Senior Pastor

Rev. Dr. Steven D. Johnson II

About Pastor Steven D. Johnson

Rev. Steven D. Johnson II is the senior pastor of Hope City Church, a vibrant, growing faith community with a long history of serving residents of southern California. Pastor Johnson’s ministry demonstrates a teaching and preaching proclamation which is biblically and exegetically sound, socially conscious, culturally relevant, and applicable to contemporary hearers. Evidenced by a host of awards and recognitions, Pastor Johnson’s work focuses specifically on inspiring individual success by empowering people to live out their God-ordained destiny and developing themselves educationally, socially and culturally. Believing that at its best ministry is done both inside and outside the walls of the church, Pastor Johnson encourages social and political activism, community and economic development, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Building Relationships with Individuals and Families

Stemming from a rich family heritage of pastors, preachers, evangelists and missionaries, Pastor Johnson is a fourth-generation preacher who has a genuine love for people. He enjoys building relationships with individuals and families across all backgrounds and enjoys interacting with all generations – young, old and in between. He loves everything about the many contours, complexities and challenges of ministry – from moments of joy and triumph, to standing in prayer with his parishioners during times of crisis and great travail. Further, he believes that the church is undoubtedly one of the best places to promote community, heal racial and cultural divides, work towards social justice, promote education and entrepreneurship, and help people live up to their full potential in Christ.

Business Savvy

Not only is Pastor Johnson called to ministry, but he is also uniquely called to business. A sought after consultant in real estate development and finance, he has helped manage high impact public infrastructure projects, multifamily developments, industrial warehouses, and commercial centers. He has offered counsel or managed due diligence, entitlements, financing, and construction of projects of various scopes for both private and public ventures. 

Higher Education and Academic Achievement

Placing a significant premium of higher education and academic achievement, Pastor Johnson graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Finance and Economics from Morehouse College. He attended seminary at Duke University where he graduated with a Master's of Divinity degree. Never completely satisfied, while fulfilling the duties of the pastorate he earned his MBA degree in Finance the University of Redlands, graduating Summa Cum Laude. In Fall 2018, he returned to Duke University to pursue doctoral studies and has recently completed his doctoral thesis entitled “A Strange Land: Christian Discourse and Action in An Age of Political Upheaval.” He will receive the Doctor of Ministry degree in May 2021.

Noteworthy Honors and Recognition

Many noteworthy honors and recognition have been bestowed on Pastor Johnson throughout his educational and professional career. As a student at Morehouse, he was named a Benjamin Elijah Mays Scholar, an Otis Moss Jr.’s Oratorical Contest Winner, and an E.B. Williams Honor Recipient. At Duke University, he received the prestigious Martin Luther King’s Jr. Scholarship and the renowned Jameson Jones Preaching Award. He has traveled internationally for ministry work and has interned at church’s across America and the world – from Cashiers, North Carolina to Johannesburg, South Africa.

Exposure and Upbringing in Protestant Denominations

An additional unique experience for Pastor Johnson has been his exposure and upbringing in various mainline protestant denominations. Although his late grandfather – Hardy Johnson Sr. – was an elder in the Church of God in Christ, one of the largest black denominations in North America, Pastor Johnson (by way of his own father Rev. Steven D. Johnson) also served under the leadership, guidance and mentorship of Rev. Dr. Cecil L. Murray, the famed pastor of First AME Church, Los Angeles. Adding to this melting pot of various religious expression and tradition, Pastor Johnson attended Duke University Divinity School – a United Methodist seminary – and counts among his exemplars Rev. Dr. William C. Turner, pastor of Mt. Level Missionary Baptist Church in Durham, NC. Such a wealth of diversified denominational experience and exposure has served to provide Pastor Johnson with a well-rounded ministry perspective and bourgeoning Christian theology that places a premium on pneumatology and praxis, holiness and methodism, progressivism and conservatism.

Family and Hobbies

On a personal level, Pastor Steven enjoys reading, traveling, RVing, fishing and riding Harley Davidson motorcycles. He is blessed with the love of his life, Jennifer Johnson, and together they are the proud parents of two gorgeous and precocious daughters, Saraiya Elise and Jordynn Rae, and their handsome son, Steven Dewayne Johnson III.