New pastor has 50 years in ministry
By By Adrienne McKenzie
Atmore Church of God has a new preacher, C. Stacey Johnson, who felt led by the Lord to come to this community to share the Word.
Johnson has been at the Church of God since March 18 as pastor and has thus far enjoyed the individuals in the town and has felt welcomed into the community with open arms.
"I've only been here almost two weeks, but it's been very pleasant," Johnson said. "The people here have been very cordial. The downtown business owners are very friendly."
Johnson is originally from south Florida and he grew up in Lake Placid, Fla. Johnson said that he is a native Floridian. He has been the pastor in churches in Florida, Colorado, Alabama and Montana primarily. All of the churches Johnson has been pastor of have been the Church of God.
"I've been in Montana and Colorado for 40 years as a pastor," Johnson said. "I was in Montana for 32 years. I am not far from my roots, it just took me a while to get back. I have been in the ministry for 50 years."
Johnson was in the Air Force as Air Force Intelligence for four years. He then went to Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn.
"I am an ordained bishop in Church of God, that's the highest you can get in the Church of God," Johnson said. "The international headquarters for the Church of God is in Cleveland, Tenn."
Johnson's wife, Pattie, is a retired registered nurse and the two have eight children together. One of their son's is an ordained bishop with the Church of God in Laurel, Del. Another son is a pastor in Keyser, W. Va., at First Assembly. One of their sons is a retired marine. They have a daughter who is a doctor in Davenport, Wash. They have another daughter who is the CEO of a large orthopedic medical clinic in Idaho. And, another one of their daughters is the regional director for the Montana Department of Transportation in Great Falls, Mont.
The Johnsons did not come to the South with the intentions of C. Stacey Johnson becoming the preacher at a church.
"We felt the Lord leading us some place other than Montana," he said. "We left there in November and were on the road for three months. We bought property in Goodway and then decided to find a church to attend. We came here (to Atmore Church of God) and they were in need of a pastor. We applied for the position and were accepted. We feel really good about it."
Atmore Church of God has a small congregation, but Johnson believes the individuals that do attend the church are devoted.
"The people have been faithful, the church and the property are debt free," Johnson said. "We are a church that cares and want to make an outreach into the community."
Pattie Johnson, originally from Montana, is enjoying the community and the Atmore environment.
"I like it here, it's friendly and I like the trees," she said. "I have a lot of adjustments to make but I'm doing it for the Lord."
C. Stacey Johnson feels the same way as his wife about the Atmore area and is excited about his move to the church.
"I am looking forward to working with the people in the Atmore area," he said. "The church has great potential."
Johnson even has a motto for sharing the Word.
"My motto is 'overcoming the hurts in the past through hope in the future," he said.
For more information about the Atmore Church of God, call 446-8827.