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The Man Who Moved a Mountain Paperback – May 2, 1991

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Augsburg Fortress Publishers (May 2, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080061237X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800612375
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #322,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A fascinating biography, a moving portrait of a life that transformed a wild and rough mountain folk." -- Presbyterian Outlook

"The Man Who Moved a Mountain does for the Blue Ridge what Mark Twain's tales did for the Mississippi." -- Walter F. Mondale, former U.S. Vice-President and U.S. Senator

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Several names mentioned in this book were very familiar to me.
Irma Gustafson (
The great joy is learning how the life of this wonderful man of God raised so many mountain people above all these things.
Nancy Barron
I was so impressed that I went out and bought a copy of the book.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 69 people found the following review helpful By "" on December 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
The "Man Who Moved A Mountain" was first published as a hardback edition in 1970. The price of $5.95 seemed high to many people, so the second printing in 1972, and all subsequent printings, have been large paperbacks. Thirty years later the book remains in print, a testament to its continued popularity. This book is about my grandfather, the Rev. Robert W. Childress, Sr. Bob Childress was born in Patrick County, Virginia in 1890. His parents were poor and uneducated as were many of the people living in the region at the time. He grew up in an environment where brandy was god, for it was brandy that made life bearable. When he was fifteen, he earned his first five dollar bill from cutting timber. He walked seven miles to Mount Airy, NC and bought an Iver Johnson .32 caliber revolver for two dollars. The next five years of his life were spent mostly "as a heller." Much of the time he was either getting drunk or sobering up. But one day, after several hours of gambling and drinking, he found himself at a church revival. He never knew how he got there, but when the altar call was given, something inside urged him to answer. As he knelt, there was no sudden revelation, only peace. Although his life did not turn around completely that night, it was the beginning of a transformation that would lead to his decision to become an ordained Presbyterian minister. Not an easy task for someone with a seventh grade education and a family to support. The events that transpired during the course of his remarkable life truly demonstrate that our God is indeed an awesome God! Throughout the years many people who have read the book have commented on what a great man Bob Childress was. They are impressed by the impact he had on people and say he won many souls for Christ.Read more ›
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Y. Graybeal on September 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
He stood six feet tall, hard as a chestnut log, and once thundered to his rock-hurling, moonshine-swilling neighbors, "If I can't preach the love of God into you, I'll beat the Devil out'n you!" At the same time, this deeply compassionate and committed man drove 50,000 miles a year over roads hardly fit for horses to serve churches and visit shut-ins, in order that his people might live free in the Spirit. In confronting a culture founded on 190-proof alcoholism, gunslinging violence, fatalistic hopelessness, and bridgeless remoteness, Bob Childress was a spiritual 'Braveheart' to the mountain folk, a Moses shouting, "Devil, let my people go!"
Seldom a week goes by that I fail to consult this book as a supplement to my Bible readings. Mr. Davids's account of Reverend Bob Childress is a laboratory manual and field guide for my spiritual exercises. To love as Christ loved means giving a ride to an enemy through the snow. To have faith in God is to believe his love never gives up, and to confront in that love a liquor peddler on church grounds. Doing God's work means to enable release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, through building schools and helping people see that religion is the way you walk, a force for good.
We need the stories of people like Bob Childress, who courageously and faithfully lived out what the Bible teaches. Much of what Bob Childress fought is still with us today, throughout America: idleness among video-gamers, gunslinging violence endemic in school and workplace, and fatalistic hopelessness in voter apathy. This book stirs me toward a working faith in a brighter future. It reminds me of the dignity of a purposeful human life and of the value of even the remotest human soul, no matter how sick and lost.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Anita on February 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
My husband found this book at a garage sale. He couldn't put it down and related many of the anecdotes to me. I have read this book, since, over and over. There is a sweetness and goodness to it that transforms it from a biography of a great man, to an inspiring book that relates to the possibility for each of us to make our life worthwhile. It is down to earth, funny and wise, a story of a person that lived an amazing life told in a very compelling manner. An encapsulation of the "best" of America's essence.

Anyone who likes history or,especially, anyone who likes Janice Holt Giles books or Forrest Carter will love this book. It is one I return to when I am disenchanted and depressed for a lift.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By readingfiend on June 15, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is the story of Bob Childress, a mountain man educated late in life, who as a Presbyterian minister transformed an area of the Appalachian mountains. This area of Southwest Virginia is located only 250 miles from our nation's capital but an entirely different world. The area had been home to Robert E. Lee's brother and several other Lee family members as well. George Washington worked to survey the area around where the events of this book took place.

The Blue Ridge Mountains and particularly Buffalo Mountain were notorious for Liquor-dealing, stills, lawless killing and feuding. The people were isolated with little medical care beyond what could be provided by a grannywoman. Education was feared and not sought after because you had to go outside of the mountain to get it or come from the outside to bring it in. Even the Hardshell Baptist preachers of the area mixed liquor with revivals and most were illiterate.

Bob loved his people and saw the fierce loyalty of his people. He felt that if this loyalty was turned to Jesus that the whole area would flourish. He knew only The Lord could transform the hatred and the hold alcohol had on these people.

This book is his story and his life as he touched the lives of the mountain people against fierce opposition and terrible hardship and poverty. It is more than just his story though, because it gives a little understanding to the way of life in this and other barely acccessible out of the way mountain places.

I had previously read the book CHRISTY by Catherine Marshall as well as THE STORY OF ALVIN YORK . Though THE MAN WHO MOVED A MOUNTIN took place on a different mountain in a different state, it was the same culture and way of life.
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