Canaan Baptist Church of Christ
Serving from the Heart of Harlem since 1932
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Our Senior Pastor         

The Reverend Dr. ThomasD. Johnson, Sr. is an anointed man of God, called and appointed by God to lead His people by the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the word of God into the transforming and renewing of the mind. 

In 2005, Dr. Johnson was appointed by God to lead Harlem’s historic Canaan Baptist Church of Christ. In 2006 he was installed as the fourth pastor in Canaan’s eighty-three year history. Dr. Johnson views his greatest success as being called by God into ministry.   He is a powerful preacher, and dynamic teacher. Under his nine year pastoral leadership, the congregation has been implementing the vision that God gave him for a new era at Canaan based upon a biblical foundation. His leadership has focused on spiritual growth, worship, stewardship, discipleship, fellowship, help, healing and hope.

Dr. Johnson is in his forty-first year of preaching and teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He is committed to enhancing the kingdom of God on earth and the daily activities of serving the needs of his congregation, as well as influencing the impact of Canaan on evangelism, social justice, the empowerment of youth and young adults. Under his pastorate, Canaan Baptist Church of Christ continues to build upon its traditions and great legacy as a church of social justice.  Under Dr. Johnson’s leadership, new church ministries have been created and are expanding including the Commission on Christian Education, The Commission of Evangelism, The Men’s Ministry, The Single Parent Ministry, The Women’s Ministry (WIM), and The Young Adult Ministry (YAM).  In carrying out the vision that God has given him for Canaan Baptist Church of Christ, Dr. Johnson has increased the pastoral staff and Deacons Ministry by ordaining several female ministers and elevating twenty-two Deaconesses to The Deacons Ministry and implementing leadership training programs for all disciples.  Dr. Johnson has encouraged disciples to embrace the spirit of volunteerism and a technology expansion within the church infrastructure. The church supports more than sixty ministries including the Lydia Project (clothing partnership with local shelters), HIV Ministry, Bethesda Counseling and Wellness Ministry, Prison Ministry, Senior Services, and the Institute for Public Policy and Social Action which teaches, trains and develops community leaders. Before beginning God’s assignment to pastor Canaan, Dr. Johnson served Bethel Baptist Church in Danville, Virginia as senior pastor for twenty years. This was preceded by a pastorate of five years at West End Baptist Church, Reidsville, NC.

In addition to his pastoral service, Dr. Johnson is often called upon to lecture on church doctrine and polity.  Dr. Johnson is the Executive Director of the Canaan Senior Service Center, the Vice-President at Large of the New York Progressive Baptist Convention Incorporated, Chairman of the Ecumenical Advisory Committee, and member of the Minister’s Conference of Greater New York and has served as a member of the Board of Directors for Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement. He is a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated.

Dr. Johnson is a native of Springfield, OH, where he was born the youngest of three children to the late Leo and Emma Johnson.  He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology from Central State University, Wilberforce, OH; a Master Degree in Adult Education from North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, NC; A Master of Divinity (Magna Cum Laude) from Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury, NC; and the Doctor of Ministry, conferred with distinction, from Drew University, in Madison, New Jersey.  Dr. Johnson has served on the faculties of Averett University and Danville Community College, Danville, VA; and Bluefield College, in Bluefield, VA.  Dr. Johnson is married to the former Donna Bradley for 39 years. They are the loving parents of two children, Tamika and Thomas, Jr. They are the proud grandparents of three grandchildren.




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132 West 116th Street - New York, NY 10026