My name is Justin Johnson. My wife Tara, our son Josiah, and I just moved to Saco, Maine from Harrodsburg, KY. Tara and I married 7 years ago and now have a 20 month old son. Shortly after Tara and I met, I received my calling to the ministry. At our home church, one faithful minister of the gospel shared about the lostness and need for the gospel in Maine. God used that presentation to ignite a passion in me for Maine. From that point on everything that I planned on doing was about coming to Maine. All of my college papers and presentations were about Maine. God opened the doors and connected us with Barry Murray, the Maine church planting catalyst, in 2013.
We are now living and serving in Saco alongside Brandton and Katie Wood and their three girls. We have been residing in Maine for two months. We love the town of Saco and the people. We have had the privilege of working with 4 amazing interns from Birmingham, AL; Jacob Pierce, Lydia Brown, Beth Gladney, and Chris Atchison. Since moving here, we’ve been living in the truth of Proverbs 16:9 “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Literally, everything that we have planned from our move up here to the beginning steps of church planting has not gone according to our plan. However, God has still been faithful to give us opportunities to serve in different areas and He has worked things out for His glory. We were able to serve the community at the Saco Sidewalk Arts Festival by providing a tent with children’s art activities. It was a fun filled day where we were able to connect with several members of our community and begin building relationships. In our short time here in Saco we have met some amazing people and are still looking for ways to connect with families at the parks and with kids at the basketball courts.
As a family we are blessed to have several partners, most of which are from our hometown, that are financially and prayerfully supporting our church plant. All of our partners are either families, individuals, or small rural churches. It is amazing how God can use so many smaller groups to come together and fully support our church plant. Our plans are to stay in Saco and serve with Hope Church for one year before moving to Bridgton to plant a church. We are still praying and trusting God to open the necessary doors to put us wherever it is that he wants us. He has shown us time and time again that He will establish our steps. We are excited about being in Maine and serving alongside the Woods’ to learn more about church planting. More importantly, we are excited to be a part of what God is doing in Saco and just praying for lives to be changed through the power of the Gospel.