Couple leads Canyon Road Assembly of God Church

Mar 9 2012 - 3:50pm

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(Courtesy Photo) Jeremiah and Rachel Johnson are shown with their two daughters, Gabrielle and Zoe.
(Courtesy Photo) Jeremiah and Rachel Johnson are shown with their two daughters, Gabrielle and Zoe.

OGDEN -- A husband and wife now leading the Canyon Road Assembly of God church are both ordained ministers of their faith.

Jeremiah and Rachel Johnson have been ministering together since 1996.

They arrived in Ogden in October and already they have big plans for a conference that they hope will draw together members of a number of area congregations and faiths to one cause, that of chastity and purity.

"I guess we always hear the other side of the story," Rachel said. "We want to come from the other side and say you can abstain from those things and still have a normal life. ... You are not weird. You are not strange if you decide to be pure and abstain from those things."

The two are hoping to attract area youth leaders and local girls to help orchestrate and participate in their Not for Sale girls' conference set for May 4 and 5.

The conference will be free to girls and mothers who attend and will feature area youth pastors as well as nationally recognized youth speakers.

The couple will be raising money to finance the event.

"We felt like the girls who are going to hear this can't really afford to come if we charge," Rachel said.

The husband and wife, both in their 30s, are graduates of North Central University in Minneapolis.

From 2002 to 2007, Jeremiah was the youth pastor and Rachel the worship pastor at Susanville Assembly of God in Susanville, Calif.

They moved to Sioux Falls, S.D., in 2007, when Jeremiah became the worship and young adults pastor at First Assembly of God.

Rachel has written several books and has become involved in producing specialized Christian conferences, while Jeremiah has written and produced several original musical compact disks.

They have two daughters, Zoe, 9, and Gabrielle, 8.

Jeremiah said he and his wife come at their message from completely different angles.

He said he did not grow up a Christian but became one following "a radical encounter with Jesus."

"I'm from a divorced family, and I made a lot of mistakes as a young person and did things I wish I hadn't done," Jeremiah said. "My wife grew up in the church and really didn't make a lot of mistakes I did."

Jeremiah said he's not the kind of pastor many have come to expect.

"I don't fast and pray for eight hours every day," he said. "I deal with the same stuff you do and other families do."

He said he just wants to speak to people on an everyday level, and where they are in their life's journey.

"I want the things I say to be able to connect with people in their everyday life," he said.

Rachel's self-published books are titled "God's Girl" and "Gabrielle's Journey."

"God's Girl" is a collection of writings on 20 different topics for girls, including abortion, overcoming sexual abuse and purity.

"Gabrielle's Journey" is the story of their daughter's struggle at life, which started when she was born 10 weeks premature.

The book and her story were at the center of piece on The 700 Club, which has aired over the last two Christmases.

Gabrielle was born the day after Christmas.

Jeremiah said he's excited about living in the Top of Utah, partly because of the outdoor adventure the area has to offer.

"Every month I am in a race of some type, biking or running," he said.

His activities have included a triathlon at Weber State University, an obstacle course at Soldier's Hollow and events sponsored by the Salt Lake City Track Club.

"One of my lifelong goals is to be a surfer," he said. "I have Flowrider, which I can go to from time to time."

As a family, the Johnson's like to swim, ride bikes and take mission trips together.

Canyon Road Assembly of God is at 1390 Canyon Road in Ogden. Services are Sundays at 10:30 a.m. For more information about the church, call 801-621-2185 or visit canyonroadag.org.

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