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She was just three years old when her mother signed on as the organist of tent revivalist David Terrell, and before long, Donna Johnson was part of the popular preacher's inner circle. When, as a teenager, she left the ministry for good, she took with her a trove of stranger-than-fiction memories about what went on under the tent.
As Terrell became known worldwide, the caravan of broken-down cars and trucks that made up his ministry in the 1960s evolved into fleets of Mercedes and airplanes. The glories of the Word mixed with betrayals of the flesh and Donna's mother bore Terrell's children in one of the several secret households he maintained. Thousands of followers, dubbed "Terrellites" by the press, left their homes to await the end of the world in cult-like communities. Though Jesus didn't show, the IRS did, and the self-proclaimed prophet and healer went to prison.
Recounted with deadpan observations and surreal detail, Holy Ghost Girl articulates a rich world in which the mystery of faith and human frailty share a surprising and humorous coexistence.