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Finding Joy on Death Row: Unexpected Lessons From Lives We Discarded

Finding Joy on Death Row: Unexpected Lessons From Lives We Discarded

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2024 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Silver Award Winner for Inspirational

Based on the sermon series that garnered top honors from Yale Divinity School, Finding Joy on Death Row is the powerful story of a broken preacher’s transformative experience learning about joy from Death Row prisoners, combined with dramatic handwritten responses from more than twenty men and women currently sentenced to die. 

In Finding Joy on Death Row: Unexpected Lessons from Lives We Discarded, Williams journeys into the hearts and minds of those sentenced to death, illuminating for readers the ways in which the human spirit can suffer—and soar. 

Finding Joy on Death Row includes fifty handwritten statements from those facing capital punishment. The testimonies and contemplations of those sentenced to die offer readers a unique opportunity to hear from individuals whose lives are marked by their looming execution. And yet these prisoners have—in the midst of grim circumstances—managed to find joy.

DEWEY WILLIAMS is Pastor of Mt. Bright Missionary Baptist Church in Hillsborough, North Carolina, a doctoral student at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University, and a graduate of Duke Divinity School. In 2017, Dewey’s sermon series Joy on Death Row won the top award at Yale Divinity School’s Theology of Joy and the Good Life competition.

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