Inspiring and filled with courage, hope, sacrifice, and living out your faith, here are 25 Christian memoirs that every Christian should read. I chose stories that were not “preachy” but rather share the testimonies of these incredible people.
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25 Christian Memoirs Every Christian Should Read
1. God’s Smuggler by Brother Andrew
As a boy, Brother Andrew dreamed of being a spy. As an adult, Brother Andrew smuggled Bibles behind the Iron Curtain to Communist countries. In July 1955, he dedicated his life to telling others about Jesus and continued to do it until the fall of Communism in Europe. Afterward, Brother Andrew began evangelizing to Islamic countries. Brother Andrew has such an amazing story and this one is highly recommended.
2. Things We Couldn’t Say by Diet Eman
Diet Eman (pronounced “deet”) was a young Dutch Christian when WWII broke out. She and her fiancé soon became active in the Dutch Resistance. Diet sacrificed her freedom and her fiancé sacrificed his life. This is probably my favorite on this list. Diet’s story is unbelievably inspiring and shows what one person can do with God’s strength.
3. The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom
Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch watchmaker when World War II broke out. As persecution against Jews and other minorities began to grow, Corrie and her family became active in the resistance. Through her survival in a concentration camp, Corrie’s story of faith has inspired millions across the world.
4. Soul Surfer by Bethany Hamilton
When she was just a young teenager, surfer Bethany Hamilton was attacked by a shark. The shark bit her entire left arm off, but that didn’t stop Bethany from pursuing her love and passion for surfing. Now Bethany has surfed professionally, won countless awards including Nationals, and appeared on numerous television shows and magazines – all with one arm. There’s also a movie that’s great for the family.
5. Devil At My Heels by Louie Zamperini
You may have heard of Louie’s story from the bestseller Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.
When WWII broke out, Zamperini enlisted in the army. While on a rescue mission, he crashed into the Pacific Ocean and remained stranded for 47 days. Louie landed on Japanese territory, and for two years suffered at the hands of Japanese soldiers.
After the war, Louie became an alcoholic and struggled with PTSD. After much persuasion, Louie went to one of Billy’s lectures and accepted Christ into his heart. Louie went back and forgave all the Japanese. In the words of the Unbroken tagline, his story is filled with survival, resilience, and redemption.
6. SEAL of God by Chad Williams
John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this
7. In the Presence of My Enemies by Gracia Burnham
Soon after 9/11, a young missionary couple was taken hostage by terrorists associated with Osama bin Laden. Garcia Burnham kept her faith strong despite surviving torture and the death of her husband.
8. Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis
Growing up in an upper-middle-class family, Katie Davis had it better than most Americans, let alone people in any other country. What caused this young woman to move to Uganda and become the adopted mother of 14 kids? Jesus, of course! Katie’s memoir is sure to be an inspiration for tween and teen girls especially. You can visit Katie on her blog, Kisses From Katie.
9. The Heavenly Man by Brother Yun
Despite surviving imprisonments and torture, Brother Yun’s faith and resilience shine through his memoir about Christian persecution in China.
10. Through Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot
Five young missionaries are savagely killed in Ecuador, including notable missionary Jim Elliot. This inspiring memoir is written by his wife, Elisabeth. If you’ve enjoyed this, you may also like Shadow of the Almighty.
11. Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Rose
In the jungles of New Guinea, a young missionary survives four years in a Japanese prison camp. When she is sentenced to death, she is miraculously spared. Darlene’s story of courage and faith is an inspiring tale for everyone.
12. Through My Eyes by Tim Tebow
In this memoir, former quarterback Tim Tebow shares his story of faith, life, and football career. There’s also a young reader’s edition.
13. Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi
Nabeel was a devout Muslim who came to Christ in this bestselling memoir. As he begins to learn more about Christianity, he begins to wrestle with his Muslim faith. I haven’t read this one yet, but it’s on my to-read list. Sadly, a few years ago, Qureshi sadly passed away from cancer.
14. Gifted Hands by Ben Carson
Ben Carson faced a variety of challenges growing up including being raised by a single mother, poverty, and racism. With the encouragement and support of his mother, Carson grew up to become the first neurosurgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins. This is an incredible story of one man who beat the odds. There’s also a movie and a young reader’s version.
15. Trapped In Hitler’s Hell by Anita Dittman
At eight years old, Anita accepted Christ into her heart. Through her survival in a concentration camp, Anita’s story is filled with hope, survival, and faith in the midst of dark times.
16. I Can Only Imagine by Bart Millard
Bart Millard is best known as the lead singer for the band MercyMe. This is the story (which can be an emotional rollercoaster!) of his journey to success.
17. Captive in Iran by Maryam Rostampour
Captive in Iran reminds us that Christian persecution isn’t just in history textbooks, it is still happening today. Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh gave Bibles to over 20,000 people and started two churches in Iran. The two were arrested and spent nearly nine months in prison. This story really makes me thankful for religious freedom.
18. Life Without Limits by Nick Vujicic
Part autobiography part self-help, Life Without Limits talks about one man’s faith – despite having been born without arms and legs! I’ve been able to see Nick twice live. If you’ve ever found yourself thinking you can’t do something, listen to Nick’s story.
19. Jumping Through Fires by David Nasser
Growing up, David Nasser hated religion – and for good reason. He and his family were forced to flee from the religious revolution in Iran. Nasser eventually found Christ and offers an honest look at religion in the world.
Adam Brown was a member of SEAL Team Six who gave his life fighting for America. This is his story of faith, family, brotherhood, and sacrifice. This story is recommended even if you don’t typically reach for military stories.
21. Janet and Geoff Benge have dozens of engaging stories about courageous Christians. The following are biographies, but they’re a great look at many amazing Christians.
- George Muller always believed that “God would provide” for his small orphanage, even in the midst of difficult times.
- Hudson Taylor was a missionary in China with a story filled with determination and living out your faith.
- Jacob DeShazer was one of the members of the Doolittle Raid, America’s response to the attack on Pearl Harbor. After being captured as a prisoner of war, Jacob went back to forgive the Japanese in this powerful story.
- George Washington Carver was a kidnapped slave baby who overcame many challenges to become a scientist and professor.
- Billy Graham is one of America’s best known ministers who has helped spread the gospel to over 200 million people around the world.
What a great list, Samantha!!
I read many books on this list and can’t wait to read the others!
I’ve read 1, 3, and 10. I guess that dates me a bit! : )
Liberty @ B4andAfters.com
Thanks for this great article!