From Crack to Christ: A Witness Hits Booksellers Nationwide -- Raw Memoir Recounts Remarkable Redemptive Journey of Former Prostitute, Convict

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From Crack to Christ: A Witness, a powerful memoir, chronicles the improbable redemptive journey of April Cofield Essix, who, with God's help, decided 14 years ago that enough was enough - and has been clean ever since. As director of the prison ministry at Memorial Presbyterian Church in Roosevelt, N.Y., Ms. Essix dedicates her life to reaching back and pulling others out of the same sordid depths from which she climbed.

From Crack to Christ: A Witness, a powerful memoir, chronicles the improbable redemptive journey of April Cofield Essix, who, with God's help, decided 14 years ago that enough was enough - and has been clean ever since. As director of the prison ministry at Memorial Presbyterian Church in Roosevelt, N.Y., Ms. Essix dedicates her life to reaching back and pulling others out of the same sordid depths from which she climbed.

"He should've killed me when he had the chance!" When April Cofield Essix delivers those chilling words in her motivational speeches, folks sit up and take notice. Within the last year alone, more than 2,000 people have heard that statement, and it has changed their lives.

A former notorious Long Island career prostitute, crack addict and prison inmate, Ms. Essix is an authority on being hooked on a destructive lifestyle. She speaks boldly about the behavior that almost took her life and the one power on earth strong enough to help her live through it. From Crack to Christ: A Witness is the written testimony of her life, and, for readers, a voice that speaks from experience of a pandemic that has gripped millions across the nation for decades.

"This book will set captives free," said Ms. Essix, a self-professed servant of God. "It gives hope to the hopeless and faith to the faithless. If people feel like they're a hostage to drugs, prostitution, depression, hardships, or whatever, it helps them realize things about themselves that even they didn't know."

From Crack to Christ: A Witness, a powerful memoir insightfully co-authored with candid commentary by Robin Carmon Marshall, chronicles the improbable redemptive journey of Ms. Essix who, with God's help, decided 14 years ago that enough was enough - and has been clean ever since. As director of the prison ministry at Memorial Presbyterian Church in Roosevelt, N.Y., for the past 11 years, Ms. Essix dedicates her life to reaching back and pulling others out of the same sordid depths from which she climbed. She has no apprehension about sharing her past life to the world.

"I can't be ashamed," said Ms. Essix. "I'm called to tell everyone that God loves us and we do overcome. Real people do real things, and unfortunately a lot of it is bad. So I can't get real with people unless I'm real with myself first.

Ms. Marshall, a close friend of Ms. Essix from church, wrote From Crack to Christ: A Witness after years of keeping painstakingly detailed journals transcribed from Ms. Essix's spoken recollections, personal tours of old drug and prostitution haunts, and independent research.

"I have to say that this was a God-ordained assignment," Ms. Marshall said. "This was not something that was planned. I was in school fulltime and a wife and mother, so I didn't have time for anything extra, especially writing a book. But I just couldn't get April's story out of my head."

Part of the book's appeal is that the story is told in first person alternately from the points of view of Ms. Essix or Ms. Marshall. "I thought that if I'm thinking something in particular, then others must be too. So if the reader doesn't always identify with April, then they might identify with some things I'm saying."

Reader response so far has been overwhelming and deeply emotional. "This book was written for the lost, the least, and the last and their family members," Ms. Marshall said.

Robin Carmon Marshall contributed to writing this press release.

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NICHELL TAYLOR BRYANT


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