With his welcoming smile, cheerful countenance and Holy Spirit-led leadership, it was not a surprise that the congregation of Christ The King Lutheran Church (CTK) in Fallbrook voted unanimously to call Mark Johnson as senior pastor.
This servant of God remarked, “I feel very blessed to be here and feel a tremendous amount of support from the congregation.” (Johnson has served as associate pastor for the past 15 years.)
Johnson is of full Norwegian descent, but was born in Minnesota. His parents, Bob and Joann, were, and still are, devoted believers in Christ. Although he was raised in the Lutheran Church and attended Christian schools, it was his father who talked and prayed with him at age 8 when he committed his life to Jesus.
His parents were the most influential people in Johnson’s Christian life.
“They walked with me through times of struggle – they were my anchor,” he noted, “and my grandmother [paternal] was a fantastic praying woman.”
Although Johnson committed his life to Christ at an early age, the Lord really “began to get a hold” of him when he was 19.
“I was wrestling with anxiety and He gave me Psalm 34:4: ‘I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all of my fears.’”
In his youth Johnson had memorized many Bible verses, but at this pivotal point those memorized scriptures “went from head knowledge to heart knowledge.”
It was at this juncture that Johnson chose to study at Lutheran Bible Institute (LBI) in Anaheim; and it was there that he “sensed the calling to ministry.” He also met his wife Paula while a student at LBI. Johnson then attended Irvine’s Concordia University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in religion. Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. was this future pastor’s next step; and he graduated with a Master of Divinity degree. Johnson and his wife, Paula, moved to Sierra Vista, Ariz. where he served a one-year internship, then, in 1996, the couple moved to Fallbrook where he assumed responsibilities as associate pastor at CTK.
A Christian’s hope is to become more Christ-like each day and Johnson not only desires this, but he does what he can to help others achieve that same goal.
“All I am called to do is point people to Jesus.”
The new senior pastor is excited about where the church is heading and commented, “Our mission is ‘To be and make disciples.’ Everything we do flows from that vision – first to draw people to Christ, then to help others get to know Jesus so that they can be a blessing to someone else.”
To those who are experiencing dark times in their lives Johnson says, “God is always speaking even though you might feel a cloud. God will bring you through it. The evil one tells you that your situation is too dark, but God is stronger than whatever we face. His light will break through.”
With his Holy Spirit-led leadership, Pastor Mark Johnson will take this congregation well into the 21st century.
“Everyone is welcome at Christ the King Lutheran – we want to walk with you through whatever you are facing.”
Johnson’s wife of 17 years, Paula, has been on staff at the church for 12 years, but has volunteered in many capacities since they first arrived at CTK. The couple has two daughters, Katie and Bekah, who are also involved at CTK.
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