My Life in Zion

The life and views of a Latter-day Saint in the 21st Century…

First Black Mormon Stake President in Alabama Took Winding Path to Leadership

Peter M. Johnson, president of the Bessemer stake and the first black regional leader for Mormons in Alabama, recently sat down for an interview with The Birmingham News. (Photo by Greg Garrison/ggarrison@al.com)

Peter M. Johnson, president of the Bessemer stake and the first black regional leader for Mormons in Alabama, recently sat down for an interview with The Birmingham News. (Photo by Greg Garrison/ggarrison@al.com)

From the Birmingham News and AL.com

By Greg Garrison | ggarrison@al.com 
on February 22, 2013 at 1:58 PM, updated February 22, 2013 at 2:14 PM

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Peter M. Johnson took a winding path to become the first black Mormon regional leader in Alabama.

Johnson grew up in New York, was recruited to play college basketball for a Mormon university in Hawaii, later moved to Utah and worked as an accountant in Salt Lake City, before eventually taking a job at the University of Alabama.

Being chosen as the first black Mormon to serve as a stake president in Alabama caught Johnson somewhat by surprise.

“I realize it’s significant now,” said Johnson, president of the Bessemer, Alabama stake, who serves as a regional leader for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for an area that covers central-west Alabama from the Mississippi line to Birmingham.

“I had no knowledge that I would be the first black stake president in Alabama. My goal is to invite all to come into Christ.”

He’d never served as a bishop of a congregation, or a branch president, which is often considered a stepping stone to regional leadership.

“I was awed, overwhelmed,” said Johnson. “It was definitely unexpected.”

Read the rest of the article at al.com by clicking here.

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