Carl Gallups says he was sitting in a tree stand, when God placed it on his heart to write a book. The chapter outlines began writing themselves in his head, so he climbed down, went home and started writing.
What came out resulted in a New York Times bestseller.
Funny thing is, Gallups says he's not a writer.
"I'm a preacher."
It took about six months of writing two to three hours a day to finish the manuscript. "No first time, new writer gets published, so I was going to self-publish," he says. "I have my church, my radio program, I had no idea how to market it."
To test the worthiness of what he had written, Gallups says he sent his work out to five people in the media industry. Four of his friends got back to him right away, but one took a while.
"I really wanted to hear from him," Gallups shares. "I was really afraid he hated it."
Gallups says before long, he heard from the Chief Editor of a major publisher show asked if he had signed a contract with anyone. He asked how they knew about his book and it turned out his friend, the one who didn't answer, sent it to them.
From there, it became a whirlwind of signing contracts and edits. Once the book was published, Gallups found himself appearing on national and international television programs. The book, The Magic Man in the Sky, hit the New York Times Bestseller list and stayed there for over a year.
Gallups says he was shocked by what was happening, but it was apparent to him there was more going on than meets the eye.
"God's annointing was on it. It is about how to defend your faith. The unique illustrations, God gave to me and I love them. It depicts accurately, history, science, the Bible...it has a heavy dose of science, logic and interpretations of God to destroy atheist and agnostic arguments.
Gallups says, "Evolution is an absolute falsehood, these are the lies our culture is being fed." He says his book gives accurate scientific data to back up his statement.
"This is a huge piece of equipment for Christians to have. People are reading this book and people are getting saved," he says.
Gallups points out, "This is nothing Earth-shattering. The way I presented it, it is God's annointing. I am very humbled by it. I still do not look at myself as a writer. I didn't enjoy writing. I prefer verbally expressing myself."
For 26 years, Gallups has been preaching at Hickory Hammock Baptist Church. He arrived there to do a revival and when the pastor at the time resigned, he was asked back as preacher. He says he knew nothing about Santa Rosa County, but he took the job. Thirteen years ago, he began writing a column for the Press Gazette, and from there, he says his ministry grew. He says the book and its success would not exist without his column in the paper.
"If I had not started writing for the Press Gazette weekly, the radio show would not have happened, from radio it went to the people who helped get this published."
Gallup's ministry has grown over the Internet as well. His alter ego, PP Simmons, posts youtube videos that receive millions of hits. He has a staff of people who answers questions for users of his website and Facebook page. His radio show is syndicated and heard all over the world.
Gallups, who says he still sees himself as a humble preacher from a small town, says it is God who is leading the way for His word to spread.
"There is another book that is being made into a movie later this year," Gallups says. The inspiration from that book came from the publisher of his first book. "They gave me their idea for a book and asked me to write it. I did and I was nervous when I sent it in. They loved it and now it's going to be a film, a documentary." Gallups says he can't share the details of the new project yet, but the Press Gazette will be the first to know when he can.
"I can give you a hint," he says. " It is about geopolitical events with international figures...events that have been prophesized. It involves some major players in the world."
The book and movie are slated for a September release date.