A Personal VSB Testimony by Kelley Johnson, Director, NCD Pastoral Care
Editor’s Note: Kelley Johnson is the director of Pastoral Care at the North Central District of the Evangelical Free Church. His testimony is a powerful reminder of the power of God’s Word in the life of God’s people. James 1:21 exhorts believers with these words. “Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”
This is the appeals season at Village Schools of the Bible. We seek the Lord and His people for the financial assistance that allows us to teach God’s Word and witness transformed lives. We invite you to join our financial team this year. Thank you and God’s richest blessing.
Pastor Warren A. Coe, Executive Director of Village Schools of the Bible
Persistence of a Friend
In 1998, at the persistent insistence of a friend and to fill in some gaps in my biblical knowledge base, I reluctantly signed up to take a Village Schools’ Bible Survey course offered at Shalom Baptist Church (now Crossroads Church) in Hutchinson. It was there that I first met Monty Sholund and came to greatly appreciate his vast biblical knowledge and his gentle, encouraging spirit.
Cover-to-Cover Bible Survey and Writing Papers
As some personal background, I graduated from college in 1983 and had not written a serious paper in 15 years, so stepping back into the routine of reading, study, and writing a weekly paper was a stretch, especially with a full time job (deputy sheriff), a wife and two small kids. Due to the course schedule and my procrastination, I ended up starting in the middle of the Old Testament. The study was hard, the papers were a challenge, but each week, when the papers were returned, I would flip immediately to the last page to see Monty’s encouraging notes. Even when I had completely missed the point of the text or teaching, something that happened more often than I care to remember, Monty would always gently correct and then draw me toward the next week.
At the end of that session, the rest of the group took a three-month break, but I was so engrossed in the study and hungry for more solid teaching that a friend, Glenn Wenninger, agreed to facilitate a video course on the first half of the OT and Monty agreed to continue to grade the papers. This allowed me to maintain my momentum and to catch up with the rest of the students when they started the New Testament session.
A Change in Direction in Life
In 1999, I finished the Bible Survey course in 9 intense months, patted myself on the back and said, “OK, I have checked the Bible Education box off my list.” Little did I know that God had another plan. Less than a year later I found myself in the Registrar’s Office at Crown College registering for classes that would become a Master’s Degree in Ministry Leadership in 2003. This led, in 2008, to leaving my Law Enforcement career after 24 years for a year-long internship with a small church plant as an associate pastor and with the North Central District of the Evangelical Free Church in a ministry of pastoral care. In 2009, both those became half-time ministries.
In 2011 the associate pastor position ended and the NCD position became full-time. In 2015 I became the Director of Pastoral Care for the NCD, overseeing the spiritual health and well being of 350 pastors in 150 churches in 127 communities across the state. I am also a licensed pastor with the Free Church currently pursuing full ordination.
And all of this Started at Village Schools
And all of this started at Village Schools, with solid Bible teaching and the encouragement of a quiet, godly man who faithfully followed the Lord and encouraged others to do likewise. Thank you, Village Schools of the Bible for helping me and many others move upward and forward to be…
In Humble Service to the King and the Kingdom,