By Beverly Richards
Special to the AFRO
When the Rev. Dr. Jermaine Johnson established Word of Life Christian Community Church in 2011, he knew God was going to use him and his congregation to do wonderous things for Christ in the community. But for the past five years, in addition to fulfilling the mantle on his life and his congregation, Pastor Johnson has been on an earthly search for a place to call home. “We are in our eighth year and this is the first building that we purchased,” said Pastor Johnson.
The manifestation of the new edifice was due to unceasing and unwavering prayer. But after finding the building and purchasing it on Jan. 8, 2020, COVID hit in March. Instead of being bedeviled by the pandemic, Pastor Johnson spent that year building out the specifications of the church and making plans to partner with their new neighbors.
Word of Life now has new terrain, “a Mecca,” he said, to “go and make disciples.” “There are Christians and Jews. We have diversity of race and class, and an opportunity to really transform lives.” While there are Christians living in their new catchment area, there were no churches. “There were synagogues, but no church.” However, now, Word of Life is literally the only church within a two-mile radius of any synagogue, Pastor Johnson said. “So, we have a great opportunity to evangelize and bring the gospel to this community.”
Pastors Jermaine and Michele Johnson and the 150 congregants plan to be an anchor for their new village. The plans include being a constant and consistent partner by going from door-to door, handing out water on hot days, coffee, and hot chocolate on days with a chill. Both Pastors and members will attend community events, as well as sponsor some. “We want to be able to connect and to engage in what’s happening here, as well as introduce new endeavors and opportunities,” Pastor Johnson said.
“I connected with the Park Heights Renaissance and Shy Community Association, to connect with them with what they already have going on in this region. And I have attended Glen Avenue community meetings, which are held in the Jewish Community Center in Park Heights, to see how we help meet the needs of the community.”
Dr. Johnson continued with how Word of Life will bring value to the Park Heights area through the various ministries. But they are particularly intentional when it comes to being creative with the gifts God has bestowed on them. “When He called us to start the church, First Lady and Co-Pastor Michelle challenged us to be imaginative,” he recalled. In addition to the women’s, men’s, and children’s ministries, Word of Life has music and fine arts ministries.
“We are a Bible-believing church, and we want to preach the Word. Come and visit us. Come. Experience it for yourself,” Pastor Johnson offered as an invitation.
In-person and virtual services are held 10 a.m., every Sunday at Word of Life Christian Community Church, 3300 Glen Avenue, Baltimore, Md. 21215.
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