A wide-eyed redhead finds her true calling as a Christian evangelist in a broken-down town in Southwest Texas
A large redheaded girl from a small East Texas town, Principia Martindale is fairly directionless. But she finds purpose at Hillister Baptist College. Principia was born to be a missionary, she realizes, and her religious fervor wins her a bus ticket to the pathetic West Texas ghost town of Judson, population fifteen. Upon arrival, her days are spent preaching the gospel, baptizing children with premoistened towelettes (water, holy or otherwise, is scarce in Judson), and serving up tortillas as communion wafers.
Judson is a dying town, but it boasts one considerable attraction: the image of Jesus Christ has appeared on a rusted screen door. An ever-increasing stream of pilgrims is arriving daily in tiny Judson, and the travelers find themselves as drawn to Principia as to the apparition. But fame was never part of Principia Martindale’s grand plan. She finds her immortal soul in jeopardy in an ongoing struggle with Satan and his most insidious work: crass boomtown commercialism. Her battle against temptation drives this comic masterpiece from the author of Splendora.