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Pastor starts new ministry

caines | 1/24/2013, 4:30 a.m.

Johnson on steadfast mission to serve God

Rev. Lorenzo Johnson, Sr., 60, may be new to the pulpit, and has just started wearing the pastor title that both his father and son have carried for decades, but he has been ministering all of his life. Before becoming a pastor, Johnson spent 30 years ministering to youth as a head coach, a juvenile program director and a facilitator of other youth programs. Ministering isnt just inside the church, the Bible says you have to go to the highways and the byways, he said. It was imperative for Johnson to not only focus on the little leaguers and cheerleaders athletic growth, but their spiritual growth as well, as a head coach and director of a little league program. He and other program workers taught many youth the importance of prayer, going to church and about the love of Jesus Christ. We always put God first, he said. I let them know that even though we are playing a football game, we have to pray first. Or else we werent successful whether we win, lose or draw. One of Johnsons most memorable times as a coach, was taking a young man who had been kicked out of his parents home to church. Thank you for taking me to the Lord, the young man said to him. If it wasnt for you ministering to me, I dont know where I would be. Today, the young man is a minister, according to Johnson. I made sure that I added to them the things that my parents added to me, Johnson said. He grew up as a preachers kid of Frances Johnson, 80, and the late Rev. Dr. L. B. Johnson who served as pastor of New Hope Baptist Church.

Growing In Christ

But over the past, 4-5 years Johnson has taken his ministering to another level. A year ago, he started Faith Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church. Johnson admitted to once being distracted by obtaining material things, worldly success and not immediately listening to Gods calling. I wasnt a drug addict, but I was a world addict, he said. I wanted the world. Sometimes we get caught up in those things and lose sight of what God has for us. Johnson remembers having real estate properties and succeeding in the business world, but feeling unhappy. Now Johnson, similar to the prodigal son, is very excited about serving God and his new ministry. A lot of times we ignore the calling of God, and Ive been ignoring the call for a long time, Johnson said. But now Im on a mission to serve God for the rest of the time I have on Earth. Presently, he leads about 45 church members. The churchs worship service is currently held in a conference room at the Miami Gardens Office Center and the church is in negotiation about buying a church building. Johnson wants to share his testimony with others so they could know that God can save them like He saved him. People think that they have to be squeaky clean coming to God, but we as Christians have to allow our lights to shine so that people can say, if God got him, he got me. By Malika A. Wrightmwright@miamitimesonline.com