Meridian Star

March 1, 2013

Civil rights leader book signing Saturday

From staff reports
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     There will be a book signing at the Bible Bookstore, 820 23rd Ave., in Meridian, Saturday from 1-3 p.m. with local icon, pastor, community and civil rights leader, Dr. Charles Johnson.

    The public is invited to attend. The book is entitled:  Called "Called to the Fire: A Witness for God in Mississippi; The Story of Dr. Charles Johnson."

    The book is the true story of Dr. Charles Johnson, an African American preacher who went to Mississippi in 1961 during the summer of the Freedom Rides. Fresh out of Bible School Johnson hesitantly followed his call to pastor in Mississippi, a hotbed for race relations during the early 1960s.

    "Unwittingly thrust into the heart of a national tragedy, the murder of three Civil Rights activists, he overcame fear and adversity to become a leader in the Civil Rights movement," a press release states.

    As a key African American witness to take the stand in the trial famously dubbed the “Mississippi Burning” case by the FBI, Charles Johnson played a key role for the Federal Justice Department, offering clarity to the event that led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, according to the press release

    "This story of love, conviction, adversity, and redemption climaxes with a shocking encounter between Charles and one of the murderers," the press release states. "The reader will be riveted to the details of a gracious life in pursuit of the call of God from the pulpit to the streets, and ultimately into the courtroom," according to a press release.