Lee's Simmons Is Finalist In National Competition

Thursday, March 28, 2013 - by Tyler Beckett, Lee University
Dr. Bill Simmons
Dr. Bill Simmons

A novel written by Dr. Bill Simmons, a professor of New Testament and Greek studies at Lee University, is one of the finalists in a national Christian novelist competition. A story of faith in the early days of the United States of America, Simmons’ Seth Garner may receive CrossBook’s Publisher’s Choice publishing deal and see nationwide distribution. 

“[CrossBooks was] the first to read Seth Garner in its final form and their judgment was the first objective evaluation of the work I have received,” said Dr. Simmons. “It’s very rewarding that someone other than yourself thinks your story is worth reading.”

A significant part of Dr. Simmons’ decision to write the novel was a desire to make history real for the reader. Too often, he says, do students of history miss the “big picture.”

“Seth Garner portrays those critical historical moments that have made us who we are today,” said Dr. Simmons. “I have used Seth as the ‘human face’ to convey this fascinating narrative about our origins as a nation.”

Dr. Simmons has been a member of Lee’s faculty since 1986, teaching a wide variety of courses in the School of Religion. These have included Romans and Galatians, First and Second Corinthians, Prison Epistles, New Testament Greek, Luke-Acts, and many others. He also teaches graduate-level courses and is currently researching Pauline anthropology and cosmology.

While Seth’s development and growth in faith is central to the book’s story, the novel itself interacts with faith in a way that Dr. Simmons believes is unique to literature.

“Believers are, at a fundamental level, literary,” said Dr. Simmons. “Christian fiction, especially the kind that can convey powerful aspects of the faith in an interesting and enjoyable way, can add vitality and depth to the Christian journey. I hope that Seth Garner can accomplish this in some measure.”

CrossBooks is a division of LifeWay, a Church retail nonprofit and one of the largest in the world. CrossBooks was created in 2009 to allow Christian authors to participate in the publication of their work. While it is the authors themselves that seek out CrossBooks, the organization is dedicated to preserving the standard of theological and literary excellence their parent organization pursues. 

The winners of the contest will be announced Friday, April 15. To learn about the finalists and check for results, visit http://www.crossbooks.com/writingcontest/winners.aspx.


Cleveland State Holds First Advisory Board Meeting

In an effort to build stronger relationships with the people and communities served by the college, Cleveland State has implemented a new Advisory Board and recently held the first meeting. Last year, the college with assistance and input from students, community members, business leaders and other key stakeholders engaged in a strategic planning process. From that process, ... (click for more)

Education Department Launches Statewide Tour To Get Input On ESSA Plan

Commissioner Candice McQueen and senior department leaders are launching a statewide listening tour to gather input from educators, key advocates, parents, students, and the public to determine how to implement specific components of the nation’s new federal education law: the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The feedback will inform a Tennessee-specific ESSA plan that will guide ... (click for more)

Sources Say Domestic Incident Involving Mayor's Aide Came After Husband Confronted Her And Mayor Behind Restaurant; Mayor Says Charge "Absolutely False"

A domestic disorder involving a top female aide to Mayor Andy Berke was sparked after her husband recently confronted the aide and the mayor in a parked car behind a Mexican restaurant, several sources said.   A spokesperson for Mayor Andy Berke said, "Last weekend a member of my senior staff was the victim of a domestic assault involving her husband. Upon being arrested ... (click for more)

Roommate Of Chance LeCroy Describes Sept. 9, 2010 Murder

The roommate of Chance LeCroy told a Criminal Court jury on Tuesday of the terrifying day that robbers burst into their residence and killed the 21-year-old LeCroy. Patrick Carmody, one of three men charged in the slaying, is standing trial in the courtroom of Judge Barry Steelman. Also charged were Ronald Lee Pittman and Billy Bob Parton. Carmody pleaded not guilty to ... (click for more)

Colonel Enicks Is Turning Out Leaders At Red Bank High School

I am a former teacher and football coach at Red Bank High School. I have been a witness to the great things that happen at Red Bank High School.  The teaching staff has a great mixture of experience and promising new teachers.   Dr. Robertson, the principal, is a great man and a wonderful role model for students. He shows up the same way every day and his consistency ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Christian Schools Bully, Too

Earlier this week, after I shared a story about bullying written by a very brave mother, it opened a floodgate of emails from parents and students who have been forced to endure such madness in our elementary, junior and senior high schools. Discipline is the No. 1 problem in our schools. Because of it, or because of a lack of it, no wonder our children cannot achieve all that ... (click for more)