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In His Steps is a religious novel which takes place in the railroad town of Raymond, and Chicago Illinois. The main character is the Rev. Henry Maxwell, pastor of the First Church of Raymond, who challenges his congregation to not do anything for a whole year without first asking: "What Would Jesus Do?" The story begins on a Friday morning when a man out of work appears at the front door of Henry Maxwell while the latter is preparing for that Sunday's upcoming sermon. Maxwell listens to the man's helpless plea briefly before brushing him away and closing the door. The same man appears in church at the end of the Sunday sermon and confronts the congregation about their lack of compassion for those like him. Upon finishing his address he collapses, and dies a few days later. Deeply moved by the events of the past week, Henry Maxwell presents a challenge to his congregation: "Do not do anything without first asking, 'What would Jesus do?'"