Thoughts from the executive

December 27, 2010

My Y Story: Rev. Amos Johnson, Jr.

Service before self is an interesting concept.

It seems so simple that you would think everyone would find it easy to contribute their time, treasure, and talent for the benefit of others. I am always humbled when I run across saints like Rev. Amos Johnson, Jr. that have been stepping up to serve others for thirty plus years at the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA. So much of his foundation for Social Responsibility comes from childhood memories when others helped support his family making it easy to understand why giving back to his Y is so important.

My Y Story: Rev. Amos Johnson, Jr.My "Y" Story

I was brought up in San Diego in a family of 10 children and my parents struggled to make ends meet. I can remember one Christmas when my dad was out of work and we received food and toys from the Salvation Army. Despite that I never thought of myself as poor because I was always involved in sports and church activities which allowed me the opportunity to always be surrounded by great coaches and counselors. These caring adults gave me encouragement and direction.

In January of 1974 I was asked to join the Jackie Robinson Board of Directors I accepted the offer as an opportunity to help young people find their way, just as I was helped when I was growing up in San Diego.

In March of 1974 I became pastor of the New Creation Church. Shortly thereafter I approached the Jackie Robinson Y director about renting a space for our Sunday worship services. Thus began a wonderful relationship between the YMCA and New Creation Church.

Our church was housed at the Y for five years. We held our worship services in the multi-purpose room and baptized our new members in the swimming pool. Our members became active in the various Y programs and participated in the annual support campaign.

I am no longer pastoring the church but I am still on the Y board. I have maintained my position on the Board for the last 36 years because I believe that the Jackie Robinson Y is the best organization in southeast San Diego when it comes to helping our youth to reach their full potential as children of God.

Rev. Amos Johnson, Jr.

P.S. Though he did not mention it, Amos was a Y kid long before joining the Board of Management in 1974. His Y story could fill volumes!

Send your Y Story to jackierobinson@ymca.org

Life is not a spectator sport. If you're going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you're wasting your life.
Jackie Robinson

Filed under General | 10 Comments

10 Responses

Write a comment
  1. “Amos Johnson is not one of, but he is the finest man I know. He is my dear friend and confidant. He is also my God sent father image. I know that his commitment to the Y comes from the intent of a sincere heart. God bless you for your observations of his character ”

    Reginald Gary January 05, 2011 at 3:02pm Permalink
  2. “That's my pastor and I love the story!”

    Sir Larre Dolberry February 13, 2012 at 3:17am Permalink
  3. “we are blessed to have lifelong volunteers like Reverend Johnson . . . a grateful appreciation, indeed.”

    Jim Bowers February 19, 2012 at 5:11pm Permalink
  4. “I knew Amos in High School in San Diego. I always knew he was someone special! We had wonderful arguments over scripture and we laughed and shared our faith with each other. My husband also went into the ministry, and I lost contact with Amos. He has been a faithful servant to God and I am so grateful to have known him. God bless you Amos!”

    Martha Carter Nordstrand April 07, 2012 at 9:29am Permalink
  5. “I had lost touch with Amos over the years. We were colleagues through the Y in the late 70\'s. Kind, soft-spoken, caring, and compassionate; everything that embodies the ideal of the YMCA--that\'s Amos Johnson! I miss your smile. Hope to see you Gain sometime. ”

    Laurie Roeder August 04, 2012 at 11:01pm Permalink
  6. “ What. Does his father. Look like”

    Jake April 21, 2013 at 9:51am Permalink
  7. “Amos, It has been more than 40 years since I last saw you when we were both with the BPUM that you did so much to build. I just read a young woman's doctoral dissertation on the BPUM, but she got a lot of things wrong. Regards, Malik Chaka (Michael Edwards)”

    Malik Chaka February 26, 2014 at 6:55am Permalink
  8. “Amos - I can't believe I was living in the same area as you for ten years and never knew it! Unfortunately, my husband Bill and I just moved back east from San Diego, last summer (2013) I am back in the Philadelphia area, my husband and I having both retired from full-time ministry in the past few years. Now, in retirement, I have the time to track down some of the good people from my past who made a difference for me. I often think back on the formative and educational experiences I had working at the Camden Christian Center and watching you facilitate the empowerment of the folks that the Center served. Thank you! It appears that you have gone on to put your hand to a variety of worthwhile endeavors. I became well acquainted with many areas of San Diego and the surrounding suburbs working for a hospice organization as a chaplain. My mother, Betty, is still alive and living in the Boston area near my younger sister. Wishing God's continued blessing on your ministries . . . Rev. Susan Mitchell Scott”

    Rev. Susan Scott May 06, 2014 at 6:06pm Permalink
  9. “ Sr.,Rev. Amos Johnson was my pastor and best of friend when i was 7 years old. He picked some of my siblings and i up and took us to his church house and feed us hot dogs after church. That you father. Today, he is still with me. Amen.”

    Harmony.r December 18, 2014 at 5:05pm Permalink
  10. “He was all that Laurie.”

    Harmony.r December 18, 2014 at 5:08pm Permalink

Write a Comment

  1. name:

All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and/or contributors and not of their employer. Any questions or concerns regarding the content found here may be sent to ymca@ymca.org.