Libraries to host local authors

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The M.P. Baker Library of Panola College and the Sammy Brown Public Library will co-host a local author showcase from 2-4 p.m., Monday, October 21, in the Murphy-Payne Community Rooms at Panola College.  Five East Texas area authors will be on hand to sell and sign copies of their various works.  Authors include Ryan Burchett, Dr. Barbara Cordell, Bill O’Neal, Elizabeth Powell, and Louis Powell. Several genres will be represented at the event.

Ryan Burchett is the pastor of Northside Baptist Church in Garland.  Burchett graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, and with his Master of Arts in Church Ministries from the Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary in Jacksonville.

In Walking Together Through Trials: And How God is STILL Good, he tells the story of the ongoing challenges he and his wife, Lindsie, face through her dealings with ataxic cerebral-palsy with neuropathy.  Told from his perspective as the caregiver, Burchett is open and honest about the inner struggles he faces, along with Lindsie’s physical challenges and how both endure through various challenges, trials, and victories.

Dr. Barbara Cordell holds a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Health Counseling and Education, University of Utah, Salt Lake City; a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Cardiovascular Clinical Nurse Specialist, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, and several certificates in Holistic Nursing.

Cordell has published 30+ academic articles in peer-reviewed journals, including three on Auto-Brewery Syndrome. Her work has appeared on National Public Radio, 20/20, and the BBC.  Cordell is a holistic nurse with 40 years of experience and dozens of published articles including research on Auto-Brewery Syndrome (ABS). When her husband Joe was diagnosed with ABS she took a deep dive into the literature and research in order to help him and others get well by writing a book on the science and stories of the rare disease.

In My Gut Makes Alcohol!, Cordell takes a close look at all the science, new and old that surrounds ABS. She reveals the painful experiences of ABS patients and in doing so, exposes the medical community’s resistance to new knowledge and potential for cruelty.

Texas author, Bill O’Neal has written more than 40 books and 300 articles and book reviews on the American West, including gunfighters, lawmen, and ghost towns; Country music, with emphasis on Texas artists; baseball, such as his study of the Texas League, and children’s books, including one on the first Thanksgiving held in Texas.  O’Neal’s latest non-fiction title is Billy and Olive Dixon: The Plainsman and His Lady.

Billy Dixon triggered the most celebrated shot in the history of the West at the Battle of Adobe Walls in 1874. A few months later, while serving as an army scout, Billy earned a Medal of Honor during an even more desperate engagement, as one of six men battling for their lives against a band of 125 warriors at the Buffalo Wallow Fight. Both of these actions took place in the Texas Panhandle, where Dixon became an icon of heroism.

A fellow adventure-seeker, Olive King, came to the Panhandle from back East to visit her cowboy brothers. She became a frontier schoolmarm and she met her famous neighbor, Billy Dixon. Billy and Olive fell in love, married, and had eight children. In later years, Olive persuaded Billy to dictate his memoirs to her, and the result was a classic frontier biography, Life of Billy Dixon: Plainsman, Scout and Pioneer.  Their story is captured in O’Neal’s manuscript.

Beth Powell grew up in Carthage where she still lives today.  In 2005, she retired from her career of 34 years as an income tax professional.  After retirement, she and her husband, Louis, traveled as much as possible. They have five married children and enjoy 15 grandchildren.

In 2010, her husband began going on mission trips.  She did not want to go and was not happy being left home alone.  But, through time, God changed her heart.  In 2018, she began a year long journey with a new friend in China.  The two have never met, but their hearts are forever joined in friendship and Christian love.  This extraordinary friendship caused her to step way outside the box of her happy normal life.  Encouraged by her husband, she began to write the story of this friendship.  It became a book, Ying Yue and Me.  She grew up hearing that God can use anyone, and has chosen to live that truth.

Louis Powell has centered his life around family and work. In July 2010, the day after burying his mother, he left on his first mission trip with his church. It was to Ghana, Africa. The trip changed his life in a profound way and left him with a burning desire to help bring Christian awareness to others, especially those who cannot read. He began to teach about Jesus Christ and the Bible, domestically and then internationally. Through his non-profit organization, Unless They Hear, he distributed thousands of audio Bibles that reached into 50 countries.

Powell has a master’s degree in Biblical Studies from Louisiana Baptist University. He has taught and witnessed to people in 17 countries in Latin America, the Amazon Jungle, Europe, and Asia, and specifically China, having made 19 trips there.

His life changed focus when a young Chinese lady asked him, “Will I be alone in heaven while my family and all my ancestors will be burning in hell, since I am the only family member to hear about Jesus?” For the next several years, he concentrated his studies on answering this question from the pages of the Bible. Gaining much more than the answer to this one question, he wrote Seven Resurrections, which mixes God’s plan of salvation with detailed End Time explanations. Powell explains the seven resurrection events of the Bible and presents them as an important truth that many overlook in their biblical studies.

The casual event will give community members an opportunity to visit with these East Texas authors while hearing about their books.  For those interested in learning how to publish their own work, these authors can provide more insight into the process.  The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.  For more information please contact the M.P. Baker Library, 903-693-2052 or the Sammy Brown Library, 903-693-6741.

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