Religion

Pastor calls church Bapticostal, and God’s word is their focus

Dominique Johnson is pastor of Kingdom Life and heads the nonprofit The Urban CEO.
Dominique Johnson is pastor of Kingdom Life and heads the nonprofit The Urban CEO.

Dominique Johnson pastors a church that began a half dozen years ago when people began gathering in his living room to study God’s word, worship, deepen friendships and serve their surrounding community.

Though numbers have grown at Kingdom Life and they meet in a church facility on Shurling Drive in Macon now, Johnson said the intent remains the same.

“We’re inter-denominational,” he said. “If you want to add a flavor to that you could call us Bapticostal: a mix of Baptist and Pentecostal. Really, we’re just about Jesus and his kingdom and not about promoting a denomination, style or even ourselves. Jesus is our lord and savior, he’s the foundation of all we do and his word is the truth we stand on. Beyond that we’re very ecumenical and work and fellowship with different denominations and groups to serve Christ and share his love. God’s word is our focus and we believe in the modern-day working of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the spirit. We believe in loving and working without making a big deal of minor differences.”

Johnson is a native of Macon, particularly east Macon. He’s been in full-time ministry for the past year but a bi-vocational minister for more than a dozen. For 14 years he worked with Mercer University’s Upward Bound program. Johnson has a degree from Paine College in history and political science, an MBA from Wesleyan College and a Masters of Arts degree in Practical Theology from Regent University.

Johnson also heads the nonprofit organization The Urban CEO, which is geared toward providing community and cultural enrichment through the mentoring and economic empowerment of individuals and families.

He and his wife, Chsandra, have two children.

“My family keeps me grounded and real,” Johnson said. “My wife is my greatest prayer warrior. I’m also grateful for the leadership team God put together at Kingdom Life who recognize the purpose of leadership is to serve, not be served.”

Committed congregation

Johnson said Kingdom Life is a young church made of mostly young people.

“We have a high college-age and young adult population,” he said. “There’s a high concentration of millennials and Gen-Xers. Our praise and worship team is all in their 20s. Then there’s a jump to families, mostly with kids in elementary school. And we do have some older adults. We’re predominantly, but not exclusively, African-American but see ourselves as a congregation for all people. The cross of Christ, his love for us and the blood he shed for us, brings us together beyond differences. I believe there’s a new guard of pastors and Christians realizing our values should bring us together rather than divide us.”

Johnson said the Kingdom Life congregation is committed to working for racial reconciliation and harmony and much of their activity springs from relationships built by church members and its many young people.

He said for the most part, the church’s ministries and outreach are built on helping others rather than instituting programs for their own sake. But he said that doesn’t discount being faithful over time to activities God initiates.

“We don’t directly have a food or clothes program but we do things like RaiderFest every year,” he said. “The mascot for all the schools along Shurling are the Raiders and we’ve partnered with them all and other organizations to create a back-to-school festival where we give away school supplies, have vendors come and do all we can to make it a fun day. Plus, the schools have their Title I meetings that day which really helps them. It’s a community thing, like an old block party with entertainment and family things.”

Johnson said among other things, the church also feeds 300 to 400 people a year at Thanksgiving, has Fresh Friday Fellowship nights with learning, prayer and fun activities and has a Kingdom Life annual mental health focus in May.

“I’m proud of the mental health symposium,” he said. “It’s May 19 this year and we bring in licensed professional counselors, including one who’s here at the church. They do classes and give information for all the community. This year’s theme is family mental health.”

“People passionate for God”

Johnson said the church keeps ministry organic and at a grassroots level.

“What’s really going on here is a growing movement of people passionate for God who want to have an impact in the community and across racial and other boundaries,” he said. “Our motto says a lot about us: Truth. Life. Community. Truth is God’s word and that is to be lived out in daily life in community — among ourselves and then those around us. It means we’re open, honest and we’re in this together. Maybe we don’t have a clothes closet ministry per se, but if the person sitting beside you or lives near you is hungry or needs clothes, shouldn’t you know about it? Shouldn’t Christ’s love empower you to help them? We’re the body of Christ and all part of the solution. People shouldn’t have to come to my office saying there’s a kid who needs clothes. They can do something about it. We’re as organic as possible and don’t have a lot of auxiliaries for things we should all be doing out of love anyway.”

“At the end of the day, I’m just a dude from east Macon that God captivated who’s trying to live out the kind of life the Bible talks about. I take to heart what the Apostle Paul said on 1 Corinthians 10 that it’s by the grace of God he was what he was. That’s me. I’ve done some things and even won some awards, but I know it’s like Paul said: God’s grace. That’s it. This time of year we talk about Jesus dying on the cross and being raised from the dead. That means he’s alive now and offers people new life. The Bible calls it a new and living way and an abundant life. We can have that and hopefully we’ll give it away to those around us as well.”

Contact writer Michael W. Pannell at mwpannell@gmail.com.

Kingdom Life

Address: 2138 Shurling Drive, Macon

Phone: 478-254-7774

Leadership: Dominique Johnson, pastor

Worship: Sunday 10:30 a.m., Wednesday prayer 6:30 p.m., Bible study 7 p.m.

Website: www.kingdomlifeinc.net

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