On July 1 many members of the Pacific Northwest Conference of the United Methodist Church will beginning they’re new assignment and roles in the church, including the Rev. Alissa Bertsch Johnson who is the newly assigned senior pastor at Cheney United Methodist Church.
Eric Dean, the digital communication specialist at Cheney UMC, said that while the character of their ministry will likely remain similar, “Alissa will most likely help us revitalize our youth and campus ministry efforts.”
Johnson has been involved in campus ministry since 2003-2004 when she interned with the Wesley Foundation at University of Southern California. Most recently, she has served as the executive director for WSU’s Wesley foundation and the youth pastor at Simpson United Methodist Church in Pullman. Though she has never been a senior pastor before, Johnson’s experiences working with youth has given her an energy and creativity that will help with her grow into first solo church venture and she believes that Cheney is an incredibly welcoming environment that will support her as she grows into the role, she said.
In terms of her approach to preaching, Johnson said she is very relationship focused.
“I think the way I do ministry is based on more horizontal relationships, “ Johnson said, “very engaging and supportive, empowering the ideas and vision of the congregation. “
Her love of question and conversation helped to make her very approachable in college ministries, and believes this same openness will help to build relationships within her new congregation.
When she’s not working or participating with the church, Johnson can almost always be found around her other passion — horses.
“Horses, horses horses,” Sse said when asked about her hobbies, “I train to ride competitively so that’s how I spend almost all of my free time, preparing for shows.”
Johnson and her husband Stephen will make the move to Cheney on June 24th before she officially starts July 1.
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