Bishop Alfred Johnson

How Bishop Encouraged Me

One day, I was on the train. I was going to visit my fiancée in the Brooklyn House of Detention. Bishop saw me and said, “Sister Sheila, How are you?” I said, “I’m going to visit my fiancée who was locked up.” Bishop asked me, “When I was going to join the family?” First, he asked, “Are you still going to your church?” I told him no that something had gone wrong. Bishop then said, “We would love to have you. Can’t wait to see you at church.” I went home and said to myself that I’m already a member because I volunteer at the Pantry every Tuesday.  But I did officially join in 2014.

One day, a young man came to me and said he needed to speak with the Bishop. But, Bishop was in a meeting. So,  I talked and prayed with this young man. When I saw the Bishop later, I told him about the young man that really needed to speak with him. Bishop asked, “What did you do?” I said I prayed for him. Bishop said, “That is what you are supposed to do. Take charge!”

Bishop has encouraged me in so many ways – his sermons, his singing and his dancing. He is always putting me on the spot.

I told the Bishop that his work is not finished until God says so. May the Lord continue to pour out his spirit upon him and his wife, strengthen them both for the work God has placed in front of them.

Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of stories from parishioners and others about about Bishop Alfred Johnson or Bishop J as we affectionately call him. You are invited to share stories of the first time you met him, or perhaps something that Bishop J did or said that was important, life-changing, or hilarious to you. Whether you express your story in a few sentences, a haiku, or a page (No more than a page, please!), we want to read it! Between now and June 7, we are collecting stories honoring Bishop J’s ministry among us. To submit, please send your story to our Bishop J Story Editor, Selby Ewing.