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Maria!  Born Enslaved . . . Freed to Serve, The Maria Fearing Story


"The authors heard the call of Maria Fearing to go to Africa for missionary service. They now share that contagion with others through telling Maria’s story. Intergenerational groups will be inspired by this story that has not been widely told. From the plantation house in Alabama to the mission home in Africa, the Swanns adequately capture the life of Maria Fearing."


Bettie J. Durrah, President

The Durrah Group, Atlanta, GA


"To those who are familiar with the history of African American Presbyterians’ involvement in global mission before the Civil War, reading this book will awaken memories, affirm worldview insights and challenge contemporary mission education. For readers unfamiliar with those times and the church of that period, this book will provide a new perspective and a greater appreciation of Maria Fearing as an early mission leader, particularly of her motivation for service in Africa as well as her ministry philosophy of economic self-development."


Marsha Snulligan Haney, Associate Professor,

Missiology and Religions of the World

Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta, GA


"Ms. Fearing’s story is a testimony of how God calls a witness to service and helps that person to triumph over barriers of age, gender, money, privilege and prejudice. Her story is an inspiration to all who serve or will serve. We are indebted to the Swanns for writing this for all ages at this time. The book is well-researched, well-written and both provocative and stimulating."


James F. Reese, Member of the Board

Presbyterian Historical Society, Philadelphia, PA


"In a time of faint-hearted, secularized Christians it is good to reach back and retrieve the simple virtues, the courage, and the faith of women like Maria Fearing. The Swanns have given us an exciting story about a brave Black woman missionary to the Congo that ought to stoke the dying embers of missionary zeal in every believing heart."


Dr. Gayraud S. Wilmore, Emeritus Professor of Church History, Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta, GA



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