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Sherwood’s Catt earns Christian book award

Sherwood Baptist Church Senior Pastor Michael Catt and co-author Amy Parker recently won a 2013 Christian Retailing’s Best Award in the Young Adult Nonficton category for their teen devotional book,  “Courageous Teens.” (July 4, 2013)

Sherwood Baptist Church Senior Pastor Michael Catt and co-author Amy Parker recently won a 2013 Christian Retailing’s Best Award in the Young Adult Nonficton category for their teen devotional book, “Courageous Teens.” (July 4, 2013)

ALBANY, Ga. — Michael Catt, the senior pastor at Sherwood Baptist Church, was recently named the winner of the 2013 Christian Retailing’s Best Award in the Young Adult Nonfiction category for his teen devotional book “Courageous Teens.”

Winners were announced at the 2013 International Christian Retail Show in St. Louis.

In the student-focused book “Courageous Teens,” Catt and co-writer Amy Parker use stories of courageous people in the Bible who could have easily played it safe.

“Prior to pastoring, I served as a youth and student pastor for 15 years. Although my calling changed to be a senior pastor, my heart for students has never waned,” Catt, who has been senior pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church for the past 24 years, said. “I’ve preached at over 100 youth camps in my ministry. We are committed to the next generation of children and students as a church. All of these factors have contributed to this book, and I’ve wanted to write a book for students for some time.

“The tie-in with (the Sherwood film) ‘Courageous’ was a natural fit, based on the stories of Bible heroes of all ages. These stories are motivational, no matter what your age.”

Catt said stories of people like Abraham, Moses, Nehemiah, Ruth and Daniel “challenge me to keep moving forward. They demand that I examine my priorities and deal with anything that brings fear to my heart.”

According to the Retailer’s Choice Awards website, voters were asked to judge the nominations on their impact, including their ability to speak to people’s hearts and evoke emotion, open people’s minds to new ways of thinking, and encourage and affirm Christlike living.

The awards have been increasingly acknowledged as an important way of recognizing some of the most significant new life-changing products in the Christian retail industry.

Catt said he was shocked by the award.

“Although I’ve written 11 books, I’ve never written hoping for an award,” the pastor said. “I love to write, and it is a great outlet for me. To have anyone buy my books always surprises me, and to win an award on this level was a total shock. When nominated, I thought to myself, ‘it doesn’t have a chance.’

“My daughter, Erin, was at the convention when the award was given. My first ‘view’ of it was on her Instagram.”