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Sunday school moves out of church

Darleene Barrientos

Children might like to skip Sunday school in favor of playing outside

or sleeping late, but Brad Brown is glad he went.

In his recently released book, “This Is the Church ... ,” Brown

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said he infused his main character with the values and morals learned

in Sunday school, which he goes on to use as the leader of a church

in a fictional town called Monument.

The book is told from the perspective of Ian Block, a character

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Brown calls his alter ego. The main character starts as a boy in

second grade, establishing a strong rapport with his Sunday-school

teachers throughout the year.

The one nondenominational church in Monument, which Brown

envisioned sitting in the foothills of Glendale, has been led through

the years by his character’s father and grandfather. Brown based the

family on his own, which lived and worked in Burbank over four

generations. Brown’s grandfather served as deacon at First Christian

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Church in Burbank in the early ‘30s.

By the time he has grown into a man, the character has followed in

the footsteps of the men in his family, benefiting from the lessons

he learned in Sunday school.

“It’s an applause for the Sunday- school teachers,” Brown said.

Writing a novel, much less a four-part series, was not what Brown

set out to do. But with so many ideas and so much positive feedback

from people across the country, he has outlined three more books and

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recently finished the second installment.

“It was very exciting to see this thing happen,” he said. “Most

people talk about writing the great American novel but never do it.

For me, it’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, I actually did it.’ ”

His family history contributed much to the development of his

characters, Brown said. His father loved the book because of all the

family church history he incorporated into it from when his

grandfather was a deacon at a Burbank church.

The family has lived in Burbank for so many years that when Brown

moved to Glendale, things got a little tense, he said.

“Grandfather hated the fact that I moved,” Brown said, joking. “I

might as well have fallen from grace.”

Just writing the first book was a huge accomplishment, Brown said,

but if readers can learn from it, even better.

“I tried to make it entertaining and fun,” he said. “I have a good

foundation [in the book] of what the Bible is about -- issues of

friendship, racism, sexuality, politics, giving and tithing to the

church, evangelizing. As it grows and as people start to read, the

further widespread this message becomes -- that would be great.”

“This Is the Church ... " can be purchased online and from

Lighthouse Christian stores.


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