Each week, the #SpanningtheNeed podcast will present an “Inspirational Person of the Week’ and have a “Q & A” with one of its many gifted individuals and/or groups who are willing to go out of their own way to help others. This week’s featured is Pastor Todd Johnson from Second Baptist Church.
Name: Todd Johnson
Organization: Second Baptist Church
Bio: Reverend Todd A. Johnson, a native of Warren, was reared in the Christian faith and baptized at Agape Assembly Church where he preached his initial sermon at age 19. He later was appointed a church elder at 25, and eventually succeeded his father, Rev. George H. Johnson, Sr. as Senior Pastor, where he served faithfully for 3 years. In 2008, he graduated from Geneva College with a Bachelor of Arts in Community Ministry. He accepted the call to assume the pastorate of the Second Baptist Church and began his ministry here on Sunday September 6th, 2015. Since accepting the call to serve at Second Baptist, he has spurred a renewed focus on community engagement and evangelism, upgrades to church properties, the use of social media for ministry outreach, and strong support and leadership of various neighborhood initiatives such as the construction of the Highland Pride playground and picnic pavilion in the Highland Terrace Apartments adjacent to the church.
Pastor Todd has led Second Baptist Church into a new season of vibrant worship and socially yet Biblically relevant preaching and teaching designed to minister to the young and the old, the seasoned saint and the new believer. Through his efforts and the energetic support of the church leadership and congregation, Second Baptist has expanded its ministry footprint and community impact, adopting the moniker “A House of Hope”. This is further exemplified through VISION100, a multi-year renovation and expansion campaign designed to position the church for 21st Century ministry and outreach through property acquisitions and worship facility upgrades.
Pastor Todd is widely regarded as an advocate for youth and an outspoken community activist. In 2011, he founded the Warren City-Wide Youth Choir and annual leads the 100 Community Men of Warren in greeting students on the first day of school in what has become an annual event in partnership with United Way. Pastor Todd is often found at the forefront of issues concerning social justice including voting rights, unjust law enforcement practices, and economic opportunities for minorities. Pastor Todd further serves the Warren community as a member of the City of Warren Civil Service Commission, a member of the United Way of Trumbull County Board of Directors, and as director of the FOCUS Building, “a hub of community engagement and economic empowerment”. In 2020, Pastor Todd founded Black Boys Read, a virtual reading club to encourage reading for African American males and most recently conceived of HOPE Basketball, a summer recreation program designed to discourage young men from violence and drug use.
Pastor Todd and Lady Shameika were united in Holy Matrimony on June 18th, 2005 and out of this union were birthed 3 children: London Christine, Elias Aaron, and Ethan Chandler.
What made you want to go into this field?
I have always had a heart to serve, inspire others, and offer hope and advocacy for our community.
What’s the biggest factor that has helped you be successful?
Having great examples and mentors, and a wonderful support system.
What is the biggest professional mistake you made along the way?
Personnel decisions made based on talent/skill more than passion and heart for people.
What is the hardest decision you ever had to make in this field?
Transitioning from my home church where I was raised and first pastored to lead another church in our city, where I now pastor.
If you could start all over again, what would you do differently regarding your profession?
Pursue education in my field and expose myself to training and development opportunities and mentorship at an earlier age.
What inspires you to do good in our community?
My love for God and people and the example of the many men and women who have made an impact for the betterment of both our community and world.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering in our community?
Engaging people of various generations and backgrounds, using my voice, position, and talents to provide opportunities and uplift for others.
What song best describes you or is the soundtrack to your life?
Claustrophobic – PJ Morton
What is your best accomplishment/experience in life?
Building a family with my wife and watching my children flourish.
Who is your role model and Why?
My father, due to his resilience, straightforwardness, and high moral values.
If there was one person that you would like to meet, past or present and why?
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I am intrigued by his strong convictions and drive coupled with the human challenges of both fighting unjust systems and leading people who are not always cooperative to their own liberation.
A favorite quote that you live by?
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” – MLK