The Reverend Dr. Earl C. Johnson, a native of South Boston, Virginia, is a pastor and social activist. He has more than twenty-three years of ministerial experience, and has served fifteen of those years in pastoral ministry.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a concentration in religion from Virginia Union University; a Master of Divinity Degree from The Samuel Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Va.; and an earned Doctor of Ministry Degree in Urban Ministry from New Brunswick Theological Seminary, the nation’s oldest seminary located at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He was also the recipient of the seminary’s first Hugh Koops Scholarship, which highlights high student achievers in seminary education.
As a theologian and servant leader with God at the center of his life, Dr. Johnson strives to preach a social message that challenges individuals to go into the world and make a difference in the lives of others. Prior to beginning his pastorate at Martin Street Baptist Church, he pastored historic Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church in Newark, NJ. There, he served on various boards, including specialized programs with Newark’s Mayor Cory Booker and former New Jersey Governor John Corzine. Dr. Johnson is also the former pastor of Main Street Baptist Church in Clifton Forge, Va.
Since joining Martin Street Baptist Church, Dr. Johnson has been involved in numerous programs and organizations that promote the well being of Raleigh’s citizens and community. He has been instrumental in the push to preserve Wake County as a diverse school system by working with grassroots organizations and faith-based groups. He also orchestrated through the church’s Community Development Corporation to establish a transitional home for female ex-offenders in partnership with Passage Home. It focuses on women who have been recently released from prison.
Additionally, Dr. Johnson is a board member of Common Cause, Southeast Raleigh Assembly, Inc., and the General State Baptist Convention of North Carolina. He is also a member of the Raleigh Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, the NC NAACP, Habitat for Humanity of Wake County and the Raleigh Wake Missionary Baptist Association.
He is also a lecturer, trainer and has traveled extensively throughout the country preaching and conducting ministry-related workshops. In the academic arena, Dr. Johnson is a former adjunct professor at Essex County Community College in Newark, NJ and Burlington County Community College in Burlington, NJ. He has taught world religion, theology, English, homiletics, African American religion and Christian ethics.
Dr. Johnson is the recipient of numerous awards, including community service awards, leadership awards, and Pastor of the Year.