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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

New church to open its doors on Sunday

Friday, October 5, 2012

The former Faith Christian Center will be the site of the new Mt. Sinai Church of God in Christ. James Johnson of Fort Scott will lead the congregation. The first service is set for 10 a.m. Sunday and an organizational meeting will be at 10 a.m. Saturday.
(Ruth Campbell/Tribune)
James Johnson will bring his ministry home to Fort Scott starting Sunday.

Mt. Sinai Church of God in Christ will conduct its first service at the former Faith Christian Center building, 1850 E. Wall St. For the past four years, Johnson has been pastor of Church of God in Christ in Ottawa, but for what he's paying in gas, he said he could make payments on the building.

He plans to transfer the Ottawa church congregation to another clergy member after Jan. 1.

He found out the former Faith Christian structure was for sale through a woman who attended church at Faith Christian. He has no idea how many people might hear his inaugural message at 10 a.m. Sunday.

"We're just starting out," Johnson said. "We have an organizational meeting on Satudray. I have about 150 well wishers," but how many of those attend is an unknown.

Originally from Wilmington, N.C., Johnson has lived in Fort Scott since 1975 when he went to work for Midwestern Distribution, a trucking firm.

Saved at age 46, the 67-year-old has been a minister since 1998, serving at Mt. Olive Church of God in Christ with Pastor John Owens and other prominent local clergy members in the past.

"They had given me a lot of training and knowledge. I wanted to carry that on," he said.

Johnson, 67, and his wife, Catherine, have a 17-year-old daughter, Eleanor, a son, Terrence, 30, of Salina, a grandchild and a granddaughter, who is deceased.

Living and working here, Johnson, he and his family can now be an integral part of the community, something he didn't feel he could be in Ottawa because of its distance from Fort Scott. And he's excited about bringing his first message. "Of every job I've ever had I think it's been the most rewarding," Johnson said of the ministry.

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