The Rev. Dr. Thomas D. Johnson, Sr., a pastor, preacher and teacher of the Gospel for 40 years, will celebrate his seventh pastoral anniversary as the spiritual leader of the historic Canaan Baptist Church of Christ. The congregation will honor him on Sunday, April 28, at the 11 a.m. worship service. During his seven years as senior pastor, Johnson has kept a heavenly perspective in his pastoral service and has demonstrated commitment and spiritual leadership to the Canaan congregation. His leadership has brought a great sense of spiritual renewal and excitement to Canaan and the neighborhood of Harlem. Thousands have been blessed by Johnson’s humbleness and strength as a preacher, prophet and teacher. “The Lord has truly blessed Canaan over the last seven years as the beneficiaries of Dr. Johnson’s pastoral and visionary leadership. We look forward to the future led by Dr. Johnson as God directs him,” said Deacon Michael Russell, chairman of the official board.
In recognition of this milestone, the pastoral anniversary committee is hosting an afternoon of fine dining, fellowship and festivities at Clyde Frazier’s Restaurant, one of New York City’s premiere dining establishments, on Saturday, April 27. The anniversary celebration will continue on Sunday, April 28, at the 11 a.m. worship service. The Rev. Clarence E. McLaughlin, pastor of the Bethel Baptist Church in Danville, Va., will be the guest celebrant. A tribute based on the theme “A Pastor with a Heart to Serve” (2 Chronicles 31:31) will be given alongside the many presentations from church ministries, friends and community leaders.
Johnson is the fourth pastor of Harlem’s historic Canaan Baptist Church of Christ. He is devoted to the daily needs of the congregation, community evangelism, initiatives for seniors, fighting homelessness and youth empowerment. Mrs. Johnson supports her husband’s leadership and ministry and provides guidance to the Women’s Ministry. With his faith, Johnson is leading the Canaan Family to be a greater Christ-centered congregation committed to spiritual and community service and social justice. All are welcome to join the Canaan congregation in worship.
The Canaan Baptist Church of Christ was founded in 1932 and will celebrate its 81st anniversary on May 19. It is located in the heart of Harlem at 132 W.116th St. Sunday worship is at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. Johnson is the senior pastor; civil and social rights activist Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker is pastor emeritus. The church sponsors more than 50 outreach ministries meeting such diverse needs as housing, senior services, health and wellness and HIV/AIDS education awareness. Canaan was the first church Nelson Mandela visited in Harlem. It was the last place where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke in the city before his assassination.