Pastor Jim Johnson is Lead Pastor at St. Luke Lutheran Church, North Division in Spokane. He has been in parish ministry since he was ordained in 1993. He has served 3 parishes:
- He was first called to serve as Associate Pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran in Sedro-Woolley, WA. from 1993-1996.
- His second parish was a solo call to Holy Cross Lutheran near Lake Stevens, WA from 1996-2000.
- He then came to St. Luke January 1, 2001 as Lead Pastor.
Pastor Jim grew up in Spokane. His father, Wally Johnson, was pastor at Calvary Lutheran (which later merged with Ascension and became Prince of Peace) before retiring from ministry in 1987. Pastor Jim moved away from Spokane after graduating from North Central High School in 1983. He graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education (BAE degree). He was in secondary education – Social Sciences – before leaving to Minnesota to attend seminary. He graduated from Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN. in the spring of 1993 with a Masters of Divinity.
Pastor Jim and his wife Lori married in the summer of 1993. They have four children (three boys and a girl). Together they have enjoyed travel, time with family, sports, music, the arts, reading and movies.
Pastor Jim has been very fortunate to have experienced opportunities that have further developed his skills and education as a pastor, and in turn have been a blessing to the parish:
- He completed the Pastor-Theologian Program in 2006 (a 3 year interdenominational cohort study program through the Center of Theological Inquiry - CTI - at Princeton).
- He received a Louisville Institute Grant for Pastoral Sabbaticals in 2008, providing he and his family to travel to Europe where Pr. Jim studied Martin Luther’s Writings.
- He was selected to participate in the 2009 Cousin’s Foundation 2 week pilgrimage to Israel with 19 other clergy from various denominations from around the USA, lead by a NT professor from Princeton Seminary.
- In 2014, on his 2nd sabbatical while serving St Luke, he received the Clergy Renewal Grant from the Lilly Endowment to travel with his family to Turkey, Greece, and Italy on a Pauline pilgrimage studying Paul’s preaching ministry.
Life-long learning has been a priority in his ministry; his next goal, which he’s currently pursuing, is to complete a Doctorate of Ministry degree in Biblical Preaching by 2019.
The passion to preach the gospel - to share the good news of God’s gracious act of forgiveness, love, and salvation through Jesus Christ crucified and risen from the dead; that freedom to live down to earth and embrace the world and the neighbor as gift, which results in a compassion to serve the neighbor in need as we have been served by God’s grace - continues to be the driving force in Pr. Jim’s life and ministry. To this calling he continues to serve the Church, and calls the congregation to serve the neighbor, creation, and the world.