Pastoring Grey Road Church
The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ was established on November 10, 1955, by Brother O.R. Rainey. In 1957, Brother Rainey resigned, and Brother R.M. Parnell became the pastor of the church. Brother and Sister Parnell were here for one and a half years. In 1958, he left led to resign and leave.
On the first Sunday in June 1958, a car coming from Blue Mountain, Mississippi pulled into Memphis, Tennessee. Inside was a man, his wife, and their two children (with a third one on the way_. Things were different in a big city–unlike the lifestyle of a small town. but this was to be their new home. there were twenty-three people present in Sunday School on that first Sunday.
After accepting the pastorate of the church, Brother and Sister Johnson continued to live in Blue Mountain and drove back and forth to Memphis, for about five months. Finally, on November 2, 1958, Brother and Sister Johnson moved their family and their belongings to Memphis. They rented a house at 4249 Westover, located right behind the church and lived there for several months. This is where they lived when Charles was born. Later, they rented a house located at 4385 Truman Road.
Finally, after being in Memphis a little more than three years, Brother and Sister Johnson were able to purchase a small home located at 1275 Holliday Street. They lived in this home for fifteen years. In 1976, they purchased a nice home at 2873 Lynchburg.
Brother and Sister Johnson do not remember who was the first person to be baptized or filled with the Holy Ghost after they came to Memphis. The do recall, however, that the first revival held in the church after they came was preached by Reverend and Sister M.L. (Sonny) Walls, who at the time were evangelists from St. Louis, Missouri. Brother Walls went on to serve as General Secretary and Treasurer of the Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ and pastor a wonderful church in Medora, Indiana.
The first few years in Memphis were difficult. For about two years, Brother Johnson had to hold down a job in addition to pastoring the church until the church grew large enough to support them. For a while, he worked in an automotive shop. Later, he worked for a packing company.
Gradually, the church began to grow and move forward. There were victories won: when the church was bricked and carpeted, when new pews were bought, when the first organ was purchased, etc.
During the next fifty years, eleven additional lots were purchased and added to the property the church had when Brother and Sister Johnson came. The church went through several major building projects under their leadership. The Sunday School wing, including 8 classrooms and a fellowship hall was added in [date]. A new sanctuary, seating between 600-700 people, was added in 1984.
One building project, in particular, would influence thousands of people for the Kingdom of God over the years.
In March 1980, a building and piece of property was purchased to house an outreach extension of the church. This property, located at 577 North Hollywood in Memphis, was originally intended for Sunday School bus ministry. While the church was in the process of acquiring the property, a vision came into the heart of Brother and Sister Johnson to open a Bible College for young men and women. since the Assemblies of the Lord Jesus Christ did not have a Bible College at the time, this was a needful thing. On August 30, 1980, the dream became a reality when Apostolic Bible College opened to admit the first students. The first graduation exercises were held on May 7, 1983.
Later, a new property was purchased at 7036 Summer Avenue in Bartlett. Apostolic Bible College was moved to this property where a newly founded church was being pastored by Brother and Sister David Johnson.
From the students who attended Apostolic Bible College during the leadership of Brother Don Johnson, followed by Brother David Johnson and Brother Charles Johnson, hundreds of new churches were born, both in America and around the world.
Aside from the Apostolic Bible College, there were several other works that came about under the leadership of Brother and Sister Johnson. Every Sunday afternoon and Wednesday evening Bible Temple had services in Brooks Hall Auditorium of Grey Road Church.
On Tuesdays and Saturdays, service was held by a congregation of some eight Hmongs, led by Brother and Sister Gia T. Lee.
In later years, Spanish works have held their services in the Brooks Hall Auditorium: Amistad Cristiana and Tabernaculo de Fe.
Bishop Johnson pastored Grey Road Church until January 2012.