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Teresa Hairston is gearing up to release a powerful autobiography titled Unstoppable: The Incredible Journey of America’s #1 Christian Lifestyle Magazine under her own publishing company, Books 2 Live By.  Her story is really inspiring; on a quest to rebuild her life after divorce, she became a trailblazer in publishing and ministry.

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Hairston created Gospel Today magazine in 1989 with only $300 during a time when she worked two jobs and had become a single mother of three. Gospel Today has since become the longest running and most widely distributed Urban Christian Lifestyle magazine in history.


Her story unfolds in detail in the e-book slated to debut on February 22. Read an exclusive excerpt below.

Teresa Hairston

Source: Press / Teresa Hairston

By March 1990, I had published three issues of the GMWA SCORE newsletter, and was mailing them out to people who were part of the industry or GMWA. A friend saw what I was doing with the newsletter and suggested I speak with Rev. Dennis Dillon, a pastor in Brooklyn who worked with local printers. Rev. Dillon graciously began to assist me in getting the newsletter printed and designed. He even helped by creating a nicer design for the SCORE logo.

March was the month for the GMWA’s annual Board Meeting, which was like a mini-convention, attended by 1500-2000 delegates. It would be my first formal introduction of the newsletter to the GMWA delegation. I packed up several copies of the few issues I had published and took them to the annual GMWA Board Meeting.

When I go to the Board Meeting in San Diego, the leaders barely even acknowledged me and sales were dismal. I barely sold any newsletters and very few people subscribed.

As I was packing up my boxes to go home, I heard one of the GMWA administrators say, “I don’t know who she thinks is going to pay money for this little newsletter!” I was discouraged and pretended not to hear her; even so, I was determined to make it work.

Quitting wasn’t an option; I was in it to win it! However, with no investors, no entrepreneurial background and no strategic plan, it was going to be tough.

Plus, like it or not, I now had to understand and deal with the “mindset” of our “community.” For many of them, the look and feel was much more important than the content. OK! Got it!

As the months rolled by, I continued to print more newsletters, add pages, upgrade the look and feel, and send out more copies. I’d finally gotten a small increase in pay at the label, which enabled me to quit the second church job.

People began to subscribe to the newsletter, but it was very slow. I remember times when I would look at my handwritten list of subscribers. It was a small list, but I was thankful for each one who had invested in my dream!



Teresa Hairston, Founder of Pioneering Gospel Magazine, Shares Powerful Excerpt From Her Autobiography  was originally published on