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An Intrepid Journey to Catholicism
Crossing the Protestant Rapids on Wobbly, Slim-Covered Rocks

Seaching for a Reasonable Faith in the Heartland of America

from Stanley D. Williams, Ph.D.

"A Christian Americana storybook that's hard to put down."

Stan Williams was born into a Bible believing, Evangelical home. But he was utterly confounded by all the versions of Christianity around town. Each claimed to be the exclusive caretaker of truth and interpreter of the Bible. Yet, each disparaged the others. Who had the truth? Why was the church he was raised in right and everyone else wrong? Was everyone out of step except his little denomination? How could that be true? The last place he considered was Roman Catholicism. He was taught Catholics were not Christians. And so, his life became a fascinating, odd, and sometimes humorous journey of faith. It led him where he least expected.

From a little boy seeking adventure, to a denomination-hopping man crisscrossing America's Christian landscape, Stan Williams entertains and challegnes us with over a 100 stories of his intrepid journey as he searched for a spiritual home that embraced both the faith of his fathers and the reason of natural law.

Al Kresta interviews Stan Williams (43 min.)
Ave Maria Radio Network & EWTN Radio Network
Aired: February 16, 2016

Stan reads chapters of his memoir.
Listen TO...or Download... Audio Book Files

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Signed by Stan
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"Master storyteller Stan Williams raises the genre of conversion stories to the level of an epic. Growing Up Christian's rapid-fire chapters provides entertaining and insightful vignettes into growing up as a Protestant in the 1950s, the unfolding of his vocation to story writing and filmmaking, and his eventual entry into the Catholic Church. Intermixed with humorous anecdotes and comments, Stan gives the reader a front row seat to the intellectual and emotional struggles that eventually led him to discover that Protestantism just isn't workable, and that the last thing on earth he'd ever regard as a viable alternative, the Catholic Church, had the answers he was looking for. I highly recommend Growing Up Christian to Catholics and non-Catholics alike. It's a fascinating page turner, an epic adventure, and a conversion story on steroids...all wrapped up into one."

Catholic Apologist
author of "Why Catholic Bibles are Bigger"
and "The Case for the Deuterocanon."

"Stan, reading your book was like reading a movie or a sitcom script. I could see it all. And I could hear you tell these wonderful stories on stage. I laughted out loud so many times, it was great therapy. And your pearls of theological wisdom makes this book a classic. I couldn't put it down. What a joy!"
Creator and Executive Producer, The Cross and The Light,
Former Miss Michigan, Miss America runner-up
Inspirational Speaker, Mother of five.


Read more. Download PDF of Prologue

Or READ INSIDE using Amazon's LOOK INSIDE Feature

The LOOK INSIDE feature is a link just above the picture of the book's
cover on Amazon's site. But, buy the book here, if you can,
the copies are higher qualilty, and the margin's better for us.



Stan Williams gives us a delightfully sentimental and insightful "romp" through Evangelical America in the 50s through to the 80s, and describes how he gradually came to believe in the truthfulness of Catholic claims. Stan (a filmmaker by trade) is a master storyteller, and that ability, as well as his propensity for always getting down to brass tacks and identifying both the fundamental errors and strengths of various Christian positions, make this book a pure pleasure to read, from start to finish. 5 stars! (See Dave's Full Review.)
Catholic Author
On-Line Apologist at Patheos

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Book's Physical Specifications:

--- Paperback Perfect Binding
--- 547 pages
--- Trim size: 5.5" x 8.5" x 1.1" (Nineveh's Crossing version)
--- Trim size: 5.5" x 8.5" x 1.3" (Amazon's version)
--- 11-pt. easy to read type
--- Cream colored natural paper stock
--- 10 pt. cover
--- 1.4 pounds
--- Approx. 180,000 words, (that's 8,035 words per ounce. Where else are you going to get such a deal?)
--- When you're done with it, get a good tax deduction at your favorite charity's paper drive.


"Thanks, Stan. I now have work for the rest of my life."
(His libel Attorney)

"We'd excommunicate him, but we're not Catholic." (His former Pastors)

"We had an accident, memory's gone...that's my excuse." (His Nephew)

"None of this is true, and I have the scars to prove it." (His Sister)

"When his Mom prayed, I was helpless to protect him." (His Dad)

"I kept wondering: Where do they bury the survivors?" (His Wife)

"I tried to put him in jail, but he was too young." (His cop Aunt)

"When can I ship him off to the Army?" (His frustrated Mom)



Really two books in one. First, Growing Up Christian is as quintessentially American a memoir as could be. It is hard to fathom that this more innocent, optimistic time was a mere few decades ago. Stan's stories are laugh-out-loud funny and will resonate with everyone who grew up in the 1950s and early '60s in the Christian heartland of this country. (If you're too young to remember, it will help you understand what life as kids was like for your parents!)

Second, this book is the intellectual and spiritual journey of a person so full of life and so longing for truth that he just had to bust the seams of the fundamentalist Evangelicalism he was fitted into as a child. But what he shed was not as important as what he kept holding onto for dear life -- the abiding faith of his forebears that never let him down.

But wait! The-e-e-re's more! There is yet another book, making -- count 'em -- not one, not two, but three! books in one. Growing Up Christian is an apologetic, a defense, of the Christian faith and of its fullest expression in the Catholic Church. It is always loving, never shrill, and animated by tender appreciation for the gifts Stanley was given by his Evangelical upbringing, a rigorous work ethic, determination to follow the Lord wherever he leads, and deep confidence in His Providence. 

Written with keen insight and tender, oftentimes pointedly humorous wit, Growing up Christian takes readers on a delightful journey of faith even as it explores what it means to be a believer. Stan Williams' recollections from youthful days to more current stir the heart and soul, and will leave readers both chuckling to themselves while also nodding in agreement at the shared twists and turns of the always dynamic path of following Christ.
USA Today Best selling author of
To Whisper Her Name and A Lasting Impression

A delightful read. Stan's story is filled with amusing anecdotes, poignant moments and moving examples of a faith filled Christian life. He takes his readers on an often charming and always inspiring journey.
Vice President & General Manager at Ave Maria Radio

From the first page, "Growing Up Christian" had me smiling and sometimes, I confess, laughing out loud. Stan Williams is a powerful storyteller, and his reminiscences of childhood mischief set the stage for the drama of discovery in his faith journey. When he wrote of attending his first Mass and being forced to abandon some life-long misconceptions about the Catholic faith, I wanted to cheer. Stan and his wife Pam now share their journey in a candid biography that's sure to plant the seeds of wonder in readers' hearts.
Seasons of Grace
Bogger at Patheos
Former Network Radio Producer

Growing Up Christian is a close up look at a long journey of faith. It is a study in how God can at times walk someone ever so slowly to His full truth. The powerful reasoning and logic that guided Stan, as he made his final faltering steps to the Catholic Church, is a story worth the price of the book all by itself.
Clinical Psychologist, Author, Speaker
Television and Radio host

Growing Up Christian is perhaps the most truthful book I've had the pleasure to read. My friend Stan Williams was, and still is, a very creative innovator and he continuously searches for better ways to communicate and teach. As a person reads about Stan's journey through life, they can understand how his Christian compass helps keep him focused and helps him maintain his values. This story is humorous, yet so painfully realistic that it would be hard not to see comparisons to one's own life.
Corporate Historian-Filmmaker
Ford Motor Company

In Growing Up Christian, Stan Williams shares a beautiful and compelling story of his journey through the remarkable landscape of Christendom. With appreciation for the contribution each "tribe" made to his life, he eventually found his heart's true home in the Catholic church. Regardless of your own faith tradition--or if you are not a person of faith--you will treasure this delightful book. Loved it. Of course, I knew so many of the people and places in it. Fond memories of my disastrous attempt at Bible quizzing where Bob Kenny was the LeBron James of Free Methodist Bible Quizzing. : )
former editor of Christianity Today
former publisher at HarperCollins/Zondervan
publishing consultant

Some time ago Marcus Grodi wrote "How Firm a Foundation" followed by "Pillar and Bulwark." An interesting story--fictional, yet based to some extent on real life--of the difficulties that a Protestant pastor faces when he considers converting to the Catholic Faith. The value of the story was the presentation of all the objections made against the Catholic Faith...and of the compelling answers. Stan Williams' book Growing up Christian is a real life story which seeks to point out the objections and answer them. He seeks to show the 'angst' he felt when he could see the weaknesses of the teachings of his former faith, and when he realised the need to "make the move."
Catholic Priest, South Australia

I have started to read your book, and it's hard to read without laughing! Even though I'm only in the first chapter, it's so funny to think about you walking to the zoo (alone at age 3), that your backyard squirrels were too fat (from feeding them too many crackers), and that your mom called the police on you (at age 4). 
Age 8

Colorful, alive and captivating to the point of disappointing when I had to stop and engage in some responsibilities around the church.  The style of your introduction to your family and early childhood impressions have really brought life to this literary work. You have an appealing style with a strong moral imagination, humility, and humor. Dude, you are a hoot!
Catholic Deacon

You can see why Stan is a brilliant screenwriting coach; his knack for getting to the heart of the matter, in any moment, is unparalleled. He could make a ham sandwich, and you'd have no idea how it was going to turn out... A pleasure to read.
Sr. Joke Writer
The TONIGHT SHOW with Jay Leno

Hardly a page can be turned without laughing out loud or nodding over a similar experience or even blinking away a tear or two at God's tender mercy. An absolute delight to read! You write about your Christian life like a cradle Catholic; as familiar, heartfelt and close to home as a visit to grandma's house!   (See Fr. John's Full Review.)
Catholic Priest-Spiritual Advisor

It's often said that converts make the best Catholics, probably because they tend to take a long, hard look down the path first, and then embrace the Faith with so much deeper appreciation. "Growing up Christian" is a cheeky romp across the landscape of Protestant Evangelical denominations. Even for non-Protestants it often strikes a familiar chord, underscoring many of the common experiences all Christians share while maturing in their Faith. The book is an entertaining read start-to-finish, full of the funniest anecdotes, and also delving deeper into Stan's lifelong analysis of Fundamentalism versus Catholicism.

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