Prayer and focus guide the ministry of the Rev. Tracey C. Johnson as he leads Murph Chapel-St. Paul AME Church in Valinda.
Appointed in November 2015 by Bishop T. Larry Kirkland, Johnson prays daily to meet the needs of his congregation along with sharing the Gospel with as many people as possible.
“I want to be where God is and that is what I say to Him every morning as I look for direction,” he said. “In order for that to happen, I have to stay focused.”
Johnson has maintained this commitment throughout his 28 years in the ministry. Accepting the call to preach in 1987, he served as pastor of Corona Community AME and as interim pastor of Grace of Temecula Valley AME before receiving his current assignment. In each position, Johnson followed the leading of the Lord and the guidance of several mentors to help him succeed.
Family played an important role, said Johnson, who credits the influence of his mother, grandmother, brother and uncle in shaping his life. A number of ministers provided spiritual assistance including the Reverends H.B. Charles, Sr., Gayle Davis-Culp, Larry E. Campbell, John E. Cager, Clyde Oden, Jr., and the late Howard Gloyd.
Their teachings are assisting Johnson as he shepherds Murph Chapel-St. Paul. The nearly 100-member fellowship offers a range of ministries for every age group such as the Young People’s Division, Men’s Ministry, Prayer Warriors Ministry and West Haven Health Care Center.
“Our main mission and focus is relationship-building through God’s word and by example. We are challenged by God’s word to go out and minister to His people,” explained Johnson about his multicultural congregation of Africans-Americans, Hispanics, Chinese, Filipinos and Japanese members.
“God has given a vision of a three-year plan to build a kitchen, dining area, and bathrooms to begin a feeding ministry. A huge part of the plan is building a Senior-Living Complex on the property.”
In addition, the church is increasing outreach to youth and young adults to “let them take charge of social media in a productive and spiritual way,” said Johnson. New activities in the works include kayaking, designing backpacks, and creating commercials for live streaming.
Johnson insists, “We are on the move and we are ready to receive all that God has for us. Our church theme is ‘Standing on the Promises of God’ based on Genesis 22:1-19, and we are doing just that.”
To learn more about Murph Chapel-St. Paul AME Church, call (626) 917-3686 or visit MurphChapel-St.Paul.com.