PIQUA — Wallace White, the former director of Piqua’s Flesh Public Library, has published his third book and is currently working on his fourth.
“‘The Stump of Jesse’ began in my mind as a short story probably three years ago,” White said.
The novella “The Stump of Jesse,” which is a little over 60 pages long, is set in a dystopian future where there are limited religious freedoms, including the law that people are not allowed to worship or practice their religion in public or in groups. White’s novella focuses mainly on Christians, and his main character is a former pastor, Warren Isaac Watts.
“Churches are empty. Clergy are unemployed. Christians must worship at home if they worship at all,” White said, adding that they can also only worship with members of their immediate family. “Christians are held in significant contempt by the population … because we won’t shut up about our faith.”
White’s book “The Stump of Jesse” may be controversial for some readers, as it emerged as White’s response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized marriage for same-sex couples across the country in 2015. According to White, Christians or those who agree with White will find the novella “compelling” and others may find it “annoying.”
The novella is also set within the city of Piqua. The main character lives in Piqua, and visits his old empty church in downtown Piqua every week.
“For years, he’s been preaching the same sermon … to an empty sanctuary,” White said. “And it’s a sermon of hope … in times of trial.”
Other scenes in the book take place on Nicklin Avenue, on Forest Hill Cemetery, at churches on Broadway, and other locales.
“He skirts trouble … he’s not about to be civilly disobedient,” White said. “The novel has a very hopeful ending, though the run of the narrative … is pretty frightening for Christians.”
White feels that Piqua residents will be intrigued by the book because they know the places mentioned in the story and will be familiar with the settings.
“They know all of these locations,” White said. “They will feel this novel because they will feel the scene.”
White was director of Piqua’s Flesh Public Library Piqua between 1969-1993 and an active community leader in the city during those years. White and his wife Carol Jeanne, who is now deceased, raised their family of three children in Piqua. White has five grandchildren. He and his family attended Grace United Methodist Church while living in Piqua.
White graduated from Miami University with a degree in English and previously taught high school English in Marion. He also received a master’s degree in Library Science from Kent State University, working at public libraries in Kent and Mansfield in addition to the Piqua Public Library.
After White retired from public library administration, he was a newspaper reporter in Delaware for two years. He also became a pastor after taking seminary classes, serving the Valleyview Evangelical Friends Church for 13 years.
White’s fourth book that he is working on will be “Fun in Wally’s World: The collected humor Wallace Whoolery White.”
“It’s just humor. It’s just fun,” White said. “I love writing humor.”
Reach reporter Sam Wildow at (937) 451-3336 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall