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WMRA's Books & Brews: Dr Todd C Peppers
WMRA's Books & Brews: Dr Todd C Peppers

Tue, Feb 13


Seven Arrows Brewery

WMRA's Books & Brews: Dr Todd C Peppers

WMRA’s Feb 2024 Books & Brews features retired chaplain Russ Ford and Dr Todd C Peppers, discussing their book, "Crossing the River Styx, the memoir of a Death Row Chaplain"

Time & Location

Feb 13, 2024, 7:00 PM

Seven Arrows Brewery, 2508 Jefferson Hwy #1, Waynesboro, VA 22980, USA

About the Event

WMRA’s Feb 13, 2024 Books & Brews will feature retired chaplain Russ Ford and Dr. Todd C. Peppers discussing, Crossing the River Styx, the memoir of a Death Row Chaplain, at Pale Fire Brewing in Harrisonburg.

Tuesday, Feb 13, 2024 at 7pm.

Live at Seven Arrows Brewery, and available later on WMRA's Youtube Channel and on Facebook.

Signed copies of Crossing the River Styx will will be available at the event and online at Stone Soup Books.

WMRA's Books & Brews is made possible thanks to our series sponsor, Gaines Group Architects. The Gaines Group has offices in Charlottesville and Harrisonburg.

About the Book

The Reverend Russ Ford, who served as the  head chaplain on Virginia’s death row for eighteen years, raged against  the inequities of the death penalty—now outlawed in Virginia—while  ministering to the men condemned to die in the 1980s and 1990s. Ford  stood watch with twenty-eight men, sitting with them in the squalid  death house during the final days and hours of their lives. In July 1990  he accidentally almost became the 245th person killed by Virginia’s  electric chair as he comforted Ricky Boggs in his last moments, a vivid  episode that opens this haunting book.

Many chaplains get to know  the condemned men only in these final moments. Ford, however, spent  years working with the men of Virginia’s death row, forging close bonds  with the condemned and developing a nuanced understanding of their  crimes, their early struggles, and their challenges behind bars. His  unusual ministry makes this memoir a unique and compelling read, a  moving and unflinching portrait of Virginia’s death row inmates.  Revealing the cruelties of the state-sanctioned violence that has until  recently prevailed in our backyard, Crossing the River Styx serves as a cautionary tale for those who still support capital punishment.

About the Authors

Russ  Ford is a retired chaplain. Charles Peppers is an independent writer  and educator. Todd C. Peppers is the Henry H. and Trudye H. Fowler  Professor of Public Affairs at Roanoke College and a Visiting Professor  of Law at Washington and Lee University.

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