The book Man from Macedonia is a landmark work which is far past due in our time. The autobiography of civil rights titan Reverend Aaron Johnson, Man from Macedonia recounts six decades of struggle to bring civil justice to the American landscape; but does so from the vantage of a longsuffering Christian minister who, like his mother, believes in forgiveness rather than anger. Read more
A Book for Everyone
While this is the story of a man called by God to be a minister, it is such a relevant book, especially in this day and age, that I would recommend it to practically every demographic in the nation – Christian or non. Read more
Man from Macedonia is the life story of Reverend Aaron Johnson written in three acts. The first act of the book tells a tale of community love and strength carrying a sharecropper’s son through the humiliation and struggle of a time of radical segregation. Read more
Civil Rights Pioneer Aaron Johnson and the Author Who Helped Him Tell His Tale
A cursory reading of this book may leave the reader astounded at how a man nearly 80-years old managed to describe in vivid detail episodes from his life which occurred nearly half a century ago. As it happens, Johnson was not alone in the composition of this manuscript – he had invaluable help in the form of his coauthor, Deb Cleveland. Read more . . .
Aaron speaks up about the Wilmington Ten
Rev. Aaron Johnson was present at a reunion of the Wilmington 10 survivors at Gregory Congregational Church in Wilmington on Saturday, January 5, 2013, following the December 31 pardons by outgoing North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue. Aaron recounts his emotional reunion with Benjamin Chavis and the missing files that might have exculpated the “10.” See this article in the Charlotte Observer, January 18, 2013
Praise for Man for Macedonia
Few, if any, will ever really know the outpouring of God's unconditional love and mercy this man brought to the darkest and most abandoned-forsaken place of Central Prison's health care system. Unlike many, I knew the courage and love of this man in the midst of furrious wolves. I saw him release the exhaustless love of God into a place of such fathomless terrible darkness. He made an incalculable difference. Aaron was the Gospel and his good news was that God loved the unrighteous, the ungodly, the guilty, the foresaken, and the rejected. God was willing to send Aaron as His kindness to allow dignity, mercy and help in a place of punishment and unforgiveness. I am a witness to this miracle. Parker Eales, Raleigh, NC
It's an absolutely amazing book! Stephanie Reck, Literary Critic
I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed , “Man From Macedonia”. The story could not have been told without you. The writing was so good. I could not believe that it was written by a White woman. All while I was reading it, I thought that I was reading the words of Rev. Johnson. The detail of your work was remarkable. I believed the stories because of the details. I felt that there was very little poetic license. As a black man in America, I needed to know this story in all its detail. I will spread the word about your book Ted Williams, Winston-Salem, NC
I have just finished reading "Man from Macedonia"..... It's engaging, interesting and most of all inspiring. What a man! Was with him several times; we often don't know in whose presence we really are. Claude Vess, Executive Director of High Pastures Christian Retreat Center, Burnsville, NC, and volunteer at Avery-Mitchell Correctional Institution
I have almost completed reading Man From Macedonia, what a powerful book! I read the account of a blindfolded Aaron meeting with Wilmington clan members to Sharon last night and couldn’t get through it without tears. His description of the “Fourth Man” in the room with him that night, the same Fourth Man that was with the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace, is very powerful. David Middendorf,Uncaged Ministries
One of the great blessings in my life has been knowing, observing, and working along side Rev. Aaron Johnson. His example of courage derived from faith, not bravado, his wisdom, beginning in the fear of the Lord and extending from his breadth of experience, his compassion, arising from the depth of his soul, have not only demonstrated his Christian character, but have served as an inspiration for me and for all who have known him, and, now, for all who read his life story of "service, struggle, faith, and hope." Roger Mitchell, The Mitchell Law Group, Fayetteville, NC
Talking to Chick Johnson at the Fayetteville Observer, Aaron shares how it felt to meet with college students on his recent book tour. Read this article. . .
Man from Macedonia is important social history. I found it a descriptive journey and essential reading of a changing state. William C. Friday, host of North Carolina People, UNC-TV
Man from Macedonia is both moving and inspiring. The life story of the Rev. Aaron Johnson, reflecting his character, courage and commitment to the common good, needed to be told in his own words. John Seigenthaler, founder, the First Amendment Center.
The Jamestown News interviews Deborah and Dennis Walsh about why they embarked on this project . . .Read this article.
"On Thursday, March 11 Johnson delivered a riveting speech to Lipscomb faculty, staff, and students about the brutality he endured while fighting for human and civil rights....."— Tenielle Buchanan, Nashville Culture & Events Examiner Read the entire review here
“Ever feel tired, worn out, maybe powerless to affect events around you? Read Aaron Johnson’s story and do like he did. Here is a man of enormous faith, the kind that God responds to and does amazing things through.” Chuck Colson, founder, Prison Fellowship
“Aaron Johnson is truly a big man: large in stature, generous in heart, courageous in the face of challenges. I was honored to be his wing man.” James G. Martin, Governor of North Carolina, 1985-93
“From the call to Aaron’s Project Macedonia until its completion, the Holy Spirit was palpable in the decisions, planning, organizing , funding, program execution, and the revival that came upon us all – prisoner and volunteer alike. Our faith was small but our God was big.” Tom Pratt, former president, Prison Fellowship
“This compelling story of Johnson’s struggle against injustice and evil reads like a novel, but it’s all true. If you wonder what one person can do in a hate-filled world, read Man from Macedonia — and discover the difference one bold person can make.” Jim Denney, author, Answers to Satisfy the Soul
“I have a profound respect for Reverend Aaron Johnson. His courage before and during the unrest in Wilmington was a source of inspiration for me. If it were not for the leadership of the black church, as exemplified by leaders like Rev. Aaron Johnson, the civil rights movement would not have been as successful and impactful." Ben Chavis, president, Hip-Hop Summit Action Network; activist imprisoned as one of the Wilmington Ten
“Aaron Johnson is the man who started me on this journey of ministry to lives impacted by crime and incarceration. His life is a testimony of how to balance justice with mercy leading to redemptive solutions in our society.” Chaplain Michael R. Smith, Sr., D.Min., Cross of Christ Ministries
“Man from Macedonia is a story that will truly grip your heart and help you to see life from a perspective of experiencing God's love and mercy at the most crucial times of trial and plenty. The story is one that anyone can identify with, but yet is has a unique testimony and realities that are so personal the reader will feel bonded and connected to a time and place that was uncertain yet evolving in the matchless grace of God. The story gives a clear presentation of the gospel and the difference between 'salvation' and 'religion.' The reader is sure to come away knowing what one must do to be saved and how deep and precious God's love is." Art Hallett, recording artist, director, North American prison ministries, Evangelism Explosion
We met and chatted when you (Deb) and Aaron Johnson were at Lipscomb University a couple of weeks ago. I have finished his book now. Would have finished sooner but it is hard to read with tears in your eyes. It is a beautiful piece of work about a man whom I admired when I first saw him, and grew to respect and love through your telling of his story. Thank you for letting me know him, and his lovely Mattie. And thank you for your great writing. I love the way you turn a phrase. One that comes to mind is "let the air out of his anger." Beautiful! Neika Stephens, Trustee, Lipscomb University