Bishop Peggy Johnson, Bishop of the Eastern Pennsylvania and Peninsula Delaware Conferences of the United Methodist Church, will be visiting Effort United Methodist Church on Merwinsburg Road, Effort, in the West End on Sunday, May 29th at a special 10:30 am service, with a luncheon to follow. Bishop Johnson will be bringing the Message on 1 Thessalonians
5:11-13 entitled "Be Encouraged." She will also be Consecrating the newly refurbished Prayer Garden.
The Rev. Peggy A. Johnson was elected a bishop of The United Methodist Church at the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference in Harrisburg, PA, on July 17, 2008.
On September 1, 2008, Bishop Johnson began her assignment to lead 900 churches in The Philadelphia Area, comprised of the Eastern Pennsylvania and Peninsula-Delaware Annual Conferences. She will be one of nine active bishops in the Northeastern Jurisdiction, which includes thirteen annual conferences in the northeastern United States.
Bishop Johnson, born in 1953, was baptized and grew up in the Methodist Church in Baltimore, Maryland. She pursued a degree in Music Education at Lebanon Valley, a United Methodist-related college in Eastern Pennsylvania, and graduated in 1975. She taught elementary vocal music in Baltimore County Public Schools for two years. During this time she felt a call to ministry, specifically with deaf people and people in disabilities. She left teaching and began to pursue a Master of Divinity degree at Asbury Theological Seminary. Bishop Johnson met her husband, Rev. Michael C. Johnson at seminary and the Johnsons graduated in 1980.
Upon graduation they were offered appointments in the Baltimore Annual Conference. Bishop Johnson was ordained a Deacon (transitional) in 1979 and an elder in 1981.
In her early ministry, she has served a four-point country charge in Frederick MD, as campus minister for Gallaudet University (a leader in higher education for deaf persons located in Washington, DC), and as co-pastor (with her husband, Mike) of Lansdowne United Methodist Church, in Baltimore, MD.
In 1988 she was appointed to pastor the historic Christ UMC of the Deaf in Baltimore, where she served for 20 years. She earned her Doctor of Ministry degree from Wesley Theological Seminary in 1993 and taught deaf and disability courses as the seminary on a regular basis as adjunct faculty.
Bishop Johnson believes in the inclusion of persons with disabilities, "not just to welcome them, but to be co-ministers in the priesthood of all believers! Often we think we're going to help people with disabilities - but no - they help us see things with wonderful new perspective and add to the giftedness of the Body of Christ. Without them we're not fully complete; we need their gifts for being the fully functional Body of Christ."
Bishop Johnson believes that the most important role as a bishop is to pastorally empower and encourage the church to make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. The role also includes the presidential duties of ordering the life of the annual conference and the denomination and also to be a prophetic voice for justice in the church and the world.
The Johnsons have two adult sons: Peter and Gabriel.