On October 27, 1971 William Ray and JoAnn Johnson arrived in Denham Springs, Louisiana with their two small sons and a promise from God. They had agreed to pastor a small church (35 members) which was encumbered with debt, a "burned over field" by the definition of many scornful observers.
Pastor Johnson moved his family into the Sunday school wing of his new church just in time for winter to hit the decaying building. This building was not insulated. It snowed that year in Denham Springs and the Johnson family stuffed newspaper into the broken windows and never stopped believing God for a miracle for this church.
This struggling church had no financial foundation to meet the mountain of debt, so they made peanut brittle and donuts to sell and worked hard with their hands as they trusted God to bring them to victory. Brother and Sister Johnson taught their followers to fast and pray and to believe God for a miracle, and before long the congregation began to share the dream and vision that their pastor had for their city.
Within a year and a half the church had a breakthrough in the Holy Ghost and attendance began to grow! Two and one half years after the Johnsons had arrived in Denham Springs the congregation had grown to 250 souls! Signs and miracles excited faith in all who heard and many came to see what God was doing in this church. Over 30 people received the baptism of the Holy Ghost in one revival. God was keeping His promise to Pastor Johnson!
Finances began to improve in the church and the debt was finally conquered through prayer and hardwork. The church began to purchase real estate in the surrounding neighborhood, paying cash for each purchase. The property the church now owns includes 4 houses and more that 3 city blocks at the Main Campus as well as over 300 prime acres in Amite, Louisiana. The church is completely debt-free, including the 1,850 seat 50,000 square foot main auditorium, and in the process of constructing a new Family Life Center which will add 33,000 more square feet to the main complex for use in weddings, meetings, and sports activities. God has blessed this church far beyond our wildest dreams!
Not only does Reverend Johnson pastor the Denham Springs Congregation of over 1,300 members, but he has begun churches in Amite, Port Allen, Donaldsonville, Baton Rouge, Greensburg, Plaquemine, two churches in the state of Connecticut, as well as Spanish speaking churches in Denham Springs and Baton Rouge. Average Sunday attendance of all of the churches is over 1,800 souls.
The future looks bright for Denham Springs under the leadership of this great man and his wife. The anointing of God rests upon them and their ministry. Miracles of healing and deliverance are common during church services and prayer meetings. In a hungry world, Denham Springs offers a beacon of hope and love to a hurting and hopeless generation. The church has exciting programs for children, young people, married couples and senior citizens which offer alternatives to what the world has to offer. If you are not involved in a church, make it a point to visit the First Pentecostal Church of Denham Springs. You will be glad that you did!