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Shelby minister pens personal book on his father's suicide

Shelby minister Dr. Jim Wooten has penned a very personal book he feels will help many people who have been touched in some way or fashion by suicide. He knows about the issue as he has been touched by it; his father was a suicide.

As per his book information, he is currently serving as the Interim Pastor of First Baptist Church of Shelby, NC, after a ministerial career spanning 44 years. Dr. Wooten said this is his first book, which is described as "...a compelling and heart-wrenching memoir, tinged with a dash of mystery, a touch of 'whodunit', and a strong dose of reflection and insight."

The book's title is "The Suicide's Son: A Story of Loss, Struggle and Hope."

Wooten said it wasn't hard for him to write the book, which is set in 1962, in the small town of Laurens, SC. He noted the small volume gives what he said are "the dramatic events that culminate in the shocking death of a thirty-five-year-old fa-ther." The story, as it is recounted, is told through the eyes and memory of Wooten, who we know is writing "...nearly 60 years later."

The book, he noted, had been "in his head years and years earlier." He said he finally found the time to write it all down and when he did, he said it flowed and flowed out of him!

"It's amazing how it all went so fast," he added. "It was cathartic!" Wooten also noted that organizing his thoughts in order to write the memoir helped him to heal as well.

But a big part of this whole story can be summed up in the following blurb, "The Suicide's Son is also the story of the author's lifelong quest to deal with the impact of that defining moment upon his life and to find answers to the questions, both personal and existential, inevitably awakened by such an act committed in a child's formative years."

Dr. Wooten, a Greenville, SC, resident, essentially takes his reader/readers on a brief journey that is, at times, very vivid, extremely emotional, often poignant, but certainly thought-provoking and - ultimately - inspirational. There is simply no other way to describe it. You just have to read it!

As Dr. Wooten said in an interview with the Shopper, "In the end, it felt there was hope! In the end (of the writing of the book), I felt like it was okay!"

When asked if he believes he has moved beyond the image he brings forth in the pages of the book; that of being the "Suicide's Son", he spoke a resounding, "YES!" He has moved beyond it (the image) to the point, he noted, of possibly setting a goal of writing a follow-up book.

Wooten said the volume is available in both hardcover ($22.95) and softcover ($15.95) through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other book outlets. Locally, the book can be pur-chased at the Cleveland County Arts Council, which is located at 111 South Washington St., in Shelby.

Additionally, Dr. Wooten noted his book will be available at a discount at the "Meet the Author Event" scheduled for Sunday, May 7, 2023 from 3 to 5 p.m., at the First Baptist Church of Shelby, located at 220 North Lafayette Street. You can send a registration by texting: TEXT 704-418-1199 (Micki).

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