There's rarely a dull moment at The Micah Project. We're pleased to share this summary of our 2016 key accomplishments
Pastor Event Draws Correctional Ministry Interest
“The Impact of Incarceration on Children and Families” was the theme at a Community gathering of pastors, board members, and other interested persons on November 19, 2016 at Memorial United Methodist Church in High Point.
Rev./Dr. Michael R. Smith, a North Carolina native and former head chaplain for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, was the keynote speaker. Dr. Smith reminded his audience of the necessity to find ways to reach at-risk children where they are, pointing to a second generation of unchurched youth.
Smith emphasized that prison ministry is better described more broadly as correctional ministry, which begins by seeking and intervening with at-risk youth in their environment before they make the choices that land them in prison, in addition to ministering to those incarcerated and through their reentry back into the community.
Smith’s long career in correctional ministry began as the result of the action of Rev./Dr. Aaron Johnson of Fayetteville who, while acting as North Carolina Secretary of Corrections, authorized Smith’s hiring as a young chaplain at Central Prison in Raleigh. The two share a common accomplishment, with Johnson being the first African-American appointed to this post, and Smith as the first African-American head chaplain for the federal Bureau of Prisons. Johnson was the subject of “Man from Macedonia,” a biography sponsored by The Micah Project.
The event was facilitated by Rev. Gene Williams, chaplain at the High Point Detention Center, and is part of a continuing series of community discussions on this growing social crisis.
Dennis and Debbie Walsh with Rev./Dr. Michael Smith and wife Renee
The Year in Review
The past year was a time that can be best described as steady. We’re grateful for what God has accomplished through us and are excited about what lies in store. Read more about our activities in 2015.
Johnson Reunites with the "10"
Rev. Aaron Johnson was present at a reunion of the Wilmington10 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 Ben Chavis and the missing files that might have exculpated the “10.” Read more
Debbie Honored by COPE
Debbie was the recipient of the 2011 President’s Barnabas “Encourager Award” presented by the Coalition of Prison Evangelists (COPE) on November 4, 2011 at its International Conference in Melbourne, Florida. Debbie has served as a COPE board member since 2009 and works closely with Executive Director, Fauhn Schierer in planning mission content and encouraging prison ministry
Walshes Present Workshops at CMCA Summit
Dennis and Debbie were among more than 300 participants at the second annual Correctional Ministries and Chaplains Association (CMCA) Summit, held at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois in May 2014. The CMCA, under the sponsorship of the Institute for Prison Ministry at Wheaton’s Billy Graham Institute, is a professional association that unites Christians as they serve in correctional ministries in fulfillment of the great commission. Debbie presented a workshop titled “Building Better Boards,” and Dennis presented a workshop titled “Keeping it Legal,” regarding tax and legal compliance issues for faith-based nonprofit organizations. The Summit offered more than 40 workshops along with multiple plenary sessions. Debbie also serves as a member of the CMCA Advisory Board.
Dennis on Nonprofit Conference Panel
Dennis served as a co-presenter at the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits 2014 annual statewide conference "Nonprofits Front & Center," September 18-19, 2014 at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center, Research Triangle Park, NC. This year's conference was attended by more than 800 persons serving the nonprofit sector across North Carolina and beyond. The legal update workshop "Better Safe than Sorry" had a capacity attendance of 80 participants and covered a range of state and federal compliance issues including the NC Nonprofit Corporation Act, board fiduciary duties, federal tax law for exempt organizations, charitable solicitation, state and local taxes, and accountability.
Debbie published in new book
An article written by Debbie about the death of her brother is included in a new book "The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow." The book is a collection of testimonials about families who have lost children, compiled by long-time friend, Wayne Triplett. Wayne lost his 19-year old son in 2006 after a 7-year battle with cancer. You may order the book at http://www.crossofcancer.com/ or at Amazon.
Aaron Johnson at International Civil Rights Museum
On Wednesday, December 8, 2010, Aaron Johnson spoke and signed copies of his memoir, "Man from Macedonia," at the International Civil Rights Center and Museum, located at the corner of Elm and February One Place in Greensboro, NC. This event was a collaborative project of the Center, Leadership North Carolina, The Micah Project, and ICRCM. Click to see photo.
Walshes Complete Leadership North Carolina
Dennis & Debbie receive certificates from J. Thomas McSwain, Chairman of the LNC Board of Directors.
On May 8. 2012, Debbie and Dennis were among the 44 graduates of Leadership North Carolina, Class XIX. A ceremony was held in the historic legislative chamber of Old Capitol in Raleigh, NC that included presentation of the Governor’s Award to Tarboro native and former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Ret. Gen. Hugh Shelton. Leadership North Carolina is a 7-month program designed to help current and developing leaders learn more about government, economic development, education, environment, and health and human services in North Carolina. Read more about the program.
Aaron Johnson Speaks at Greensboro Black History Events
Rev./Dr. Aaron Johnson of Fayetteville, NC was guest speaker at three Greensboro institutions in celebration of Black History Month. Sponsored by The Micah Project, Johnson addressed a gathering at Bass Chapel United Methodist Church on Sunday, February 21, 2016, recounting lessons learned from his pioneering civil rights work in North Carolina.
On Monday, February 22, Johnson shared more of his story at a lunch meeting with a small group of honors program students and their professors at Bennett College, and with 60 honors students at A&T University Monday evening.
Johnson recounted his beginnings as the son of a Pender County sharecropper, working his way through Shaw University in Raleigh, and his entrance into social justice activism under the tutelage of Dr. Martin Luther King. He went on to serve three North Carolina governors, and held various civic positions in addition to serving as a church pastor for 45 years.
Johnson encouraged his audiences to identify a cause worth fighting for and to remember that freedom will always be an ongoing pursuit. His life is chronicled in his 2010 memoir “Man from Macedonia, available through The Micah Project and book retailers.”
Gov. Martin Honored by Leadership NC
Gov. Jim Martin was the recipient of the 2015 Governor’s award from Leadership North Carolina on Tuesday, October 20, 2015. Presenting the award was sitting NC Governor Pat McCrory.
Through a mix of stories sprinkled with wit, Martin contrasted leadership styles and ways he found to effect cooperation among elected representatives, and his efforts to bring the Smoky Mountain Railroad to fruition. Martin, also a former chemistry professor, is looking forward to the release of his book Revelation Through Science in November.
In 1984, Martin appointed Rev. Aaron Johnson of Fayetteville to serve as North Carolina’s first African-American Secretary of Corrections. Johnson was the subject of Man from Macedonia, a biography sponsored by The Micah Project and endorsed by Martin.
Debbie and Dennis are graduates of Leadership NC Class IX (2012), the first married couple to complete the program together. They were joined at the celebration by the LNC board, staff, and select graduates of past classes.
Micah Project Co-Hosts COPE Conference
The Micah Project served as co-host of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference of the Coalition of Prison Evangelists (COPE) September 24-26, 2014 in Greensboro, NC. Featured speakers included Alex McFarland, NC Supreme Court Justice Paul Newby, and Craig DeRoche, President of Justice Fellowship. Featured musician was Sheila Raye Charles, daughter the legendary Ray Charles. Over 30 workshops covering multiple tracks were presented to participants from as far as New Brunswick, Mexico, and Hawaii. COPE is a network of those involved in all aspects of criminal justice ministry. click here to see details about the conference.
Sheila Raye, Debbie, Dennis, Pastor Donald McCoy, and Tony Steptoe,(husband of Sheila)
MHA Formed to Serve Montagnard Health Care Needs
Dennis pictured along with Dr. Y Bhim Nie, founder and President of the Montagnard Health Association
We are pleased to be assisting the Montagnard Health Association of Greensboro (MHA) in pursuit of its recognition of tax exempt status and other organizational needs. MHA was recently formed by Dr. Y Bhim Nie to advance Health Promotion and disease Prevention through Community Education. Its mission is founded on the declaration of Dr. Martin Luther King that of all forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane. MHA will serve as a liaison between the U.S. health care system and Montagnard citizens that have resettled in the U.S. from their former home in the central highlands of Vietnam.
Dennis on Panel at Conference
Dennis answers a question at the 2011 Nonprofit Conference and Public Policy Forum, held in Greensboro on September 23. The full-day workshop panel included Dianne Chipps Bailey of Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, Charlotte, and David Heinen (center), Director of Public Policy for the conference sponsor, North Carolina Center for Nonprofits.
Dennis receives Community Service Award
Pictured with Guilford Nonprofit Consortium Director Donna Newton (left) and wife Debbie, Dennis receives the 2010 Community Service Award.
On November 4, 2010 Dennis received the Guilford Nonprofit Consortium’s second annual Community Service Award in recognition of his volunteer service to the more than 200 Consortium member organizations. Dennis operates the Financial Management HelpDesk, an online portal where nonprofits can ask questions and locate resources specific to financial management and legal compliance issues. In addition, he organizes finance roundtables, a forum for interactive finance training with guest presenters on various topics. And
he keeps nonprofits up to date on accounting and tax developments. Interested persons can learn more about the GNC mission and activities at www.guilfordnonprofits.org.