First Black Mormon Stake President in Alabama Took Winding Path to Leadership
From the Birmingham News and AL.com
By Greg Garrison | email@example.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.”