Holy Ghost Girl

Holy Ghost Girl

Donna Johnson's remarkable story of being raised under the biggest gospel tent in the world, by David Terrell, one of the most famous evangelical ministers of the 1960s and 70s. Holy Ghost Girl is a compassionate, humorous exploration of faith, betrayal, and coming of age on the sawdust trail. She was just three years old when her mother signed on as the organist of tent Donna Johnson's remarkable story of being raised under the biggest gospel tent in the world, by David Terrell, one of...

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Title:Holy Ghost Girl
Author:Donna Johnson
Rating:
Genres:Autobiography
ISBN:1592406300
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:278 pages pages

Holy Ghost Girl Reviews

  • La Petite Américaine
    Nov 24, 2011
    I couldn't stop reading ... in the train-wreck sense. This book was a lot like The Glass Castle with an evangelical slant. Speaking of which, this book will make you hate evangelicals. Kinda makes me wanna join their clan and copy their style though....you know, get up on the stage and...
  • Nancy
    Jan 23, 2012
    "Donna, I don't know if you're going to the funeral, but I hear Daddy is gonna try to raise Randall from the dead. Call me." That's the opening line of Holy Ghost Girl, as memorable a first line as any I have seen. Donna Johnson's memoir of a childhood spent on the "sawdust trail," ...
  • Melissa
    Apr 23, 2012
    This book follows Donna Johnson's family's involvement with the infamous "evangelist" David Terrell, who preached and healed while evading the IRS, fathering eight children with four women, and taking money from impoverished followers to fund a lavish lifestyle, before ending up in jai...
  • Judy
    Jan 31, 2012
    I finished this book about two weeks ago and I've been thinking about it ever since. Granted, I have a fascination with the "sawdust trail" and I love to talk to people about their experiences with tent revivals in the South during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. So this book was a natura...
  • Christina
    Jun 19, 2013
    WOW! This is one of the best memoirs I've ever read. Donna Johnson pulls together an impressively sensical account of her young life and faith journey as the unrecognized stepdaughter of David Terrell, a charismatic tent revival preacher, faith healer, pentacostalish prophet active in ...
  • Crystal
    Nov 23, 2014
    Holy Ghost Girl caught my attention because I enjoy memoirs and I spent about 10 years of my life in an Assembly of God church which was rather calm compared to the stories in this book. Johnson seems to tell it as she saw it and her writing style made the story interesting and believa...
  • Kelly
    Jul 09, 2013
    I was somewhat disappointed by this book. I expected more out of it. I don't understand how somebody that was only four or five years old could have such a vivid recall about things that happened at that age. Most of the book seemed to focus on the little details about the revivals, an...
  • Belinda
    Jun 28, 2011
    Warning: This is a biased review. Not only do I know and really like Donna Johnson, I also worship with her in the pews of an Episcopalian church. I have had lengthy discussions with her over the years on the nature of resilient faith. I am unable to separate ?Donna the author? fro...
  • Eris
    Jun 15, 2011
    An interesting inside look at evangelical tent culture, with it's ups, downs and mysteries. Donna Johnson is honest with her recollections, keeping it clean by letting you know when the memories are faded or jumbled. This memoir contains most of the elements one has come to expect f...
  • Connie Bush
    Nov 01, 2011
    I hesitated to write a review after first reading this book because I wanted to think about it more. My first reaction was of overwhelming sadness for the people who have been caught up in this cult, especially for the children. I come at this from a different perspective than many of ...
  • Ciara
    Nov 06, 2011
    why in the hell is this getting such great reviews? it's not a bad book, but it is far from a great book. it is a memoir written by a woman whose family followed the revivalist faith healing preacher david terrell when she was a child. in fact, johnson's mother became terrell's "second...
  • Karyl
    May 27, 2015
    I have somewhat of an obsession with stories of non-mainstream Christian denominations in America. It fascinates me that we have the fairly sedate and almost identical (tell me that you can tell the difference between the services at a Presbyterian, Methodist, or Lutheran church nowada...
  • Antonia
    Dec 07, 2015
    I heard the author speak at a writers conference three years ago and was fascinated by her story. I bought the book immediately, but somehow it ended up in a pile of books and I never read it. Then I noticed that I could borrow the audio from my library consortium, so thought I?d giv...
  • Caitlin
    Sep 25, 2011
    Donna Johnson grew up on the tent revival circuit of the 1950's and '60's. Her mother was a follower of David Terrell's ministry, playing organ for his traveling ministry. If you've never been to a tent revival, this may all seem very strange, but for many Americans these revivals are ...
  • Thomas Holbrook
    Nov 14, 2011
    Memoirs can be many things: a record of memories, an autobiography, a conciliatory gesture, a chance at revenge, a confession or a combination of any/all. Good memoirs allow the reader to ?take on? the life of the author in an intimate way and this present addition to the genre wi...
  • TinaB
    Oct 15, 2011
    Holy Ghost Girl is one of my favorite memoirs to date....and not because of the scandals or the sad often heartbreaking child neglect that went down, but because Donna's story was so honest and in the mix of soap opera drama I heard a girls voice similar to my own and found so many thi...
  • Jenny Wells
    Oct 22, 2011
    I devoured this book. I was disappointed when it was over. What happened? Tell me your story now, as an adult. But Johnson doesn't. I want a Part II. My heart broke often reading her story. To me, it is the story of every child who grows up under the delusion of the adults in their ...
  • Clacie
    Aug 18, 2017
    Even though Donna's story mostly takes place in the 1960s it was relatable. My parents started attending an Assembly of God church when I was in the 3rd grade, so by default, I did as well. This was my first experience with church, and for the most part it was good. A couple of years l...
  • Michael
    Jun 21, 2018
    I have mixed feelings towards this book, it started of promising but it got repetitive at the end. Now I will say that this book reminded me alot of my childhood because I grew up in the same charismatic environment. Healing, demons getting cast out, tongue speaking, pretty much everyt...
  • Lisa Napoli
    May 19, 2011
    Really great. I have a particular fascination with tent-revivalists, dating back to my life in the southeastern US long ago. Actually, before that. I can't imagine how hard it was for Donna to write about her young life with these people, including a mother who would be locked up as an...
  • Emily
    Feb 22, 2012
    This book so enthralled me, it left me sleepless. I just finished reading this book and was so upset about what David Terrell did and how this woman grew up I had to pray and pray. Every churchgoer should read this type of book. In it you will find characteristics of a cult leader (i.e...
  • Karen
    May 11, 2011
    Donna Johnson's mother joined Brother David Terrell's tent revival circuit as an organist in the early 1960's and Donna and her brother Gary spent most of their childhood in this world, traveling the South and hearing the Gospel every night. This is a fascinating look at that world, es...
  • Lee Harmon
    Oct 24, 2011
    Excellent! Definitely a fun book, if a bit freaky. Now, there?s a word I?ve never used before in a book review! Donna Johnson tells the story of a little girl growing up on the ?sawdust trail? of traveling tent missionary David Terrell. Yes, that David Terrell. Welcome to th...
  • Paul Pessolano
    Oct 18, 2011
    ?Holy Ghost Girl? by Donna M. Johnson, published by Gotham Books. Category ? Memoir Although tent revivals are still held they had their hay day in the 1960?s and 1970?s. Around 1960 and little know preacher by the name of Brother Terrell started on the circuit. He had ...
  • Naomi Young
    Jul 11, 2012
    As I've mentioned before, I'm attracted to stories about faith, and how people gain and lose it. This could have been a very sensationalistic book. It's the memoir of one of the children of tent evangelist and Pentecostal Holiness preacher David Terrell. Terrell apparently took upon hi...
  • Heather
    Jan 20, 2013
    Really impacting memoir about Donna Johnson growing up in the 1960s with her mother and brother in the David Terrell tent revival fundamental Christian "sawdust" revival sermons. Donna was not David's son but her mother was his organ player who followed him around obsessively. Poor ...
  • Stephanie
    Dec 11, 2012
    This book is a recounting of a childhood which is blissfully alien to most of us, the perspective of a child raised in the family of itinerant freelance Pentecostal preachers. Here are the tent revivals which have largely disappeared from the American spiritual landscape, and the uneas...
  • Justin Morgan
    Dec 27, 2012
    I have to admit that I had some personal investment in reading this book and my review will be equally personal. I grew up hearing stories of the Prophet/charlatan David Terrell: horror stories from my mom and hero stories from my grandma. My grandmother was one of the infamous Terrell...
  • Sandy
    Jan 25, 2013
    Strange book of a life hard to relate to in some ways, but understandable in other ways. I didn't know how to feel once the book was over, but it's a four star because I had a hard time putting it down... ^This was my response immediately after finishing the book. The more time I ha...
  • Gina
    Apr 17, 2018
    One of the first things I would warn you about is set aside some time if you're going to start reading this, because you will not want to put it down. Donna is but a 3-year-old toddler when she was brought into the life of a traveling tent revival show, led by David Terrell when her...