With diverse leadership experience, Rev. Robert G. Johnson has been the pastor of Saint Mark United Methodist Church for 2 years now, beginning his tenure on August 1, 2016.
Prior to his present position, Rev. Johnson was pastor of Aldersgate United Methodist Church, predominantly Anglo congregation in College Station, TX, where, in just 1.5 years, he helped the church experience a turnaround from years of decline in membership and attendance. The turnaround was marked by a burst of growth in the presence of young adults and young families. Several young adults embraced their call into the ministry candidacy process while serving under Pastor Johnson’s leadership. Already a diverse congregation before Pastor Johnson’s arrival, Aldersgate continued to evolved into becoming one of the most racially and economically diverse congregations in the United Methodist Church.
Rev. Johnson received his undergraduate degree in psychology, with a minor in philosophy and religion, at the University of Southern Mississippi, in Hattiesburg, MS. While attending USM, he joined Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Inc., the nation’s oldest Black Greek organization. During his undergraduate studies, Rev. Johnson joined the United Methodist Church, and began the ministry candidacy process at St. Paul UMC in Laurel, MS, where he also served as student intern during his final two years of undergraduate studies.
Rev. Johnson began did graduate work at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, earning his Master of Divinity degree in May, 1994, graduating with high honors (magna cum laude). He was awarded the Flinn Award from Perkins, given each year to the student whom the faculty feels best represents the school’s emphasis on both practical ministry and excellence in scholarship.
Rev. Johnson was ordained a deacon and probationary member of the Texas Conference in June of 1994, and ordained as an elder in the same conference in June of 1996.
In June, 1993, while still a full-time student at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, TX, Rev. Johnson began as the full-time pastor of Disciples UMC in Houston, TX, a small, dying congregation that had been undergoing a racial transition consistent with the changes in the racial demographic of the surrounding community. Under Rev. Johnson’s 3-year leadership, 1 of which was served simultaneous to his serving as the full time Director of the Wesley Foundation at Texas Southern University.
In June of 1997, Rev. Johnson was appointed to serve as the senior associate pastor of Windsor Village UMC, which was, at that time, the largest United Methodist Church in
the world. Serving under the dynamic leadership of Kirbyjon Caldwell, Rev. Johnson had the duties of hiring new staff, managing staff, managing budgets, preaching at least twice a weekend at one of Windsor Village’s 6 worship services, and serving as the executive leader of Windsor Village’s national leadership development conference.
In June of 2007, Rev. Johnson was appointed to serve as the planting pastor of NewWorld UMC, a church which closed in 2014 due to financial challenges, but in its 7 years of existence, led several hundred people to profession of faith, and led several hundred people into mature discipleship.
Rev. Johnson is a highly committed Pastor with 25+ years of pastoral leadership experience in a variety of ministry contexts: rural, urban, suburban, new church plant, transitional, mega-church, small church, cross-cultural, campus ministry, and dual appointments. He is noted for this exceptional commitment and effectiveness in leadership development, team-building, organizational development, vision-casting, evangelism, community service, preaching, teaching, recruiting young leaders, worship planning, prayer ministry development, and equipping the saints for ministry. His personal passions include prayer, worship, community building (from small groups to geographical areas), evangelism, cultivating the arts in the local church, cultivating academic & intellectual inquiry in the local church, practicing radical hospitality towards marginalized and alienated groups.
A respected preacher with the ability to preach and speak in diverse contexts, Rev. Johnson seeks to find new, relevant ways to communicate across racial, educational, cultural, and generational boundaries.
Rev. Johnson served two terms on the Texas Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, was trained in the Discipleship Ministries’ Path1 Coaching curriculum, and served as consulting editor of Abingdon’s New Interpreter’s Bible Dictionary. He has served as a mentor to boys in the Alief School District of Houston, TX, and served for 5 years as an instructor in the Texas Conference’s Local Pastor’s School.
Rev. Johnson resides in Wichita, KS, and is married to Linda Y. Johnson, a financial manager with Shell Oil. They have two daughters, Giselle and Kayla.