Rev. John E. Johnson Jr. to be installed at Union Baptist Church in Hopewell

Free Press staff report | 8/30/2018, 6 a.m.
Union Baptist Church in Hopewell has a new pastor.

Union Baptist Church in Hopewell has a new pastor.

The Rev. John E. Johnson Jr., who has served as interim pastor since January, will be installed as the church’s 14th pastor 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, at the church, 212 Rev. C.W. Harris St.

A celebration dinner will be held following the service at the Sunlight-Williams Elks Lodge #1558, 1505 High Ave., Hopewell.

A graduate of Maggie L. Walker High School, Rev. Johnson earned his undergraduate degree from Tuskegee University and a master’s of divinity from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University.

He has been preaching since 1975, and held his first pastorate at Samuel Chapel Baptist Church in Elizabeth City, N.C.

He has served as pastor of Mt. Olive Baptist Church on Bells Road in Richmond and was senior pastor for 10 years at Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church in Jackson Ward, where he helped the church win state and federal designation as a historic landmark.

Prior to his call to Union Baptist, he was senior pastor of Purity Baptist Church and Urban Center in Washington.

Rev. Johnson is married to the Rev. Towanda Goode Johnson. They have one son, John E. “Jay” Johnson III.

Union Baptist was founded in 1917. The late Rev. Curtis W. Harris, Hopewell’s first African-American mayor and longtime head of the Virginia Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, was pastor of Union Baptist Church for 46 years before his retirement in December 2007.

Following Rev. Harris, the church was led by the Rev. Joshua N. King Sr. and the Rev. Anthony L. Nutt, who left last November.