Sandra Johnson: Abingdon bound

Sandra Johnson: Abingdon bound


The Rev. Sandra Johnson, age 59, is projected for appointment as Abingdon District superintendent effective July 1.

Current appointment: Pastor at Strawberry Plains United Methodist Church in Morristown District

Education: B.A., University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (1973), Certificate of Completion: Basic Course of Study, Candler Theology School (2004), M.Div., Gammon Theological Seminary (2008)


  • 1998-2006: Employed at BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc.
  • 1996-2000: Appointed associate pastor to Eastdale Village Community
  • 1997-2001: Employed as independent contractor/consultant and trainer for BellSouth
  • 2000-2005: Appointed pastor to Hurst UMC/HARP, Chattanooga District
  • 2005-2008: Appointed pastor to Hurst UMC, Chattanooga District
  • 2008-present: Appointed pastor to Strawberry Plains UMC, Morristown District

Family: Husband Leon, two adult children and one granddaughter.

Home: Hurst UMC in Chattanooga. "Grew up in Chattanooga and graduated from Chattanooga High School."

How did you find out?

"It was a late evening call from Bishop Swanson. At first I thought it was a colleague, in either Holston or North Georgia, playing a trick. When I realized it was the real Bishop Swanson, I became breathless, speechless, surprised, somewhat faint, and humbled. I clearly remember a period of deafening silence. After talking with the Bishop, I shared the conversation with my husband, Leon. (He asked what district. I didn't know. I was so surprised to receive the call -- I never asked.) We talked and prayed, talked and prayed. Finally, Leon went to sleep and I tossed and prayed, tossed and prayed.

"The next morning when we convinced ourselves that last night's events were not a dream (by checking caller ID) we talked and prayed again. My husband then said those words that have become a part of his vocabulary since my first saying 'Yes' to God: 'Wherever you feel the Lord is leading you, I'm with you.'

"That afternoon I called the number given me the night before and sure enough, it was the Bishop's voice mail. I humbly accepted the appointment to serve as a district superintendent."

What are your thoughts, hopes, or goals regarding your next appointment?

"I look forward to working with the laity and clergy in the Abingdon District as we continue to 'make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.'"

Any words of encouragement or foresight about Holston's future?

"I believe the Holy Spirit to be at work in the Holston Conference. I see this in the many ways that the people of Holston express their compassion and love toward others in the giving of themselves and their resources so that the presence of Christ might be made visible. Following the Holy Spirit's lead I believe Holston has a bright future."