 

One of the best ways to get true value out of the books you read is to look for books that highlight and explore issues of faith, religion, and Christian values—though fiction is not always (nor should it always be) intended as an example of how we should conduct ourselves in an ideal world.

 

There are many Christian books on the market today that are sure to enrich your life—while giving you plenty of well-deserved reading entertainment along the way. The following are some of the best Christian books on the market today.

 

In this article you will find a list compiled of the very best African American Christian books on a wide range of subjects. If you’re looking for a new book, take a look at this list for some of the best reads out there today:

 


Top 10 African American Christian Books

 

1. African American History and Devotions: Readings and Activities for Individuals, Families, and Communities by Teresa L. Fry Brown

African American History and Devotions: Readings and Activities for Individuals, Families, and Communities by Teresa L. Fry BrownThis unique book features 4-weeks worth of daily readings, devotionals and other activities that are designed for African American Christians.

These devotions include a verse from Scripture, Brown’s own reflections and thoughts on that verse, an accompanying prayer, and 3 different activities to help you overcome and grow as a Christian individual.

Each daily devotional activity focuses on important material related to the many contributions of African Americans throughout history, such as civil rights, medicine and health, the arts, education, music and of course, religion.

 

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2. Biblical Strategies For A Community in Crisis: What African Americans Can Do edited by Dr. Colleen BirchettBiblical Strategies For A Community in Crisis: What African Americans Can Do edited by Dr. Colleen Birchett

This 300-word work is an essential for Christians who want to learn more about the issues that the Christian African American community is facing today.

This includes conflicts in church, the importance of church in the community, social justice issues, the importance of forgiveness, as well as details regarding the presence of African people in the Bible itself.

Every chapter of this book includes a Bible study, as well as sections for readers interested in extracting the Bible study into a group setting, family setting, or solo reflection.

 

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3. Women of Color Devotional by Mel BanksWomen of Color Devotional by Mel Banks

African American Christian women face unique struggles both in faith and the community, and this devotional specifically created with women in mind is an excellent way to reflect on personal, religious and community issues through the context of the Bible.

The book contains 52 devotions in total, and each devotional is a 4-page spread that features Scripture quotes, a journaling page, prayer reflections, and questions for the reader to consider.

 

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4. I Am Number 8: Overlooked and Undervalued, but Not Forgotten by God by John GrayI Am Number 8: Overlooked and Undervalued, but Not Forgotten by God by [Gray, John]

John Gray’s ‘I Am Number 8,’ which includes a foreword by Joel Osteen, is a fresh look at the story of David told for modern readers who may find themselves relating to this Biblical figure in ways they never before thought possible.

Gray’s book emphasizes the importance of realizing that it is God who calls us to greatness, even if we–and those around us–don’t expect or understand why. God sees value in people, even those who, like David, may be undervalued and overlooked by people around them.

 

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5. Grace, Gold & Glory: My Leap of Faith by Gabby DouglasGrace, Gold & Glory: My Leap of Faith by Gabby Douglas

Gabby Douglas is one of the foremost African American athletes today, but her unique memoir is not just about the physical struggle, hard work and effort it took to make her an Olympic Gold Medal winning athlete.

In ‘Grace, Gold & Glory,’ Douglas contextualizes her journey through her deep faith and belief in God, and how her faith kept her going as she spent years training and working to become an excellent athlete.

This book is ideal for readers both young and old; younger African American readers are sure to be inspired by Douglas’ strong faith and dedication to the journey that God has planned for her.

 

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6. Though I Stumble by Kim Cash TateThough I Stumble by Kim Cash Tate

Though I Stumble is a unique fictional book that is sure to inspire countless readers with its strong messages of faith, strength, and the importance of holding true to ourselves.

Though I Stumble is about a women’s ministry conference weekend that changes the lives of four women, each dealing with their own personal struggles and personal crisis, forever.

The women find their paths crossed unexpectedly during this life-changing weekend, and the revelations they make about themselves, their faith, and their path to the future will resonate with many readers.

This is the first book in the Promises of God series, which currently has 3 full books: Though I Stumble, If I Believe, and When I’m Tempted.

 

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7. The KJV Original African Heritage Study Bible edited by Cain Hope FelderThe KJV Original African Heritage Study Bible edited by Cain Hope Felder

The KJV Original African Heritage Study Bible is a study version of the King James Version of the Bible, presented with context of the African experience.

Key features include verses that highlight figures in the Bible with African heritage, references to African places and events in a 48-page reference guide. There are also multiple maps, selections of favorite versions from notable African heritage Christians, lyrics to important African heritage Christian songs including songs traced back to the plight of slavery, new introductions to each book, and more.

This is “the” study Bible for anyone interested in reading the Bible with the context of the African American experience in mind.

 

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8. Cling: Choosing a Lifestyle of Intimacy with God by Kim Cash TateCling: Choosing a Lifestyle of Intimacy with God by Kim Cash Tate

Tate, also the author of several fictional Christian novels, shares her personal experience of rediscovering the importance of developing a relationship with God in her debut non-fiction book ‘Cling.’

Tate relates her experience of feeling unfulfilled as she focused her mind and goals solely on her romantic relationships and her writing career, two aspects of her life when she found herself “clinging” to with no spiritual reward.

It was when she discovered the importance of clinging–not to careers or romance or other aspects of life, but clinging to God–that her life and her world changed forever.

Tate’s book includes Biblical Scripture quotes alongside her personal experiences, advice on how to develop the right discipline for reading the Bible and praying, as well as how to embrace “clinging” to God for a more fulfilling and spirituality rich life.

 

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9. Zora’s Cry by Tia McCollorsZora’s Cry by Tia McCollors

Zora’s Cry is a fictional novel that tells the story of four women–Zora, Monet, Belinda and Paula–who find themselves struggling with feelings of loss, displacement, betrayal and insecurity in their place in the world.

The women find themselves drawn together through a discipleship group, where they learn the importance of drawing strength from God and from the relationships and friendships that God places in our path.

McCollors novel features many issues faced by African American women today, and the strong messages in the novel are grounded with Christian core values that are ideal for readers looking for novels with a Christian foundation.

 

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10. Dear God: Hear My Prayer by Lakisha JohnsonDear God: Hear My Prayer by [Johnson, Lakisha]

Johnson’s fictional novel tackles some very tough issues right from the start, as it focuses on a teenage girl who is abused by her pastor and more than a decade later, finds herself struggle with being a single mother, her inability to connect with God, and her overwhelming feeling of being alone.

But don’t think that the book is a condemnation of Christianity due to the inclusion of an abusive pastor character: to the contrary, this novel has a resounding message of the importance of faith, prayer, and reaching out to God even if you believe you are lost to Him forever.

This novel will especially resonate with readers who have found themselves in the same position of the main character, feeling lost, sinful, and struggling to get out those two important words: “Dear God…”

 

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Bonus Recommendations

 

11. Never Say Never: A Novel by Victoria Christopher Murray

Never Say Never: A Novel by Victoria Christopher MurrayMurray’s novels are always filled with complex characters who, while they don’t always make the right choices, struggle with many of the same problems faced by people in the Christian community today.

This is what makes them ideal for Christian readers, who can identify with the fictional characters without feeling they are heavy handed or cliché.

In Never Say Never, Murray tells the story of Miriam and Emily, two Christian best friends who bond together after the death of Miriam’s firefighter husband during an emergency rescue.

Emily and her fellow firefighter husband Jamal step up to the plate to help Miriam in her time of need. Yet the closeness created by the emotional shock of her husband’s death, and Jamal’s own survival, result in in Miriam being drawn closer to Jamal than either one of them thought possible.

The realism of this book—the affair is not portrayed as anything but the wrong actions of two people who are sad and desperate to escape that sadness—is especially refreshing. Readers will especially enjoy the messages about grief, hurt, bad decisions, and the importance of faith in times of pure crisis.

 

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12. Promises of God Series by Kim Cash TatePromises of God Series by Kim Cash Tate

Kim Cash Tate’s popular Promises of God series follows the lives of four women whose lives are changed forever during a weekend filled everything from excitement, revelations, renewed passion and zest–to sadness, struggles, and a crisis of faith.

The first book in the series, Though I Stumble, tells the story of this very fateful weekend.

The rest of the series, which contains 2 other books so far (“If I Believe” and “When I’m tempted”) continues these women’s stories as they go back to their not-so-ordinary lives with the newfound knowledge and friendships they forged on that important weekend.

Messages of redemption, developing a relationship with God, exploring thoughts of lost faith and struggles with belief are present throughout all of the books in the Promises of God series. Readers will especially enjoy Tate’s engaging prose, fleshed out characters and messages of faith, strength, and the value of friendship.

 

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13. Getting to Happy by Terry McMillan

Getting to Happy by Terry McMillanGetting to Happy, which takes place in the same book universe as Waiting to Exhale (also by Terry McMillan) follows four best friends as they find themselves at an essential crossroads in their lives.

Will they chase their dreams, passions and joys? Or will they give up on the life they’ve always wanted in favor of maintaining the status quo?

Getting to Happy is more spiritual and faith-oriented than the first Waiting to Exhale novel, as there are strong messages in Getting to Happy which are related to keeping faith in God’s plan and knowing how to follow God’s plan faithfully; fans of the first novel will definitely enjoy the increased spiritual presence in the storyline.

While readers can technically enjoy this novel without any prior knowledge of the characters (their backstories are explained through context and reminders) it is best enjoyed after reading Waiting to Exhale first.

 

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14. Hope Springs by Kim Cash Tate

Hope Springs by Kim Cash TateHope Springs is an engaging, emotional read that touches on many important subjects, including two often-ignored aspects in African American Christian fiction books: female ministry (and the subsequent dilemmas, problems and choices that come along with that); as well as racial divide even within a wider community of Christians.

The broader story of Hope Springs follows the lives of three women–Janele, Becca and Stephanie–as they all find themselves drawn to cross paths in the small town of Hope Springs.

The character of Becca will be especially interesting to Christian readers, as she hopes to become a female minister but finds herself torn apart when her husband feels a calling to follow in his father’s footsteps and become the pastor of the Hope Springs’ church his father once led.

Yet Hope Springs is not just a story of women finding a place for themselves in the world or confronting the reality of chasing their dreams no matter what happens: it tackles some powerful topics, such as the segregation of churches in small towns, racial divide even among Christians, and the importance of community healing, promoting and cultivating understanding, and mending broken connections with the renewal of faith in the power and strength of God.

 

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15. 2:32AM: Losing Faith in God by Lakisha Johnson

2:32AM: Losing Faith in God by Lakisha JohnsonLakisha Johnson’s emotional novel 2:32 AM: Losing Faith in God deals exclusively with a subject often swept under the rug or treated as a subplot:  What happens when we experience something so awful, so unfair, and so senseless that that shakes our belief in God?

This is a question that Charlotte, the protagonist of Johnson’s novel, faces when she–at 2:32 AM–experiences the death of her child. Rather than turning to her faith for comfort, Charlotte’s gut reaction is to become angry at God—how could He let her child be taken from her? Why didn’t He answer her prayers?

Charlotte, like many people who find themselves dealing with death and other horrible losses, struggles to understand how God could even exist if He lets such horrible things happen to those who believe in Him.

2:32AM: Losing Faith In God is definitely not a light read due to the subject matter, but it’s perhaps one of the most necessary fiction books on this list; it does not sugarcoat the fact that many people lose faith in God after experiencing the death of a loved one, especially a child just on the cusp of living.

Yet as Charlotte finds out through immense soul searching and reflection, there is nothing that God lets happen to us that we cannot overcome, as long as we maintain our faith and love in God and his teachings.

 

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16. Oney: My Escape From Slavery by Diana Rubino

Oney: My Escape From Slavery by Diana RubinoOney: My Escape from Slavery is a historical fiction novel based on the real life of the famous Oney Judge, an enslaved woman owned by Martha Washington–wife of George Washington.

The novel picks up shortly before Oney Judge’s famous escape from slavery and painstakingly details the many contradictions and hypocrisies in the presence of slavery in the now-independent United States of America.

Oney is treated kindly by her owners, but she is still property that both Martha and George Washington expect to obey on command. When Oney finds out that Martha Washington plans on selling Oney to her granddaughter Eliza Washington, she decides that she can no longer live in a world without freedom.

She makes her escape and lives in freedom—though always a fugitive—for the rest of her life. The book also deals with complex messages regarding the hypocrisy of slavery among the founding fathers of America, along with the contradictions of slave owners who professed to love their slaves while refusing to free them from their bondage.

The book is not explicitly religious, but Oney—like many enslaved people in this time period—turns repeatedly to her faith and love of God to see her through her harrowing journey into fugitive freedom.   

 

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Final Thoughts

African American Christian Reading a Book

Finding the best African American Christian books isn’t easy to do on your own due to the sheer volume of Christian books that are out on the market today–which is why I’ve selected the most memorable, well-written, engaging and supportive books from several different genres.

 

Novels are an excellent way to reflect on your relationship with God, and to find advice and guidance to strengthening your faith and overcoming the issues and challenges that must be faced every day.

 

The books in this list were selected because of their relevance to African American issues, themes and even community struggles. I hope that the above books will help you on your journey towards strengthening your relationship with God and continuing on the path that he has chosen for you.

 

It can be difficult to choose the right book from a sea of Christian—and other—fiction books out there on the book market today. There is simply so much to look through that it becomes impossible to separate the excellent books from those you’d rather leave sitting on the library shelf.

 

Yet the books in this list, ranging from charming lighter novels to historical fiction to serious novels regarding loss and redemption, are sure to enrich your life; help you reflect on everything from your moral values to your strength of faith; and hopefully, entertain you along the way. We hope that you have found at least one book to add to your reading list. Good luck!

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