The Rev. Ross E. Johnson of Fairhope, Ala., has accepted a call to serve as director of LCMS Disaster Response, the disaster-response and human-care ministry of the Synod, effective Sept. 3.
In his new position, Johnson will oversee the church’s comprehensive disaster-response program, including planning, training and implementing immediate and long-term responses to help people in the aftermath of disastrous events wherever they occur. He also will facilitate relationships with federal, state and community disaster-response agencies; consult with LCMS districts, congregations and international church partners to prepare for and respond to natural and man-made disasters around the world; and make available pastoral care in the field while responding to a disaster.
“Pastor Johnson is an experienced team member and team builder,” said the Rev. Gregory K. Williamson, chief mission officer for the LCMS. “He understands the ministry concepts that have created a remarkable disaster-response team and I anticipate that he will quickly become a valued member of the disaster-response community.”
Johnson succeeds the Rev. Glenn Merritt, who has served as director of the LCMS’ disaster response ministry since 2003 and will be retiring June 30, 2014.
“With Ross now on staff, our disaster-response leadership team is complete,” said the Rev. Bart Day, executive director of the LCMS’ Office of National Mission, which helps oversee LCMS Disaster Response. “With our team in place and ready for the transition after Glenn’s retirement, we can be confident in our church’s ability to continue to bring Christ’s Gospel and the highest level of care and service to those suffering as a result of a disaster.”
Prior to joining the staff at the LCMS International Center in St. Louis, Johnson served as pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Fairhope, a call he accepted in 2006 upon graduating from Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind. Johnson served his vicarage in Guatemala and Venezuela, working as a member of the former LCMS World Mission overseas missionary staff. Also, Johnson joined the U.S. Army Reserves in 2002 and now serves as a battalion chaplain. His military service has taken him around the world.
In addition to holding a Master of Divinity degree, Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at Vanguard University, Costa Mesa, Calif.
To learn more about LCMS Disaster Response, click here.
The director of LCMS Disaster Response position was included in the Synod’s restructure and is covered by the Synod’s budget.
Updated Sept. 27, 2013