Holy Roller: Finding Redemption and the Holy Ghost in a Forgotten Texas Church

Holy Roller: Finding Redemption and the Holy Ghost in a Forgotten Texas Church Note from Christa: All you have to do is open the book and stare at Julie Lyons’ picture on the inner back flap to know this was one woman who would not blend easily in a run-down, Body of Christ Assembly church on, as she says, “the wild frontier of gangsta-land.” Honestly, it cracks me up just to imagine those words spilling out of Julie’s mouth!

Just goes to prove God has a sense of humor leading a 27-year-old woman who grew up in a small Wisconsin town to South Dallas and the world of prostitutes, druggies, and gangs. She’s been with the church for over two decades now, along with her husband, Larry, and son, Conor.

This isn’t a fictionalized account of her experiences; it IS her experience. Real events, real people, real miracles.

The choice she comes to learn from Pastor Frederick Eddington’s wife, Diane, is one we all must come to eventually: “holiness or hell.”


Julie Lyons was working as a crime reporter when she followed a hunch into the South Dallas ghetto. She wasn’t hunting drug dealers, but drug addicts who had been supernaturally healed of their addictions. Was there a church in the most violent part of the city that prayed for addicts and got results?

At The Body of Christ Assembly, a rundown church on an out-of-the-way street, Lyons found the story she was looking for. The minister welcomed criminals, prostitutes, and street people–anyone who needed God. He prayed for the sick, the addicted, and the demon-possessed, and people were supernaturally healed.
Lyons’s story landed on the front page of the Dallas Times Herald. But she got much more than just a great story, she found an unlikely spiritual home. Though the parishioners at The Body of Christ Assembly are black and Pentecostal, and Lyons is white and from a traditional church background, she embraced their spirituality–that of “the Holy Ghost and fire.”

It’s all here in Holy Roller–the stories of people desperate for God’s help. And the actions of a God who doesn’t forget the people who need His power.

About this Author

Read an interview with Julie here: Crunchy Con

Julie Lyons is an award-winning writer, editor, and investigative reporter who for more than eleven years was editor-in-chief of the Dallas Observer, an alternative weekly newspaper owned by Village Voice Media. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a B.A. in English from Seattle Pacific University. She and her husband, Larry Lyons Jr., live in Dallas with their son.


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