Hi, we're James and Elizabeth Johnson! Although we both grew up along the eastern coast, our hearts and vision are firmly planted in the West. Elizabeth is originally from Massachusetts, while James grew up throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Alabama. God brought us both to Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina, where we met our freshman year. In 2003, we both participated in mission teams to the Western US. God used that summer of ministry to call each of us individually to return someday with the Gospel. A few years later, our common interest in theology and shared burden for the West brought us together, and we eventually married in July 2007. Since then, we have been preparing to serve as missionary church planters through further academic training and faithfully ministering within our local church. After a dozen years of prayer and preparation, we are excited to be in the region God has called us to serve!
After spending a summer on church-planting mission teams, our eyes were opened to the great spiritual need throughout the Western US. Our hearts were broken as we began to realize how many thousands of Americans had never known the hope or life-giving power of the true gospel of Jesus Christ, and we were especially burdened by the vast darkness of spiritual oppression that lay over the West, especially the Wyoming-Idaho-Utah region… the bastion of Mormonism. God worked through that burden to call both of us (individually) to carry the light of the true Gospel into the heart of the West. Our desire is to see souls freed from the bondage of deception by the power of Jesus Christ!
We are currently serving in two small towns in southwest Wyoming. In the town of Kemmerer, we have been assisting the Hartmans with the growing ministry at Grace Baptist Church. We are also planting a church in the "nearby" town of Cokeville, which is 50 miles away. The ministry in Kemmerer includes helping with various outreaches and administrative items, music ministry, teaching Sunday School and Wednesday night studies, and preaching when Pastor Hartman is gone. In Cokeville, the ministry began as a Tuesday night Bible study with Pastor Jay Sprecher from Thayne, WY. Pastor Hartman and James eventually began helping with that study, and in 2019, some of the people asked about having Sunday services. With Pastor Sprecher having a full service schedule on Sundays and Pastor Hartman already pastoring Kemmerer along with another small mission church in Manila, Utah, God directed us to begin the work. Along with Sunday services, we also plan special events throughout the year, including special holiday meetings and VBS in the summers. In fact, we have become known for VBS with people and children asking about it regularly and looking forward to it every year! However, although we have had up to a dozen people regularly attend the weekly services and a few professions of faith during VBS weeks, as far as we know, all who come are still unsaved. Cokeville is still very much a mission field!
Our goal is to continue working in Cokeville, and we are praying earnestly that God will save these people. Additionally, we are seeking and praying for one or more families to come join us in Cokeville, so we can expand our reach into the community, including adding more consistent children’s ministries as well as additional influences for the Gospel. As people are saved in Cokeville in God’s time and plan, we desire to begin one-on-one discipleship and equip these new believers to grow and disciple others. We also plan to continue serving in Kemmerer, as the Lord allows. We need your prayers for strength and energy to handle the responsibilities, insight and compassion for our communities, and wisdom to follow God's leading!