Beth Moore, a bestselling author who created headlines after splitting from the Southern Baptist denomination in 2021, details her path to becoming a Bible teacher, a ministry leader, and breaking from her identity as a Southern Baptist in All My Knotted-Up Life: A Memoir (Tyndale, Feb.). Moore’s life has been defined by what she calls “a love for women” that began at an early age.

“As I made sense of my life and what God called me to, I don’t have to drum up or fake a love for women,” Moore tells PW. “I remember the [older] women in my life who would drink instant coffee, smoke cigarettes and gossip their heads off, and we girls would be mesmerized. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.”

In her 20s, Moore began teaching aerobics and led women’s Bible studies at First Baptist Church of Houston. Lifeway Christian Resources— the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), which is the second-largest denomination of Christianity, published her first Bible study book in 1995. Today, she has written over 25 women’s Bible studies published primarily by Lifeway that have sold more than 17.5 million copies.

In addition to writing, Moore founded Living Proof Ministries “with the purpose of teaching women to know and love Jesus through the study of Scripture,” according to the website, which serves as the hub for Moore’s blog, podcast, live events, online store, and prayer ministry. Living Proof Live conferences have taken place for more than 20 years.

In 2021, however, Moore split from the Southern Baptist Convention as well as Lifeway, citing the SBC’s coverup of sexual abuse and its racism, among other things. As one of the most influential evangelical women in the U.S., the move earned Moore a place among PW’s Notables that year. Living Proof Ministries is now the sole publisher of Moore’s Bible studies, while her trade books, including All My Knotted Up Life, are being published through a partnership with Tyndale.

“I wasn’t chomping at the bit to write a memoir,” Moore says, though she notes that in the book reveals more about her life than she has in the past. “I think it’s innate in all of us that before our lives are over, we wish we could be known to some degree of depth as the people we have been.”

She tells her story sequentially, highlighting the positive and negative events that shaped her from the early years in Arkadelphia, Ark., to the move to Houston in her teens, then college, marriage, and children. She talks openly about her marriage to husband Keith and their struggles involving his mental illness, pointing to the difficulty in writing about such topics and fears of backlash from readers. Yet she also describes the authenticity Keith brought to her life and ministry.

“If I had acted one way in church and one way at home, I wouldn’t have lasted 10 minutes,” she says. “The only time I dropped my face in my hands and sobbed [as I wrote the book] is when I used the word ‘bipolar’ [when talking about him.] You want to say to the reader, ‘This isn’t easy for us, so could you deal gently with us.’”

Her four siblings, husband, and two daughters heartily agreed to the memoir, and Moore honored their consent by keeping the focus mainly on her life. "I’m deeply grateful that I can tell this story," she says.

While she speaks openly of both pain and joy in her relationships, the book also delves into her public break with the SBC. “If you’re looking for a pretty story, this one isn’t for you,” she says. “There’s no denying my life has been the biggest adventure of faith, a long journey over rocky terrain, but God was always there. He made it matter.”

Moore has a full schedule for 2023 with events in multiple cities, while she and daughter Melissa are researching a new Bible study based on a genre in the Old Testament that will likely be released in 2024. Moore also plans on writing more nonfiction trade titles and taking one more shot at fiction.

“After convincing myself I’d all but shut the ministry doors and burned down the building with my outspokenness, God, by his great mercy, graced us with fresh life,” she says.