Dr. Alonzo Johnson, Senior Pastor
Dr. Alonzo Johnson is the Senior Pastor and pioneering leader of Universal Outreach Church of God in Christ. He is widely known as a theologian, teacher and a leader with a great heart for people. He has been a public servant throughout his adult life. He preaches and teaches with passion, clarity, and simplicity, speaking into the lives of people of all ages, races, educational and social backgrounds. Pastor Johnson has worked in many leadership capacities within the Church of God in Christ, both nationally and within South Carolina. For more than 20 years he pastored the Bowman Temple Church of God in Christ, Bowman, SC; the ministry directly impacted hundreds of families and college students from neighboring colleges and university, many of whom now serve in pastoral ministries and other professional careers. Pastor Johnson currently serves as an Administrative Assistant to the Bishop in South Carolina and as the District Superintendent of the Capitol District, Columbia, SC. He oversees the training and program development efforts for the South Carolina jurisdiction. Moreover, he is the General Editor and a contributing author for the International Church of God in Christ Standardized Ordination Curriculum.
In his professional career, Pastor Johnson has served and continues to work in many distinguished capacities, among them are: member of the Board of Trustees of the Charles Harrison Mason Theological Seminary, Atlanta, GA and the Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta, GA.; member of the American Academy of Religion; past member of the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers; Professor of Religious Studies at the University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. From 1991-2003; Commissioner of Education for the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) ; in this capacity, he was the Founding President of All Saints Bible College, (COGIC) in Memphis, Tennessee (The far-reaching programs which were initiated and/or developed during his tenure continue to guide the educational programs of the Church of God in Christ to this day, including All Saints Bible College); Executive Consultant and Dean for the W.L. Bonner College, Columbia, SC; faculty member at Benedict College, Columbia, SC and Claflin College, Orangeburg, SC. Moreover, he has been adjunct Professor at McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL and the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbia, SC.
He was President & CEO of Agape Health Services, LLC, a full-service home health care agency serving persons throughout South Carolina. The business once employed more than 100 persons in full and part-time positions, providing skilled and unskilled health care to persons of all ages.
Dr. Johnson was born, reared and educated in the public schools of Goose Creek, SC. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Claflin University. He also has earned a Master of Divinity, Master of Sacred Theology, Master of Philosophy, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from Union Theological Seminary, New York City.
He has traveled extensively and has authored several books including, Thought You Knew Everything About Church? Think Again; Good News for the Disinherited; Ain't Gonna Lay My 'Ligion Down' and Dancing With The Spirit.
Pastor Johnson enjoys the loving support of his wife and closest confidant, Dr. Richel V. Sion-Johnson; she is the "sweetheart" of Universal Outreach. A native of the Republic of Suriname, she is avidly committed to missions and community outreach & youth ministries. They are the parents of two adult children Rendell & Ashley.
Pastor Johnson with his Dad and brothers
The Johnson Family
Pastor & Dr. Johnson
Dr. Richel V. Sion-Johnson, First Lady & Church Administrator
Dr. Richel Sion-Johnson, a gifted teacher, counselor, and administrator, has a special passion for the nurture and care of children, the development of strong family units, and for the promotion of women’s ministries. She was born and reared in the Republic of Suriname, located in South America. Upon graduation, she worked in the banking field. She later relocated to Rotterdam, Holland, where she lived for three years.
In 1976, she relocated to New York City. There she joined the First Church of God in Christ in Brooklyn, under Bishops Frank and Ithiel Clemmons. At First Church, she met and later married Elder Alonzo Johnson in July 1982. They moved to South Carolina in April 1986, after her husband was appointed pastor of Bowman Temple C.O.G.I.C. At Bowman Temple, she organized the tutorial program, developed the Children’s church, taught Sunday school, and served as president of the Women’s Department. In the fall of 2000, she organized a Girl Scout troop for local children in their Columbia neighborhood. These efforts helped to lay the foundations for Universal Outreach, which was started in the summer of 2001. Dr. Johnson works in several capacities at Universal, including her role as the Church Administrator.
Dr. Johnson is employed as a Psychologist for Richland School District II in Columbia. She has also worked in the same capacity at the Department of Juvenile Justice, Richland School District I and in Lexington School District II. She attended Hunter College and Fordham University in New York and received a Bachelor of Arts degree, a Master’s, and a Ph.D. degree in Psychology from the University of South Carolina.
Elders & Ministers
Elder Clades Johnson, Assistant Pastor
Elder Eddie & Sis. Carmen Blue, Men's Ministry, Sunday School,
Children & Youth Ministry & Missions
Pastor Anthony & Lady Debbie Ramsey,
Assistant Pastor & Marriage Ministry Leaders
Elder Jarvis & Sis. Lakeshia Terry,
Sub-40 Warriors, Sunday School, Armor Bearers
Sis. Rosa McKenney, Church Mother
Deacon Hollis & Sis. Johnisha Johnson & Family, Trustee & Children’s Church, Youth Ministry, Special Events
Deacon Samuel & Sis. Cynthia Woody,
Ushers & Pastor’s Aide
Deacon Lawrence & Sis. Cheryl Brooker, Men’s Ministry, Sunday School & Hospitality
Sis. Pam Baker, Guest & Member Services
Sis. Kandice Blue, Guest & Member Services
Sis. Andrye’l Walker, Youth Ministries
Bro. Rendell Johnson, Minister of Music,
Budget & Finance Department, Youth Ministry
Dr. Towana Guinyard,
President of the Music Department, Sub-40s
Mother's Board & Missionaries
Mothers are female leaders who assist in the care and nurture of members, mentoring, leadership among female members and other related areas. The Church Mother is the chairperson of the Mother’s Board. The Missionaries are also licensed to teach and preach within and outside of our congregation, they also assist in leadership and other areas of ministry as assigned.
Elected persons who serve as the stewards of the church’s assets and assist the pastor in managing the church’s resources.