Chaplain Washington Johnson, II Promoted

Chaplain Washington Johnson, II Promoted

Order My Steps

A very popular song, recorded by many gospel artists and sung in many local churches is “Order My Steps”.  Some of the lyrics say:

Order my steps in Your word dear Lord
Lead me, guide me every day
Send Your anointing, Father I pray;
Order my steps in Your word
Please, order my steps in Your word

Humbly, I ask Thee teach me Your will
While You are working, help me be still
‘Cos Satan is busy, God is real;
Order my steps in Your word
Please, order my steps in Your word

These lyrics reflect the life of Chaplain Washington Johnson II.  The trajectory of his life is one that has indeed been “Ordered” by the Lord. Chaplain Johnson was born to Washington Johnson Sr., a World War II veteran who served in the United States Army Air Corps, and Dr. Mildred Johnson, a retired religious education instructor who instilled in him the precepts of this song, to allow the Lord to lead him and guide him as he travels through life.

Chaplain Johnson is an ordained Seventh-day Adventist Minister, former Editor in Chief of Message Magazine, one of the domination’s oldest religious journals, lecturer at Andrews University Theological Seminary and Church Historian. His pastoral ministry has spanned throughout the South Central and Northern California Conferences of Seventh-day Adventists, where he acquired extensive leadership experience, including active involvement in community, civic and religious affairs.

The Lord ordered Chaplain Johnson’s steps through pastoral ministry and as the Editor in Chief of Message Magazine.  In 1998 Johnson was commissioned as a chaplain in the United States Navy Reserve and presently holds the rank of Captain. Continuing along this path and after leaving Message Magazine, the Lord in His providence allowed him to run into a Naval Commanding Officer, who hired him to replace a chaplain that was sent to Afghanistan. He eventually was deployed to the African nation of Djibouti, were he started the first Adventist Church there.

Chaplain Johnson has served in many Navy Reserve assignments as the staff chaplain in Georgia, California, Virginia, Florida, Washington, D.C. and Africa.  His current assignment is staff chaplain, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) Peterson AFB, CO.

Chaplain Johnson is honored to have received numerous citations and official recognition from several renowned organizations for his pastoral and chaplaincy leadership skills. He is an alumnus of Oakwood University (Huntsville, AL), Andrews Theological Seminary (Berrien Springs, MI), and Reformed Theological Seminary (Clinton, MS), receiving Bachelor of Arts, Master of Divinity, and Doctor of Ministry degrees, respectively.  In 1992 he was selected as one of the Fifty Future Leaders of America by Ebony Magazine and named one of the 120 Faces (Distinguished Alumni) of Oakwood University in 2017.

On October 8, 2018 at the North American Division Headquarters, Chaplain Johnson was promoted to the rank of Captain.  The promotion ceremony was presided by LT. General Reynold Hoover, Deputy Commander of the U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), and Vice Commander of the U.S Element, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) at the Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The speaker was Dr. Barry Black, Chaplain, United States Senate, United States Navy Chief of Chaplains, Rear Admiral (Retired).

Captain Johnson is the sixth Adventist chaplain to reach the rank of captain in the history of the denomination and the U.S. Navy.  He is also the first African-American Adventist to make the rank of captain in the Navy’s chaplain corps since the promotion of Rear Admiral Barry Black, who has since retired and currently serves as chaplain for the United States Senate.

The steps that the Lord has ordered for Chaplain Washington Johnson, he has not walked alone.  He is married to Joyce Johnson, Ph.D., an educator, and has one son, Washington Johnson III, a student at Oakwood University.

Chaplain Johnson is passionate about the chaplaincy and states, “There is a need for Adventist chaplains, both men and women.”  Those interested should go to the following website:

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 is Chaplain Johnson’s favorite text.  How appropriate a text for someone who has allowed the Lord to lead and guide him throughout his life.

The song ends withPlease order my steps, Lord I’ll praise Your name”.  ORCM salutes Captain Chaplain Washington Johnson II, and join him in praising the Lord for the great things He has done in his life.


Submitted by Jill Edmond