Meet Our New GFC Team Member, Eddie Johnson
GFC has recently hired Eddie Johnson as the Groups & Equipping Pastor. We’ve asked him to introduce himself so that we can get to know him a little better!
Coming on staff at GFC as Groups and Equipping Pastor excites me. I strongly believe in the mission, vision, values, and beliefs of Grace Fellowship Church. God has used GFC in my life in my Ultimate Journey to be changed by Christ and used by Christ. Even when we were attending GFC in Kingsport, I regularly listened to podcasts of the messages from GFC in Johnson City. Those messages encouraged and challenged me to grow and serve. I retired from Eastman Chemical Company on October 1 of this year after 36 years to come on staff at GFC. To give you some context on my retirement and my coming on staff, let me briefly share my story with you.
I was born in Memphis, grew up in Mississippi, and attended Mississippi State University (Go Bulldogs!). I graduated from MSU in 1981 with an Industrial Engineering degree and moved to Kingsport that year to begin work at Eastman Chemical Company. My wife Celia and I met in 1981 at the church in Kingsport we were both attending at that time. Our relationship with God and with each other grew as we worked with youth at that church. We were married in April of 1984. We have two children- Richard, 28, who lives in Los Angeles and Rachel, 25, who lives in Kingsport. My interests outside of family and church include: following Mississippi State athletics, following college football, playing golf, playing guitar, grilling out, and playing with our Corgi dogs.
I grew up very involved in the church. When I moved to Kingsport, I immediately got active at church by volunteering in the youth program. In the summer of 1982, after attending a revival meeting a few days earlier, the Lord convicted me that I was attempting to earn my way to heaven by being good enough and trusting in my works and my righteousness to be made right with him. The next day, after discussion with a trusted Christian friend, I put my faith and trust totally in Christ alone for my salvation, not in my “works” or in my “righteousness”. I have never doubted my salvation or my eternal destination since that time.
In 2000, our family begin attending GFC. Initially we kept saying we would not continue to drive 35 minutes from Kingsport to Johnson City to attend a church, but we did. Our family was blessed and challenged by the Biblical teaching, the worship time, our community group, the youth ministry, and the children’s ministry. In 2003, Celia and I were part of the group that worked with GFC in Johnson City and Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock to plant Grace Fellowship Church in Kingsport. Working with the leadership of those churches was a great blessing and learning experience.
In 2009, I rotated off the Elder Board at GFC in Kingsport. At that time, I decided to reinvest that time by taking seminary courses through Dallas Theological Seminary to prepare me for a possible “late in my working life” job change to a church staff or ministry. I completed my studies at DTS in 2014 with a Certificate of Biblical and Theological Studies.
In 2016, through a variety of circumstances, Celia and I began splitting time between Grace Fellowship in Kingsport and Grace Fellowship in Johnson City. I reconnected with the leadership of GFC that led ultimately to my hiring as Groups and Equipping Pastor.
One of my passions over the years has been to help people grow. I have been a part of or led many equipping groups and community groups over the years. Creating opportunities that allow people to engage with God’s Word and engage with and care for each other are absolutely essential for people to be changed by Christ and be used by Christ. I look forward to working with groups and leaders to help create those group environments that encourage and support people in their Ultimate Journey!
– Eddie Johnson