Meet our Pastors - Lorance Johnson

Meet our Pastors - Lorance Johnson

Then God did something very unusual. I was compelled to travel away from home to another city. While there, I was confronted by a lady I never met, who greeted me with the words, “The Lord is calling you for the ministry and you are not listening.” I was in shock and disbelief. [...] I surrendered to God’s will.

CorkLorance Johnson

I was born to my mother and father on Sabbath 21st September 1963, in Walthamstow, the East end of London in the United Kingdom.  My parents are from Jamaica in the West Indies. They emigrated and settled in England around the 1960’s. I am the third child among four children – two brothers and one sister. We grew up in North London and spent all our childhood and young adult life in London.

I am a third generation Seventh-day Adventist on my mother’s side – second generation on my father’s side.  We all faithfully attended the Edmonton Seventh-day Adventist Church and really enjoyed the fellowship and cultural diversity there. There were many young people of our age group that we connected with. Social life invariably revolved around my young companions at church. We went out on excursions together, they would come to my house and I would go to theirs. We really were an intimate group of youth. 

At the age of 17, I was baptised and received into the fellowship of the church. I was so happy. I belonged to a wonderfully supportive church family and an amazing group of young people. None of us had it all together, but we had a sincere desire to know Jesus. In our quest to grow closer to the Lord, we organised weekly Friday evening meetings at church and on occasion met in the park or somewhere out in nature for sunrise devotions on Sunday. These times were so special. We would, among other things, spend time in the Bible. I loved studying the Bible and was soon giving Bible studies to those that were new to the church. One year, the youth department planned a campaign and I preached my first evangelistic sermon along with my other young friends. It was a joy one year to see a family I studied with, accept the Lord and be baptised.

Around the early 1980’s, I met a wonderful woman by the name of Joan who several years later was to become my wife. It was around this time I sensed the call to ministry. It took three years for me to surrender to this call. I struggled because ministry involved being up front, leading, preaching, visiting – having to talk. I was not that person. I was an introvert, a young person of very few words – this was not for me. I believed God was making a mistake. 

I fought off and reasoned away comments from my own church family who would say that I should prepare for ministry. In my devotional time, when I would open my Bible, it would fall open to scripture passages that pricked my conscience, but I would often ignore it. 

Then God did something very unusual. I was compelled to travel away from home to another city. While there, I was confronted by a lady I never met, who greeted me with the words, “The Lord is calling you for the ministry and you are not listening.” I was in shock and disbelief. Even then I wanted to resist but was struck with the realisation that for three years I was running away from God’s call - but this encounter was so direct and unmistakeable, I could not deny it. I surrendered to God’s will.

In 1987, I left England, headed for West Indies College in Jamaica (now Northern Caribbean University) to embark upon a four-year ministerial degree programme. Joan and I got married in 1989 and then returned to West Indies College together in order to complete my studies. Through the years of our married lives, the Lord blessed us with three wonderful children. In August 1991, I graduated from West Indies College and we made preparation to return to England to begin the Post Graduate degree at Newbold College.

In June of 1993, I graduated from Newbold and we were offered to begin internship in the North England Conference. I was ordained to the gospel ministry four years later. God blessed us to serve the church for 27 years. Included in those years were opportunities for us to serve in the mission field in Africa, to pastor in Scotland, to serve in the North England Conference and currently to minister here in Ireland.

We are very fulfilled in ministry. God called - and so long as He desires to use us, by His grace and enabling, we are willing.  

What is important to me is to know Jesus personally. To have an intimate relationship with him. I spend my morning hours opening up to God about my life and ministry and then studying the life of Jesus and His interaction with people and then interceding for others. The Desire of Ages is a powerful devotional book for me along with Steps to Christ.

I really appreciate the life of Daniel in the Bible.  A faithful man of God under all circumstances. I am currently reading the Desire of Ages, by Ellen White and the book Adventism’s Greatest Need, by Dr. Ron Clouzet. My favourite song is 520 in the Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal – “A Wonderful Saviour is Jesus my Lord.” My favourite author is God’s servant, Ellen White. My favourite bible verse is found in Philippians 1:6: - “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (KJV)