Steal Away Home: How a Slave-Turned-Preached Changed Charles Spurgeon’s Life
The story of Charles Spurgeon and his friendship with former slave Thomas Johnson overcomes not just a century and an ocean, but a still simmering racial divide in the culture and church
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 10, 2017) – B&H Publishing Group is set to release Steal Away Home: Charles Spurgeon & Thomas Johnson: Unlikely Friends on the Passage to Freedom (August 1, 2017) by Austin, Texas-based pastors Matt Carter and Aaron Ivey.
Steal Away Home, written in narrative form, is the previously untold story of the unlikely friendship between the world’s most famous preacher, Charles Spurgeon, and Thomas Johnson, who spent 28 years as a slave in the United States before training at Spurgeon’s college and being commissioned to Africa as a missionary.
“I was introduced to the works of Charles and Susannah Spurgeon a while back and have since grown to love not just their writings, but their friendship and deep love for each other,” Ivey said. “Then, when the story of Thomas Johnson surfaced, I knew we had a treasured story that must be told. Truly, it’s an honor to tell this story of hope and endurance.”
Along with telling the story of Spurgeon and Johnson’s friendship, Steal Away Home also offers a unique glimpse into Spurgeon’s day-to-day life: his marriage to Susannah Spurgeon, his daily struggles, and his bouts with depression. Many passages and dialogues in the book are word-for-word quotations from Spurgeon or Johnson’s writings.
“During a visit to Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, while looking through Spurgeon’s personal library and talking with Dr. Christian George (America’s top Spurgeon scholar), we first heard the story of Thomas Johnson,” Carter said. “Then, we found his out-of-print autobiography, ‘Twenty-Eight Years a Slave,’ and knew … it was a story we had to tell.”
Steal Away Home is the second in a succession of books this year from B&H centering on the life and teaching of Spurgeon. In March, B&H released the first of 12 volumes of The Lost Sermons of C.H. Spurgeon, edited by George. Later this fall, the second volume releases, as does the new CSB Spurgeon Study Bible, edited by Alistair Begg.
Marketing of the book will include a July 30 – August 3 tour of historic sites in both London and Cambridge such as the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Spurgeon’s College and the Stockwell Orphanage, where Carter, Ivey, George and Begg will host and participate in, among other things, panel discussions and Facebook Live broadcasts.
For more information about Steal Away Home, visit www.bhpublishinggroup.com.
Matt Carter serves as the Pastor of Preaching and Vision at the Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas, which has grown from a core team of 15 to over 8,000 attending each Sunday since he planted it in 2002. Matt has co-authored multiple books including a commentary on the Gospel of John in The Christ Centered Exposition Commentary series and two group studies, Creation Unraveled and Creation Restored, which traced the gospel message through the book of Genesis. He holds an M.Div. from Southwestern Seminary and a Doctorate in Expositional Preaching from Southeastern Seminary. He and his wife Jennifer have been married for over 20 years, and they have three children, John Daniel, Annie and Samuel.
Aaron Ivey is the Pastor of Worship at The Austin Stone Community Church in Austin, Texas, where he pastors a team of nearly 300 worship leaders, artists, storytellers and musicians. Aaron has written and produced ten worship albums, and has written hundreds of congregational worship songs. His songwriting includes works represented in Worship Together, Jesus Culture, Capital Music Group, Doxology & Theology and Austin Stone Worship. Passionate about mentoring and developing young leaders and world changers, Aaron spends much of his time communicating on topics of leadership, theology, art and culture. He and his wife Jamie have been married for 15 years, and have four children, Cayden, Amos, Deacon and Story.