Dr. Kevin R. Johnson is the fifth Senior Pastor of the nationally renowned Bright Hope Baptist Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
A Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude graduate of Morehouse College, Dr. Johnson was awarded the Martin Luther King Jr. and Oprah Winfrey scholarships. He continued his studies at Union Theological Seminary, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree as a Union Scholar, and received the prestigious Maxwell Fellowship, awarded to the seminarian most likely to succeed in parish ministry. Dr. Johnson earned the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree in Organizational Leadership and Transformational Learning from Columbia University.
Whether offering invocations for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, delivering sermons of inspiration and hope internationally and nationally, being arrested at New York City’s One Police Plaza for protesting the unjust NYPD killing of African immigrant, Amadou Diallo, spearheading voter rights’ initiatives in Pennsylvania, or leading the charge for educational equity for all Philadelphia public school children, Dr. Johnson is committed to fulfilling his calling as a community-focused and politically-engaged pastor called to a holistic, social gospel ministry. Within six years of becoming the undershepherd at Bright Hope, more than 1,000 new believers have joined, several new ministries created, and countless hearts have been touched through God’s ministry.
Affectionately called “Joshua” by his church, Dr. Johnson is an astute clergyman committed to community empowerment and economic development. Under his leadership, Bright Hope’s community development corporation, Bridge of Hope, is in partnership and building a $100 million, 14-story student apartment tower for Temple University students directly across from the church. Dr. Johnson has promoted economic empowerment by investing and depositing millions of dollars into United Bank, a Philadelphia owned and operated African-American bank. An avid and respected writer, he is a frequent columnist for the oldest continually running African-American newspaper, The Philadelphia Tribune.
He has delivered sermons in distinguished pulpits including the largest Protestant church in the world, Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, South Korea. Dr. Johnson was also the first African-American in 200-years to preach at Africa’s oldest Baptist church, Regent Road Baptist in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and later was inspired to raise funds, build, and establish a new church in West Africa—“Bright Hope Baptist Church in Moyamba, Sierra Leone” Additionally, by invitation of the American Jewish Committee, Dr. Johnson traveled to Israel and Palestine and met government leaders to discuss the challenges that exist between the nations.
Currently, Dr. Johnson is Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees of Lincoln University, and sits on the boards of the Urban League of Philadelphia, the Forum for a Better Pennsylvania, the Mayor’s Voter Task Force, and previously served on the Obama Campaign’s National African-American Clergy Advisory Board. A recipient of numerous awards and citations, Newsweek featured Dr. Johnson as one of the “up-and-coming” national post-Civil Rights ministers, The Philadelphia Tribune identified him as “one under 40 to watch” and as a “mover-and-shaker” in the City, and Morehouse College inducted him into the prestigious Board of Preachers. He is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity (Alpha Boulé), and lifetime membership in the Morehouse College National Alumni Association.
He is blessed to share his ministry with his lovely wife, Mrs. Kimya S. P. Johnson, Esq., a labor and employment attorney at the law firm of Cozen O’Connor and a Spelman College, Columbia University, and Case Western Reserve University School of Law graduate. They are the proud parents of three children.