Media Contact: Katie Dodillet,, 630.784.5275

[Carol Stream, Ill.]–Fifteen-year-old Carolyn McKinstry was just a few feet away when the Klan-planted bomb that killed four of her friends exploded in Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. It was one of the seminal moments in the Civil Rights movement, a sad day in American history, and the turning point in a young girl’s life.

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., presents While the World Watched by Carolyn Maull McKinstry with Denise George (ISBN: 978-1-4143-3637-4; Softcover; 5 ½ x 8 ¼; Biography & Autobiography/Memoir; 300 pages; $14.99), in observance of the 50th Anniversary of the Ku Klux Klan bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church on September 15, 1963.

While the World Watched is a poignant and gripping eyewitness account of what it was like to grow up in the Jim Crow South—from the bombings, riots, and assassinations to the historic marches and triumphs that characterized the Civil Rights era.

Discover personal details, including:

  • What led Carolyn to leave her young friends mere minutes before the bombing
  • The call Carolyn answered at the church that day, not understanding the threat the caller’s “Three minutes” conveyed
  • The Civil Rights movement from Carolyn’s point of view as a young black girl

Writing her story 50 years later, McKinstry explains, “For five decades now, I have tried to forget the deaths, the inhumane injustices, the vicious German shepherds, the fierce blast of the water hoses, and the brutal assassinations of those who spoke out for change. But now, as I see new generations coming and old generations passing, I feel compelled to write down in permanent ink my eyewitness account of exactly what happened.”

The book also includes a letter from President Barack Obama written to the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church for the 45th anniversary of the bombing on September 15, 2008.

While the World Watched is a uniquely moving exploration of how racial relations have evolved over the past five decades and an incredible testament to how far we’ve come, and how far we have yet to go.

Tyndale House Publishers, founded in 1962, is the world’s largest privately held Christian publisher of books, Bibles, and digital media. Tyndale has published many New York Times bestsellers. The largest portion of its profit goes to the nonprofit Tyndale House Foundation, which makes grants to help meet the physical and spiritual needs of people around the world. Tyndale was founded to publish Living Letters, which later composed part of The Living Bible, a contemporary paraphrase of the Bible that became a global publishing phenomenon. Tyndale now publishes the Holy Bible, New Living Translation (NLT), the translation of choice for millions of people. Each NLT sale benefits the worldwide translation work of Wycliffe Bible Translators.

TYNDALE, Tyndale’s quill logo, New Living Translation, NLT, and the New Living Translation logo are registered trademarks of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Carolyn McKinstry is available for national interviews to discuss her experiences and the publication of While the World Watched. Contact Katie Dodillet at or at (630) 784-5275 to schedule an interview or to learn more.