John Lewis Sherrill died in his home at Linden Ponds, Hingham, on December 2, 2017 at the age of 94.
He was a beloved author and speaker, specializing in inspirational true stories about people overcoming hardship through their faith – whether Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox or Jewish. Editor and writer for Guideposts for 66 years, he helped establish both the magazine’s intimate style and its commitment to fact, and was an instigator of their popular Writers’ Workshops.
With his wife Elizabeth he wrote many books, including The Cross and the Switchblade, God’s Smuggler, The Happiest People on Earth, They Speak With Other Tongues, and The Hiding Place.
John was born in Covington, Tennessee and grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. He served in the Army in WWII, seeing active combat in the invasion of Italy.
He met his wife aboard ship en route to Europe after the war. They were married in Switzerland in 1947.
In 1970 John and Elizabeth founded a publishing company, Chosen Books, dedicated to developing new Christian writers. Their first title was Born Again by Chuck Colson. In 1981 the Sherrills sold Chosen Books to Baker Publishing Group.
With their three children, the Sherrills spent a year teaching writing in Africa and another year doing the same in South America. Later, John and Elizabeth spent a year in England and made numerous trips to the Near and Far East. In 2009 they moved from Chappaqua, New York, to Hingham, Massachusetts.
In addition to his wife of 70 years, John leaves two sons: John Scott Sherrill of Nashville, Tennessee, and Donn Hardwicke Sherrill of Miami, Florida, a daughter, Liz Flint of Hingham, Massachusetts, eight grandchildren: Kerlin Richter (Portland, Oregon,) Lindsay Hooten (Alpharetta, Georgia,) Andrew Sherrill (Atlanta, Georgia,) Daniel Sherrill (Alpharetta,) Jeffrey Flint (Osaka, Japan,) Sarah Flint (Hingham,) John Peter Sherrill and James Spencer Sherrill (Nashville) and three great-grandchildren: Adin Richter, Jackson and Taylor Hooten.
The funeral will be held at St. John's Episcopal Church 172, Main Street in Hingham, at 2 pm on Saturday December 9, 2017. All relatives and friends are invited to attend.