By Samantha Pidde
Herald Staff Writer
The Rev. Nathanael Johnson, 59, of Clinton, wants to lead people toward salvation.
“To let them know that the way of sin is death and the gift of God is eternal life,” Nathanael said.
Nathanael has been preaching since he was 13. His father was a minister and Nathanael felt called by God to join the ministry as well. His father mentored him in the calling.
For the past 19 years, Nathanael has served as pastor at Second Baptist Church, 438 Fourth Ave. North. He and his wife of 21 years, Francesca, enjoy being a part of the church. He said his whole family is involved. Francessca supports him in his ministry and serves as a youth director and Sunday school teacher. His children Tailah, 15 and David, 11, play instruments in the church. Nathanael also has three adult children: Debra Bonds, Pertina Johnson and Nathanael Johnson Jr.
“We enjoy being here. We enjoy the ministry. There’s been some ups and downs but that’s part of the ministry,” Nathanael said. “Because we know if we will be faithful until death, then God will give us a crown.”
This month Second Baptist Church is celebrating its 125th anniversary. A formal banquet will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday at Gil’s Ballroom, 2750 S. 27th St. Pastor Jerry Drake, of Free In Jesus Outreach Ministries, will be the guest speaker. A three course dinner is included with the purchase of a $20 ticket. Tickets are available by calling 243-7513 or 242-6594.
Nathanael is excited about the anniversary celebration. He said the celebration will climax at an event at 4 p.m. on Oct. 28.
“Glad to be a part of a church that old and still standing. And it is only by the help of God that it is still standing,” Nathanael said.