Retired NMSU Spanish professor Don Kurtz talked with Lynn Moorer about Churchgoers, his novel which is set in a midwestern university town and juxtaposes the leaders and parishioners of two very different congregations—a traditional mainline Protestant congregation and a small kingdom-based mission, Spirit Rising, that focuses on a healing ministry with a lot of slaying of the spirit—which are sharing the same Campus Church premises. Campus Church pastor Harry Applebee, who is decent and warm-hearted, becomes rejuvenated through his involvement with a university student group’s cause. Spirit Rising pastor Randy Overmeyer, a former rock-and-roll band singer who found God while overdosing, uses his talent for knowing who people are under the layers to save Mitchell Chandler, an eminent neurobiologist with a well-funded genetics lab at the university, when he starts having paranormal experiences and demonic possessive episodes. Randy’s wife Lee, who loves Randy but struggles to share in his ministry, has her faith challenged, then restored, but in the midst loses a friend.
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