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A Book Chronicles The Life Of The Cross-Bearer, His Undying Faith, And The Trials and Tribulations of The First Century Believers


From the beginning of Christianity in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, the son of God, Richard Neff’s new book entitled, “Simon of Cyrene: The Cross-Bearer’s Legacy: A Story of the Faith and the Trials of Early Christians,” unfolds one believer’s story of the expansion of Christian faith and the growth of the Christian church in the Mediterranean world. The book recounts the struggles of the believers in the early church - their faith, their many trials, the opposition and oppression they encountered, as well as the false accusations that cost innocent martyrs their lives. The story depicts the conflicts that led to the triumph of the Christian church.

Simon of Cyrene is the man who carried Jesus’ cross, but nothing is known about him except for his brief appearance in the Gospel stories of Jesus’ crucifixion. Why was he in Jerusalem and what happened to him after he returned to his home in Cyrene? In this book, Simon’s life and experiences, along with those of his wife, Miriam; his sons, Alexander and Rufus; his brother-in-law, Lucius; other members of his family; and his friends in Cyrene are narrated. The story speaks about conversion, the growth of the Christian faith, the trials and difficulties first-century believers of Christianity encountered, and the fire of martyrdom. Simon’s witness of Jesus’ crucifixion in Jerusalem, Lucius’s experience in Antioch where he served the Lord in Christian ministry, and Rufus’ faithful voyage with his family from Cyrene to Rome, will warm the hearts of the faithful. Finally, the birth of Simon Christopher, which provides the hope that the cross-bearers legacy will be carried into the next generation, will inspire believers.

The faith seeping through the book’s pages and words of Richard Neff will move readers to tears, either from sadness or triumph. The spread of Christian faith inevitably attracted unjust punishments and cost the lives of some believers. But did faith decrease? No, it only burned brighter to become overpowering as the story of Jesus’ immense love for all people spread.

Readers from different faith traditions may come together in a book that symbolizes how candles light the darkest nights. Powerful and spiritually awakening, one should not miss the gift of relishing this story of faith’s trials and triumphs.

‘Simon of Cyrene: The Cross-Bearer’s Legacy: A Story of the Faith and the Trials of Early Christians’ book copies are available at
Writer: Richard Neff
Publisher: Westwood Books Publishing LLC
Publication Date: 2018
ISBN-13:        paperback        978-1-64361-056-56
ISBN-13:        eBook              978-1-64361-057-3
Paperback: $8.99
Kindle: $3.99
About the Author
H. Richard Neff is a minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA). He has served three congregations in Pennsylvania and Maryland as head-of-staff and six congregations as interim pastor. He graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, his hometown. After receiving his divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary, he earned his doctorate at San Francisco Theological Seminary.

Richard Neff currently lives in Bowie, Maryland, with the love of his life, Trudy. He is a father of five and grandfather of nine. Through writing books, he transforms God’s message into words and delivers it to the world far and wide, to help people grow in their knowledge of scripture and their faith in Jesus Christ.

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