Aaron Nicholson, a Pullman Point Apartments resident for three years, has made a clean start in life and is striving now to help others do the same.
The recovering drug addict and alcoholic has been clean and sober for seven years, and has come up with a uniquely spiritual way to help others struggling with addiction. The Oklahoma-born minister has essentially blended key elements of Alcoholics Anonymous’ ‘Big Book’ with biblical wisdom to create a program he calls Crossing Over. Group meetings will begin April 14 at Pullman Point’s Lunch Room from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. and reconnoiter every Friday at the same time and place.
“A little spirituality, and a little recovery, and you should be okay for the day,” remarks the gregarious former National Guardsman and current minister. “It really worked for me.”
Holding a Masters in Theology from Oakland’s Pneuma Theological Seminary, Nicholson preaches at the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, also in Oakland, under the guidance of Pastor Walter Culp Jr. He gave his first sermon on his birthday, September 8, in 2013, and sometimes marvels at just how profoundly his perspective has turned around.
“I came from a life of not caring about anyone,” Nicholson says. “And now I wake up every morning with joy in my heart.”
When he’s not busy helping others, the family man enjoys spending time with his wife Yolanda-Maria, his five children and 11 grandchildren. He hails from a large family originally as well, growing up the middle child of nine and the only boy in the family—with four older sisters and four younger ones.
Nicholson says his turnaround in life would never have been possible without his father, Willie Johnson, who is also a reverend—and that his grandfather and great-grandfather were ministers as well.
On a final note, Nicholson enthusiastically encourages anyone interested in finding out more about the Crossing Over program to call him at 510-712-1606 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thirteen Questions—Aaron Nicholson
- Favorite book: The Bible
- Movie you’d recommend to a friend: King Kong, Skull Island. It’s really, really good!
- Favorite sport: Boxing and Ultimate Fighting
- Favorite sports team: The Oakland Raiders. I won’t watch any other games.
- Favorite food: Macaroni and Cheese
- Favorite local eatery: IHOP (on San Pablo)
- Hero: Jesus Christ
- Inspiration/role model: Moses. He was the biggest preacher ever.
- Favorite animal: Bearded dragons
- Favorite place in Richmond: The Waterfront
- Best thing about Richmond: Some of the store owners are really friendly
- Pet Peeve: My wife’s cold feet when she doesn’t wear socks; untidiness
- Upcoming plans: My wife and I are going to Reno to renew our vows