Dolly Parton has entertained, educated, and inspired millions of fans for over five decades. Whether she’s writing songs, performing live, recording new albums, acting in or producing new movies and TV programs, expanding her wildly successful Dollywood amusement park, helping children around the world learn to read with her Imagination Library nonprofit, or donating millions of dollars to schools, charities, and people in need, the Queen of Country Music has never been shy about crediting her Christian faith for her success.
“A belief in God is essential,” Dolly shares. “You have to believe in something bigger than yourself. We grew up believing that through God all things are possible.” Growing up in the little mountain church where her grandfather preached, Dolly started singing hymns and playing guitar at services when she was only six. Consequently, she has never been shy about discussing her faith and relationship with God. “People say, ‘Well, I am surprised that you talk about your faith,’ and I say, ‘Why not? That’s who I am. That’s what keeps me going,’” she explains.
Tennessee native, Dolly fanboy, and award-winning writer Dudley Delffs now spotlights ten faith lessons as evidenced in Dolly’s life, music, interviews, and attitude. The Faith of Dolly Parton focuses on the ways Dolly’s life can inspire us all to be more authentic, to trust God during hard times, to stay grounded during the good times, and to always keep our sense of humor. Sometimes poignant, sometimes funny, frequently surprising, and always true to Dolly’s down-home spirit of joyful generosity, this book will delight her millions of fans as well as anyone seeking a fresh faith-filled role model.
Delffs (The Prayer-Centered Life) channels his love for singer Dolly Parton into a spiritual biography as sturdy and fluffy as her signature wigs. "She keeps her faith simple, mostly private, and action-oriented," Delffs writes in his introduction, before quickly describing Parton's upbringing in a two-room cabin in Sevierville, Tenn., her roots singing in the choir of her grandfather's church at the age of six, and meteoric rise through the Nashville music scene to become a star of country music. While Delffs does quote Parton crediting God with her success, much of his spiritual reflection comes from extrapolation. For instance, he turns to Parton's literacy nonprofit Imagination Library as an example of humility and giving thanks. He uses her song "Coat of Many Colors" to think about connection to one's roots, explaining his own story of moving away from Tennessee with his family, only to later move back, paralleling Parton's own travels. Each chapter ends with a "Divine Dose of Dolly" that includes general study questions, prompts featuring one of her songs, and a pertinent prayer. Fans of Parton will enjoy Delffs's chorus of unabashed praise for the over-the-top yet surprisingly down-to-earth country star.