Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon
[The following bio was retrieved from Ray Rhodes Jr.’s Moody Publisher’s author page, which can be found here.]
RAY RHODES, JR. serves as founding pastor of Grace Community Church of Dawsonville, GA and as president of Nourished in the Word Ministries. He has served four congregations over three decades of pastoral ministry and for fifteen years, he has led Nourished in the Word. Ray has published several books and holds theological degrees from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (D.Min.). He is married to Lori and they are blessed with six daughters and four grandchildren. Ray has long been a Spurgeon enthusiast, and his doctoral thesis focused on the marriage and spirituality of Charles and Susannah Spurgeon.
Susie: The Unheralded Spurgeon
When you hear the name, Spurgeon, how often do you think of Susannah, Charles’ wife? If you’re like me, I would assume that your answer to this question is “never.” Thankfully, Ray Rhodes Jr., in his landmark biography entitled Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon, has sought to correct this problem and has done quite well. Over the course of about 250 pages, Rhodes Jr. describes a woman of titanic faith, cementing in his readers’ minds the exemplary life of Susannah Spurgeon, the wife of one of the most noteworthy preachers this world has ever known.
You’ve heard the old adage, “behind every good man is a great woman.” True enough. But behind C. H. Spurgeon, a great man, there was Susie, a woman of exceptional faith equal to that of the famed “Prince of Preachers.” From start to finish, this book sang the praises of the Creator God through the steadfast devotion of Susannah Spurgeon and her example. She was a woman married to a prominent pastor, which you can imagine comes with certain expectations and sacrifices. She was the mother of two boys, which, as I learn anew every day, is unimaginably difficult work. She was ailed by an undisclosed disease for the better part of her adult life, as was her busy husband. Despite all of the pulls on her time and energy, and her very life, Susie Spurgeon lived a life of utter faithfulness to her God and to everything that He placed before her.
Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon is a page-turning biography of a compelling woman of faith, a woman to whom I’d never been introduced. The chronology of the book basically runs from the beginning of her life to the end, while in some places overlaps from chapter to chapter, becoming somewhat repetitive, though not distractingly or confusingly so. It’s a fun book and one which draws a handful of imminently important questions out of the reader, confronting him/her with the shape and trajectory of their own lives and how they’re spending it. Like all good biographers, Ray Rhodes Jr. presents the main character of his book to the reader, inviting him/her to imitate Mrs. Spurgeon, which we would all be wise to do. Grab your copy, read it, and follow Susie as she followed Christ.
[I received this book free of charge from Moody Publishers in exchange for an honest review.]