Ed Johnson - Bio
Born Edward Lee Johnson, Jr., Bishop – affectionately called - is a native Houstonian. He is the husband of Pastor Marilyn Johnson and the proud father of Chãs Braxton, Christal Joi, Edward III (Tre'), and Kyle Maxwell. Bishop Ed is a kindhearted and thoughtful man, knowing how to place the needs and desires of others before his own - some people say to a fault, but he says he is working out his soul salvation. It is important to him to live out the Faith he has been preaching, teaching, singing, and writing about for over 50 years.
He is the son of Deacon Edward L. and Erma Johnson, Sr., who have been married for nearly 60 years. Bishop comes from a home that was stable, supportive, and most of all – Christian! Bishop often refers to his parents as not being filled with the gifts of the Spirit but overly abundant in the fruit of the Spirit. “They were not perfect people, but our home was full of love and peace”, he says. His parents worked hard to give them the life they often said they did not have growing up, as their parents had to deal with the racism and classism of their time. On Christmas, his parents purchased a small record player combo that included a projector monitor for displaying nursery rhymes that came with the unit. Well, Bishop played with it for a while but began to play his parent's extensive record collection, including jazz, R & B, and gospel music from the '60s. Somehow, Bishop gravitated to the gospel music and would not let go! It was during the talent show for his kindergarten school that his mother discovered his singing talent. Bishop took the 45 record of Oh Happy Day from his parent's collection of music to sing along to that night and did so as if he was the original artist. It was raw talent and no inhibition! He had not taken a single singing or music class but handled himself as if he had been doing this all his life. Bishop recounts riding home from the talent show, his mom asking, "who taught you how to do that?" To which he replied, "nobody."
Bishop is a product of the former North Forest Independent School District and Texas Southern University. Much of the foundational aspects of his musical training were greatly influenced by his exceptional music teachers from these institutions. He sang for many school functions throughout the years, always being asked to lead a song. During his elementary years, Bishop is simultaneously participating in the Youth Department at his local church and expanding his musical capabilities. We all know there is no experience like the Church experience! During his elementary years, people noticed this little boy singing like an adult, and they began inviting him to sing by himself on different programs and musicals. Bishop's father would take him all over the city to sing praises to God. One night at one of Bishop’s engagements, a record executive approached his mother, telling her, "This is my card; call me because that boy needs to be on wax!" As God would have it, his mom misplaced the card, so recording would have to wait.
Unlike most children of his age, Bishop didn't just love to sing; he loved the Word of God, too. He often tells his congregation that he is a product of the bible education and training classes they offered growing up. Bishop loved Sunday School. When there were no children for his class, he would sit with the adult men, participating and asking questions. He loved Church and would volunteer to do short talks, emcee programs, and lead in the Youth Department. From the time Bishop began to participate in Church, there were always vibrant Youth Departments staffed with men and women who volunteered their time to train, nurture, and develop the next generation of Christian leaders.
Around the age of 11 or 12, Bishop's voice began to change. His engagements dried up, but his love for the Lord was not impacted at all. As God would have it, his parents purchased a piano for the home during this time, not knowing that it was all in the Master's plan! Children typically begin piano lessons around 6 or 7, but Bishop was around 12 years old. Just as God gave him a natural gift to sing, He also gave him a natural gift to play the piano. A few weeks after the piano was delivered, Bishop started making music. Bishop's dad called his sister, who would play for him at his singing engagements, to tell her what was happening. She came over to hear and told Bishop's dad to get him in lessons quick! He took lessons for a few years; until his music teacher told his parents, "Stop wasting your money; there is nothing else I can teach him."
Bishop's music takes a significant turn when he forms his first group at the age of 16 and begins writing and composing songs. The name of his first group was Rapture and consisted of several classmates. They sang together for almost a year. One of the young lady's in the group also sang with another group. The mother of that young lady suggested that the groups combine since they were doing the same thing. The groups were combined, invitations to join were made to other singers, and Praise Community Choir was born. Bishop was 17 years old, leading a group of people whose ages ranged from 14 to 30. At their height, the choir numbered almost 70 people. Praise Community Choir won Most Promising Community Choir their first year and recorded their first of 4 albums their second year. They traveled the state and Louisiana extensively, opened up for major gospel artists, and did an east coast and west coast tour. As many of the young people that made up the community choir began graduating high school, going off to college, starting careers, and their own families, participation began to wane. It was time for a change. In 1991, Bishop formed the group Ed Johnson & Praise.
The '90s were an amazing time for the music ministry of Bishop Johnson. Transitioning back to a group was not difficult for him at all. In 1991, Ed Johnson & Praise recorded a double album over a two-night period. While each song on the project resonates with many people, Where Are The Christians became the anthem for that season. In 1992, for the Texas Gospel Music Awards, Ed Johnson & Praise were nominated for three awards, winning two, Group of the Year and Song of the Year (losing Album of The Year to D/FW Mass Choir). Bishop has received numerous awards and recognitions throughout the years: Legend's Award (from Kim Burrell), Living Legend's Award (from the Houston Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America), They Gave Us Gospel Recognition and many others. Bishop Ed refers to his writing style as prophetic inspiration. He says, "Songs are somehow downloaded into my spirit more often than not, and I simply start singing them. I keep my phone close to me during certain seasons in my life because I know a song is coming. I get the words and melody, and then I take it from there. I have worked with others collaborating, but most of what I do is individual."
During his Ed Johnson & Praise years, Bishop received his call to the ministry. He preached his first message to a packed church in 1992 and had his first pastoral appointment in April of 1993. It was during this time Bishop Johnson began spending more and more time with the Lord, praying and studying the Bible for hours, that the gifts of the Spirit began to manifest in his ministry. The Holy Spirit has given Bishop Johnson words of wisdom, knowledge, and prophecy; he has edified The Church on numerous occasions. Currently, Bishop Ed co-pastors with his beautiful, talented, and anointed wife, Marilyn Maxwell-Johnson. For over 20 years, they have been tending to the sheep of God. They are both powerful preachers and teachers of the Word of God and have a wisdom that only God can give. Christ Worship Center is a multicultural ministry on the north side of Houston, Texas, emphasizing personal service, life devotion, sacrifice, and holiness to the Lord. Bishop says, "Our church is not for everybody, but churches like ours is what everybody needs! There is too much placating of the flesh and infantile nature of the saints. The outer war that we are in with the evil forces of this world should not become our perpetual internal struggle. We need Christian leaders that will tell us the truth and not scratch our itching ears." Walking with God since the age of 9, Bishop Ed's fervor for God and the things of God has only grown through the years. He has spent hours in the presence of God, praying, in the Word of God, and fellowshipping with the Spirit to prove the anointing on his life; it is evident once you hear him literally break the bread of life.
ED JOHNSON INTERNATIONAL MINISTRIES
Bishop Ed is the founder and president of Ed Johnson International Ministries (EJIM). The motto for the organization is "Preparing You For The World To Come." Bishop works with and for other churches and groups through this organization as well as holding workshops and conferences himself. First is the Church Ministry Leader's Workshop. This one to two-day event focuses on the development and strategic deployment of ministry leaders of the local church. The purpose of this workshop is to help those pastors who lack the time or skill to organize each and every ministry of their church. From his years of pastoring, Bishop has seen passionate ministry leaders who want to serve but lack the ability to perform that service successfully. The workshop is based upon a Ministry Leader's Training Guide, written by Bishop Johnson, which handles mission statement creations, department organization, conduct & behavior, working with the pastor, among other things. The workshop's goal is to impact the ministry leaders immediately, making them productive and an asset to the ministry without burdening leadership.
Another ministry is EJIM is the Church Music Symposium. Because of the many years' Bishop spent in both the choir and Bible training, he has a unique respect and understanding for the ministry of church music. Over 20 years, he was a Minister of Music; couple all of that with his years of pastoring, and you get a vessel that knows the power of music in a worship service. The purpose of the Church Music Symposium is to educate not only Ministers of Music but also the singers and musicians on the importance of keeping the sanctuary clean for an authentic move of God. "Sanctuary worship is for God," says the Bishop, "This time is for exalting Him, not us." The Symposium also covers secular music and its negative influence on the church worship experience and the need to keep it in its place.
Dear to the bishop's heart is the Woman, You Have Dominion Too Conference: here, the women who attend are taught the Word of God from an empowering perspective and not a subjective narrative that fits into the ego of men or church traditionalists. From their first mention in the book of Genesis, God gave women the same right to rule over His creation as well as the powers of darkness that seek to devour their lives, too! Bishop teaches, "God said to them, not him! Women need to know when they are born again, as when men are born again, it comes with the same permissions God gives His sons!"
There are more ministries and projects of EJIM. For more information, visit our website at www.edjohnsonministries.com.
BOOK: RIGHTEOUS AND RICH
Bishop has recently published his first book entitled "Righteous & Rich," where he explores the spiritual and natural inheritance of God's provision for His Children. He dares to ask why we believe what we believe and how exactly does that belief fit into the promises of God. Bishop asks, "Are we living the life preachers and teachers have instructed us into, or are we living the life that God ordained for us? Because there is a difference!" Having the people of God understand the entire redemption story is paramount to Bishop. He suggests that we only hear what people want us to hear so they can continue to exploit our gifts, talents, and even our passion for God. Empowering believers and equipping them as the scripture says is vital to him. "You reading about rich and wealthy people who passed on into the great cloud of witnesses will free you from the opinions of people," Bishop says, "If they could maintain their love and devotion to God while being rich, you can too!"
People all over the country have been sharing their eye-opening experiences after reading the book. A friend of Bishop that read the book sent this message to him, "Ed!!!! OMG!!!! Righteous and Rich! So Biblical, so Informative, so Enlightening!" Saints that have walked with God for many years are learning what the Bible really says about Christians having the power to overcome generational poverty and creating generational wealth (that's leaving an inheritance to your children's children). Bishop said, "I have seen and heard many people, who are themselves well off, discouraging people from talking to God about their economic plight. I am encouraging them to ask the Father to give them ideas for business, give them an entrepreneurial spirit, and bless what is in their hands so they can, in turn, do as our father Abraham - be a blessing!"
THE GOSPEL GRID
While Bishop Johnson has experienced many wonderful things in ministry and business, there have also been many tears and many days of frustration dealing with people and the process. A few years ago, he had an epiphany: why not create a type of ecosystem for the Gospel community that can bypass those entities that work to prevent you from building and reaching an audience; create something that can actually feed into itself and support itself. The Gospel Grid (TGG) was born.
When you are a new "anything" in the Christian community, networking is essential. You cannot network if no one knows you exist. The Gospel Grid gives anyone the opportunity to be found and as well as to find. There will be ten units that make up The Gospel Grid, but the cornerstone is The Gospel Grid Directory. This online directory is phenomenal! It has a search feature that allows visitors to search the directory by name or category. From a query, a list of results will appear. The visitor then has the option to visit any of those listings for more information on the artists, ministry, church, or Christian business. Remember, the purpose of The Gospel Grid is to connect people and then get out of the way. Listers have so many options to communicate their mission, business, or music to the public. You can list your bio, address, telephone number, email, links to your social media pages, website, online media channels, links iTunes, Amazon, and more. There are currently over 19,000 listings on The Gospel Gird Directory. If you would like to get listed, go to www.TheGospelGridDirectory.com. It is free.
The next phase for The Gospel Grid is The Music Congregation. As the music industry is trending towards more streaming, it hurts so many new and young gospel artists who have not built a following of faithful supporters to purchase their music. We are gearing up for a membership campaign. We will be looking for 100,000 people who will commit to purchasing at least one song from a different stable of artists every month. Bishop often reflects on the many opportunities he could not take advantage of because of the lack of finances at the time or lack of exposure. He wants to give this generation of pastors, ministries, artists, and Christian businesses what he did not have so they can go further than he was able to do and do more than he was allowed.
There are too many things that Bishop Ed is involved in to list here. And so many other things this visionary wants to accomplish. He believes, with the help of the Holy Spirit, they too will come to pass.
The love that Bishop Ed has for God is evident in the manner he handles God's people. He is constantly seeking ways to establish the people of God in the service of God. He is an ordained apostle, bishop, and pastor. He is an entrepreneur, published author, husband, father, friend, musician, visionary, and a man who loves and fears God. His life's mission is to prepare the saints for the world to come!
ED JOHNSON MINISTRIES
Preparing You For The World To Come