Interview with Rev Johnson Paul

Rev Johnson Paul

Rev Johnson Paul

What is your background and how did you become a Christian?

I was born in Faisalabad, Pakistan, and brought up in a Roman Catholic family. After my secondary school certificate, I joined St Mary’s Seminary to train as a Roman Catholic priest. However, after four years of training, I felt my calling was not to the Roman Catholic Church. Despite this, my heart was full for the love of God and I still had a strong sense that God was calling me to Christian ministry.

Up until this point in my life, I had opposed the perspective that one had to be ‘born again’ to have life eternal in Christ. However, God gradually brought a change in my thinking on this matter when I took on a new role as a radio programme producer in the Christian Recording Ministries, Faisalabad where programmes for FEBA radio were recorded. Here I encountered Christians from other denominations with differing views to the ones I held.

But it was in Libya some years later that my perspective became radically changed. Here, as a newly married man, I listened with interest to an evangelical preacher as he spoke on Matthew 6:33: “But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His Righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”. The Holy Spirit made me understand this verse and I became a born again Christian in October 1992.

It was almost two years later in 1994 that God powerfully spoke to me through Galatians 3:28: “…we all are one in Christ Jesus”. Despite moving to the UK, I was unable to shake what I sensed God was calling me to do in terms of sharing his heart for unity in Christ. Here in the UK I received theological training at South London Christian College, and in 2000 was ordained as a minister of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. In 2002 I moved to Nottingham and planted the One in Christ Church. In addition to leading the church, I am grateful to serve God where He desires me to be and I am thankful for the opportunities He continues to give me to share the message of Jesus Christ on radio and television.

What is your passion?

Nothing excites me more than preaching the gospel message and sharing God’s goodness to those who do not yet know Him. In addition to this I am hugely passionate about the importance of having greater unity amongst South Asian Christian ministers here in the UK. As followers of Christ we are called to be one and I pray I will see that in my lifetime!

Why are you a member of SAF?

I am delighted to be a member of SAF because its objectives match my passion for Christ and unity. I am convinced that the South Asian Forum has an instrumental role to play in strengthening the Asian Church for mission and I look forward to playing my part in seeing this happen. My hope is that other leaders of Asian churches will choose to join the forum so that together we can have greater impact for the gospel.