Pastor’s Bio

Pastor Charles Johnson

Pastor Charles Johnson is the Senior Pastor of Cochran Avenue Baptist Church, Los Angeles, California.

He was born in Huntsville, Texas. In 1965, Pastor Johnson, along with his mother and five siblings relocated to Los Angeles, California. They united with Mount Zion Missionary Baptist church under Dr. Edward Victor Hill, Senior Pastor.

Pastor Johnson’s educational accomplishments include: graduating from, Van Nuys High School, the University of Southern California (U.S.C.) and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He will be attending Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary Doctorate of Ministry Program in Spring 2010. October 2003, Pastor Johnson received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity degree from Karunya Bible Institute, New Delhi, India.

Pastor Johnson accepted Christ at the age of 12, at the Mount Zion Baptist Church. Even in his youth he took his faith seriously and was evidenced by his being very active in the youth choir, youth usher ministry and President of the Youth Department. His commitment was further manifested by his participation in youth activities outside of his church at the district and state levels. During his junior year in college, he was elected president of the California State Baptist Youth Convention USA Inc., where during his two year tenure he was engaged in an aggressive evangelism campaign and over 3500 people gave their life to Christ.

In his junior year at USC, Pastor Johnson received the call of God on his life to enter the preaching ministry. This was a difficult decision period as he was president of the Youth Convention, a political science major with the goal of law school after graduation, and a member of the USC football team. After an unusual season of prayer, spiritual guidance by his pastor and the constant leadership of the Holy Spirit, Pastor Johnson selected seminary instead of law school, selected faith over football and selected spiritual preparation over a youth convention presidency. After graduating from USC, he was accepted into the largest Seminary in the world, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas.

During his time at Southwestern Seminary, he received another call beyond the preaching ministry, the call into the pastoral ministry. He accepted the pastorate of the St. John Baptist Church of Greenville, Texas. God moved in a tremendous way during his season at St. John, spiritually, numerically, financially and morally.

In 1991, God blessed him with the greatest gift he could receive in the person of his wife Virna L. Johnson. Her passion, zeal and creativity for God are tremendous assets to the body of Christ at large. They have been married for seventeen years and God has given them seven beautiful and uniquely gifted children.

In 1993, God led Pastor Johnson back to Los Angeles and issued another call on his life, the call to plant churches.  After successfully serving four years at the New Christ Memorial Church under Senior Pastor Andre Crouch, he started planting churches from North America to Africa under the banner of The Cities of Refuge Christian Fellowship Churches and Ministries International, where he has been serving as the presiding Bishop for 15 years.

Pastor Johnson fervently believes the Great Commission of the Church is to go and make disciples of every man. His vision incorporates his belief that for the 21st century church to be successful we must  incorporate evangelism  discipleship and church planting as integral priorities in our ministry strategies and it is the church that has the awesome responsibility of transforming sinners into saints, the helpless into the helpful and believers into Christians.

During a time of needed spiritual guidance for Cochran, Pastor Johnson accepted the invitation to be the Interim Pastor. After six weeks of anointed prayer, the membership overwhelmingly voted to make Pastor Charles Johnson the Senior Pastor. He prayerfully accepted the call and the Cochran Family is elated to be following the man that God has called to us for such as time as this.

Under our Shepherd, Pastor Charles Johnson, God is trusting Cochran with the covenant task of saving souls for His Kingdom. We strive daily to ensure that we are the church where “the mission of Christ is meeting the needs of the people” and to ‘Make the Kingdom Proud.’