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The Rev. Peggy A. Johnson was elected a bishop of The United Methodist Church at the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference in Harrisburg, PA, on July 17, 2008. On the following day, prior to a Service of Consecration, she learned that she was assigned to The Philadelphia Area.
On September 1, 2008, she began her assignment to lead nearly 900 churches in The Philadelphia Area, comprised of the Eastern Pennsylvania and Peninsula-Delaware Annual Conferences. She is one of nine active bishops in the Northeastern Jurisdiction, which includes thirteen annual conferences in the northeastern U.S.
Bishop Johnson, born in 1953, was baptized and grew up in the Methodist Church in Baltimore, Maryland. She pursued a degree in Music Education at Lebanon Valley, a United Methodist-related college in Eastern Pennsylvania, and graduated in 1975. She taught elementary vocal music in Baltimore County Public Schools for two years. During this time she felt a call to ministry, specifically with deaf people and people with disabilities. She left teaching and began
to pursue a Master of Divinity degree at Asbury Theological Seminary. Bishop Johnson met her husband, Rev. Michael C. Johnson at seminary and the Johnsons graduated in 1980.
Upon graduation they were offered appointments in the Baltimore Annual Conference. Bishop Johnson was ordained a Deacon (transitional) in 1979 and an elder in 1981.
In her early ministry, she has served a four-point country charge in Frederick MD, as campus minister for Gallaudet University (a leader in higher education for deaf persons located in Washington, DC), and as co–pastor (with her husband, Mike) of Lansdowne United Methodist Church, in Baltimore, MD.
In 1988 she was appointed to pastor the historic Christ UMC of the Deaf in Baltimore, where she served for 20 years. She earned her Doctor of Ministry degree from Wesley Theological Seminary in 1993 and taught deaf and disability courses at the seminary on a regular basis as adjunct faculty.
Bishop Johnson believes in the inclusion of persons with disabilities, “not just to welcome them, but to be co-ministers in the priesthood of all believers! Often we think we’re going to help people with disabilities - but no - they help us see things with wonderful new perspective and add to the giftedness of the Body of Christ. Without them we’re not fully complete; we need their gifts for being the fully functional Body of Christ.”
Bishop Johnson believes that the most important role as a bishop is to pastorally empower and encourage the church to make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. The role also includes the presiding duties of ordering the life of the annual conference and the denomination and also to be a prophetic voice for justice in the church and the world.
The Johnsons have two adult sons: Peter and Gabriel.
Bishop Peggy A. Johnson
EDUCATION AND HONORS
Lebanon Valley College - B.S. - Music Education – 1975
Asbury Theological Seminary - M. Div. – 1980
Wesley Theological Seminary - D. Min. – 1993
"Circuit Rider of the Year" - UM Publishing – 1990
"Pillar of Faith Award" - Howard Divinity School – 2006
John Wesley Award – Wesley Theological Seminary - 2009
Mt. Pleasant UM Charge - Frederick, MD (rural-cross cultural)
Gallaudet University Campus Chaplain - Washington, DC
Lansdowne UMC - Baltimore, MD (suburban)
Christ UMC of the Deaf - Baltimore, MD (multi-cultural)
Wesley Theological Seminary - Adjunct Faculty
General and Jurisdictional Delegate 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008
Board Member – UM General Board of Higher Education and Ministry - 1996-2000
Consultant – UM General Board of Global Ministry (Health and Welfare) 2001-2004
Baltimore Washington Conference Board of Ordained Ministry - 1995-2008
Volunteers in Mission trips: Jamaica, Kenya, Cuba, Dominican Republic