The Long Surrender: A Memoir About Losing My Religion

by Brian Rush McDonald
Wisdom Editions, January 26, 2023

Brian Rush McDonald became a Jesus freak in 1970s Alabama and then immersed himself in the dogma of Christian fundamentalism at Bob Jones University. Despite anxiety about unsaved souls facing eternal damnation, he became a minister, married his high school sweetheart, and became a father to three children. He took his family to Taiwan where he became a missionary, experienced a different culture, learned Mandarin and broadened his life outlook. They returned to America and McDonald became a pastor for Chinese American churches while he pursued a Ph.D. from The College of William & Mary. After 30 years of preaching, McDonald walked away from the pulpit to pursue a different path. The Long Surrender is a riveting memoir about losing religion to find freedom.

About the Author

Brian Rush McDonald grew up in Alabama, gave up his dream of becoming a musician to became a Jesus freak, and graduated from Bob Jones University. He spent nearly thirty years as a preacher, missionary, and pastor, including seven years in Taiwan where he learned to speak Mandarin Chinese. He earned a master’s degree from Liberty University and completed his Ph.D. at the College of William & Mary. He has taught at Johns Hopkins University and George Mason University as an adjunct professor of counseling. He plays trombone in several local bands, both classical and jazz. He and his wife Kathy have been married for 44 years. They enjoy sailing together on the Chesapeake Bay. They have three adult children and three grandchildren. McDonald is a psychotherapist in private practice in Alexandria, Virginia.