Meet the Authors

Confessions of Four Thick and Thin Friends: Now that We're Old Enough to Know Better, and Friends Through Thick and Thin

Gloria Gaither
She's as "apt to quote Steinbeck as the Bible," one writer noted, and the lyrics she's written fill hymnals and are sung in church every Sunday. During the 30+ years they've been married, Bill and Gloria Gaither have recorded over 60 albums and written more than 600 songs together, including some of the world's best-loved hymns. ASCAP recently recognized them as "Songwriters of the Century." In the last decade, the sold-out Gaither Homecoming concerts and multi-million selling video series have enlarged their audience even more.
In addition to her collaborations with Bill, Gloria is also a best-selling speaker and author in her own right. Her numerous books include two volumes telling the stories behind the Gaithers' best-loved songs-Because He Lives and God Gave the Song-in addition to the two Friends Through Thick and Thin titles. She has also written several children's books and a dozen musicals, as well as the scripts for the Gaither Homecoming video series. She's also an adjunct professor of songwriting at Indiana's Anderson University.
Gloria and Bill live in Alexandria, Indiana, near their three grown children and four grandchildren.

Peggy Benson
Peggy Benson loves to talk! "No talk is too small for me," she says with an easy smile. Among those whom Peggy considers her friends (which by some accounts includes anyone she has known for longer than seven minutes), she has the reputation of being a world-class talker. "There is nothing duller than a story with just the facts," she says in her charming Southern drawl. "If you can't embroider it a little, it is hardly worth telling."
In her books and at retreats and conferences across the country, Peggy tells stories about her five kids and her 14 grandkids, of a life spent building a home for her family, and surviving the deaths of her husband, Bob Benson, and her 34-year-old son, Tom. From something profoundly clever one of her grandchildren said, to stories of loss and letting go, Peggy talks about the simple things that are part of all of our lives. Simple, but significant.
Perhaps she has something to say because she's learned to listen. "I have finally come to understand that it is only in the silence that I can hear the story of my life and the voice of God talking to me through the telling of it," she says.
In addition to the two Friends Through Thick and Thin titles, Peggy's gentle wisdom is captured in the book, Listening for a God Who Whispers.

Joy MacKenzie
"She has the face of an angel though she is just devilish enough to be fun," Peggy Benson writes of her good friend Joy. Joy, the oldest daughter of a preacher-dad and teacher-mom, grew up in a loving home where supper was served with Scripture and Shakespeare. As a result, she developed a love for God and people as well as a lifelong love affair with words and teaching.
In college, she met her future husband, Bob MacKenzie, a gifted musician who shared her love of teaching and would one day make his mark in the Christian publishing and recording industry. They married in 1961, seizing the opportunity to tackle the world together, and shared a full life together before his death in 2001.
Joy's professional activity has included teaching every elementary and high school grade level (working with both gifted and academically challenged students), six years of teaching at the college level, nationwide tours as an educational consultant, ten years as vice-president of an educational publishing company, and authoring more than 40 books. Her published works include many resources for teachers and dozens of religious books and recordings for children and their families, in addition to the two Friends books.
As chairman of the English department at Nashville's Christ Presbyterian Academy, this lover of literature and life divides her time between teaching, writing, speaking, consulting, and being "mom" to two grown daughters.

Sue Buchanan
For Sue Buchanan, life is like a "surprise" party to which she accepts its invitation to celebrate every morning. She's the former vice president of Dynamic Media, Inc., producers of video- and computer-based business presentations, and "dynamic" is a good word to describe this vivacious and bubbly blonde. There was a time 17 years ago when she wasn't sure she'd live to see the next morning, but she survived breast cancer and lived to tell about it in the book, I'm Alive and the Doctor's Dead, which has encouraged countless women to reclaim their lives and sense of purpose after a life-changing prognosis.
Sue has celebrated the goodness of life every day since then, or a she puts it, "I've thrown off my dark glasses to welcome its possibilities!" Those new possibilities for Sue, all occurring after her 45th birthday, have included a full itinerary of speaking engagements and writing numerous books, including co-writing the two Friends Through Thick and Thin titles for Zondervan and two children's books for Zonderkidz, I Love You This Much and Mud Pie Annie.Now she encourages other women to live full lives amid their losses. "Joy can be found in every situation," she says. "It's up to us to find it!" She and her husband, Wayne, live in Nashville and they have two grown daughters.

Confessions of Four Friends Through Thick & Thin ... now that we're old enough to know better.

How would you complete the sentence, "Now that I'm old enough to know better...?" This is your opportunity to sit down and swap notes with four fellow travelers who've given plenty of thought to how they would fill in the blank.

Gloria Gaither, Peggy Benson, Sue Buchanan and Joy MacKenzie have been friends for a long time-long enough to enjoy rediscovering daily the wisdom and delight of being kids at heart. As Gloria puts it, "We've wise up so much that none of us ever intends to grow up! So four little girls in grandmothers' bodies invite you to come over for tea in our back yard. We have some confessions to make!"

Confessions? You bet! Confessions about life's ups and downs, about family, about God's faithfulness in times of irrepressible laughter and indescribable loss. Confessions of Four Friends Through Thick and Thin takes you on a journey-sometimes delightful, sometimes difficult, always unpredictable-from the days of roller skates and baby doll carriages, through years of new adventures with the coming and going, gaining and losing of business ventures and families, to a sense of satisfaction that comes with maturity.

If you love to laugh and ponder and stretch your thinking, look inside and savor the rich laughter and wisdom of four women who know life well. Through the best and worst of times, these good friends have discovered together the treasure of authentic faith, the humor that comes from perspective, the confidence in skills long cultivated, the poignancy of tears, and the zaniness of losing youthful inhibitions.

Punctuated with song lyrics, prayers, and whimsical illustrations this book will help clear your vision, enlarge your heart, and deepen your relationship with the Savior, who loves you and holds your hand throughout this surprising pilgrimage called life.


ISBN:  031023628-2
Publisher:  Zondervan Publishing House

Friends Through Thick & Thin, which Sue wrote with her best friends Gloria Gaither, Peggy Benson and Joy MacKenzie, invites you to savor the joys and strengths, AND FUN of friendship. It's an upbeat encouraging look at the relationships that enrich our lives. It's a wise, wacky, and honest glimpse at things that will help you nurture the garden of your own friendships. And it's a joyous, personal time of sharing with four extraordinary women. The four women ask you to join them in a humorous and touching look at the peaks and valleys, the laughter and tears that are shared whenever hearts connect. This celebration of friendship is a best seller.


"The girls have done it! They have filled this book with the stuff it takes to connect with another successfully and joyously. I love it!" Patsy Clairmont, author of God Uses Cracked Pots and Sportin' a 'Tude

What an excitement it is to me to find a book about longtime friends from some of my favorite longtime friends! Each author is execptional as an individual so this book is four times as great as any normal publication." Florence Littauer, author of Personality Plus

"... and encouragement to seek and find the true friends God has been waiting to link together. This book helps prepare the soil of a lonely heart for the planting of true, lasting relationships." Lee Ezell, author of The Cinderella Syndrome


ISBN:  0310217261
Publisher:  Zondervan Publishing House


Sue Buchanan
6545 Brownlee Drive
Nashville, TN 37205