Bishop Ernest Johnson of Jesus Is The Answer Apostolic Church (Courtesy Photo)

“We’re open to all nationalities, all backgrounds and we’re here to do two things, one, change people’s lives through the gospel of Jesus Christ and the second thing we’re here to do, is help people find their purpose,” said Bishop Ernest Johnson of Jesus Is The Answer Apostolic Church (JITA Church).

“We want to help people not only get saved, but find your purpose.”

At the beginning of his journey, Johnson was pursuing his purpose in Hollywood. Originally from Compton CA, he attended local schools, Mary Anderson and Kelly Elementary Schools, and later St. Philip Neri Catholic School, Willowbook Junior High School and Colin McEwen High School.

Johnson shared he went into the entertainment industry at 14-years-old and was on the sets of popular television shows such as “Good Times,” “The Jeffersons,” “Diff’rent Strokes,” “Facts of Life,” and more as an understudy.

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“I was studying to be an actor at that time,” said Johnson, but then something happened.

“I got caught up in a Bible occult in Watts,” said Johnson, “and they were trying to get me to leave home.”

Bishop Ernest Johnson and First Lady Rebecca Johnson of JITA Church. (Courtesy Photo)

Johnson shared the group had two residences, one for boys and the other for girls, most of whom according to Johnson, were under age with an older child acting as a monitor.

“They had caused these kids to leave their parents because they told them their parents were full of the devil,” said Johnson. “So, when they tried to get me to leave my house, I said, ‘Well I have shag carpets, I have my own room, I have a color TV and I have a VCR—I’m not leaving my house.’”

Johnson shared that his desire to go to church is what freed him from the clutches of that cult and on his way to his true purpose.

“They told us stay out of churches, that was their whole thing, stay away from the church because the devil is in the church,” said Johnson.

He began attending a small mission, a small group of people who met to worship on a porch. Johnson said he heard a voice tell him to join the church during a sermon.

“Two days later, I got baptized in Jesus’ name and three months later, I received the Holy Ghost and I was able to go and rescue a lot of those kids out of that occult,” said Johnson.

From there Johnson became more engrossed in church and began witnessing to celebrities on the sets in Hollywood. Johnson had also helped his church grow from five members to about 60 members in two months. It wasn’t long until he was a part of leadership, still in his teens, in the church. He later began working on a religious access channel with a cable television station in Compton.

“I went and spread the Word and talked to everybody I knew in Hollywood, everybody in my schools and believe it or not, those rich kids were coming from Hollywood to Compton to get baptized, filled with the Holy Ghost and come into church consistently,” said Johnson.

At 19, Johnson’s pastor left the church and now he was leading the church. Johnson recalled his uncertainty and fear.

“I’m like, I haven’t even had a dog yet, I haven’t had sex, I haven’t been to no parties, no clubs—I haven’t even lived,” said Johnson. “I haven’t experienced no life and all of a sudden, I’m a pastor.”

“We want to help people not only get saved, but find your purpose.”— Bishop Ernest Johnson. (Courtesy Photo)

Johnson’s life would become about evangelism as his cable show found success and brought him into the orbit of Trinity Broadcasting Network. He received a lot of experience and knowledge from Paul and Jane Crouch as well as working on and appearing on a number of shows on the network. Throughout this period of time, Johnson would help many come to the Lord including gang members, celebrities and more.

Today, Johnson and his wife Rebecca, lead JITA Church, where his mission statement remains the same.

“The mission statement is to change people’s lives through the gospel of Jesus Christ and also our heart to God and our hand to man,” said Johnson.

JITA Church helps the community through their food bank, which distributes in the community regularly and during the holidays. They also work together with other local organizations to give out medical supplies, backpack giveaways, and manage a youth program.

“We do tutoring, mentorship, we provide clothes,” said Johnson and a high school scholarship program. “Families can come all the time and get food and their kids have youth programs and counseling.”

When asked about the state of the body of Christ today, Johnson shared his observations.

“The body of Christ is in what you call a Laodicean Church Age, where they don’t want to offend nobody,” said Johnson. “Even with the social media, I said something about the book of Leviticus, something about fornication and they immediately locked me out.”

“I was watching an interview with Joel Osteen and “Larry King Live,” Larry said ‘how do you call yourself a preacher and don’t talk about sin?’

“And [Osteen] said ‘Well, I’m not called to do that’—that’s the state of the church. The church is now settled, don’t rock the boat, just tell me I’m going to make it, I can succeed, I can go against all the troubles that’s coming in my life—it’s like total encouragement.

Johnson continued, “That’s like going to the doctor and your toe is swollen and the doctor gives you a water pill, but they don’t go deeper and find out you got diabetes or a blood clot in your leg.

“We’re band-aiding the gospel, we don’t want to offend nobody because now it’s based on economics—we need the money and the people.”

Johnson’s goal is to have a facility for his church and its programs. Together with his wife, or as he calls her, “his right hand and his rib,” Johnson wants JITA Church to be the difference. He wants the community to find the Lord personally.

“God doesn’t just want you to be saved, He wants you to find your purpose,” said Johnson.

For more information about Jesus Is The Answer Apostolic Church, please visit