CBA Biography & Memoir Finalists

2023 Winner

In November 2020, widely read author and blogger Tim Challies lost his 20-year-old son unexpectedly. A twenty-year-old student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, he had been participating in a school activity when he fell unconscious and collapsed to the ground.

Tim, an author and blogger, began to process his loss through writing. In Seasons of Sorrow, Tim shares real-time reflections from the first year of grief—through the seasons from fall to summer—introducing readers to what he describes as the "ministry of sorrow."

  • See how God is sovereign over loss and that he is good in loss
  • Discover how you can pass through times of grief while keeping your faith
  • Learn how biblical doctrine can work itself out even in life’s most difficult situations
  • Understand how it is possible to love God more after loss than you loved him before

See the Finalists:

Filled with hope and optimism, Senator Scott's powerful memoir urges Americans to embrace the ideals of unity and endurance amidst our still-unfolding story. Relating how he and other inspirational countrymen rose above hardship to embody this nation's great values, he spurs us on to a realistic reckoning of our failures and a herculean effort to achieve greatness. 256 pages, hardcover from Nelson.

How did an ordinary family produce two Grammy Award-winning artists---Rebecca St. James and King & Country? Helen Smallbone shares about her daughter's rise to fame; the family's move from Australia to America; the years of touring; Joel and Luke's success; the careers of her other children; and how a local church gave them hope! 256 pages, hardcover from K-Love.

At age ten, Peter Mutabazi ran away from home. For five years he survived on the streets of Kampala, Uganda, a city of 1.5 million, until one man saw potential in him. This man not only supported Peter through school but forever altered Peter's outlook in every possible way.

Since then, Peter's turnaround story has been remarkable. He served as a relief coordinator during the Rwandan genocide, worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross during the Sudan conflict, emigrated to the United States, fostered countless children, and became a single adoptive parent. He speaks seven languages and has traveled to more than one hundred countries as an international advocate for vulnerable children.

Now I Am Known Peter reveals the transformational power of taking risks, learning to forgive, overcoming self-doubt, breaking negative patterns, and believing in a better future marked by optimism and purpose.

Sentenced to Death for Her Beliefs

Mariam Ibraheem was born in a refugee camp in Sudan. Her Muslim father died when she was six, and her mother raised her in the Christian faith. After a traumatic childhood, Mariam became a successful businessperson, married the man she loved, and had a beautiful baby boy.

But one day in 2013, her world was shattered when Sudan authorities insisted she was Muslim because of her father's background. She had broken the law by marrying a Christian man, and she must abandon both her marriage and her son and adopt Islam. Under intense pressure, Mariam repeatedly refused. Ultimately, a Sharia court sentenced her to 100 lashes-and death by hanging.

Shackled is the stunning true story of a courageous young mother who was willing to face death rather than deny her faith. Mariam Ibraheem took a stand on behalf of all women who are maltreated because of their gender and all people who suffer from religious persecution.

Follow Mariam's story from life under Islamic law, through imprisonment and childbirth while shackled, to her remarkable escape from death following an international outcry and advocacy that included diplomats, journalists, activists, and even Pope Francis.

"Do you want to see someone totally fulfilled?"

The questions made news anchor Dianne Derby stop in her tracks. Sitting across from her was Jim Downing, a Christian missionary and a veteran who had served as a commander in the US Navy. At the time, he was the second-oldest survivor of the attack on Pearl Habor--a fascinating man with an incredible story. The answer to Jim's question about ultimate fulfillment was too tempting to pass up.

Almost every Tuesday for the next five years, Dianne met with Jim, soaking in his straightforward wisdom and gentle encouragment and leaning on him during some of the most difficult and most beautiful moments of her life. Along the way, she began to learn the rhythms and choices of a remarkable man--and the simple faith that guided his steps.

The invitation in Two Hundred Tuesdays is to walk that path with Dianne and Jim--imperfectly and ever forward. And maybe, just maybe, to find true fulfillment along the way.