Marquis D. Johns was born in Los Angeles, California. Prior to receiving God’s call to ministry, he dropped out of school, spent time in jail, and sold drugs. He also became a chart-topping rap artist. But in 2002, through the power of prayer, the Holy Spirit spoke God’s call on Pastor Johns’ life, and he accepted God’s salvation and call to ministry.
Anyone who spends time with Pastor Johns will soon realize that his major focus in life is evangelism. He believes in using a liberal methodology to present a conservative theology.
This methodology has proven very successful for his soul-winning efforts. In 2010, he conducted a contemporary evangelistic campaign in Columbus, Ohio, that resulted in 110 baptisms. At the Metropolitan Seventh-day Adventist Church in Hyattsville, Maryland, where he served as Associate Pastor from June 2011 to early 2016, he baptized close to 400 people. He is in great demand as a speaker and has conducted several successful evangelistic campaigns over the past five years in New York, Georgia, Washington, California and Florida. Pastor Johns became lead pastor at North Philadelphia in March 2016.
In addition to the pastoral duties he carries out at North Philadelphia, Pastor Johns also serves on the North America Division’s Young Adult Advisory Committee. He has been a three-time presenter at the North American Division’s annual year-end meetings (2013-2015); his presentations have covered the work he has done with the Barna Group researching Adventist young adults. He was one of the organizers and speakers for Impact San Antonio – an exciting experience for young adults at the 2015 General Conference Session. He has also been the host of Dare to Dream/3ABN television network’s “The New Journey” program; the program chronicles the lives of people who have turned away from a life of crime and other destructive behaviors, and are now on a new journey with Christ. He has been featured in and written articles for several of the denomination’s magazines and has appeared on several Hope Channel programs.
Pastor Johns graduated from Oakwood University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Church Leadership. He will complete a Master’s of Arts in Religion with a concentration in Metropolitan Ministry at Washington Adventist University in December 2016. He is married to Rhonda Billingy.
His love for ministry is fueled by his life motto – “memento mori” – remember you must die.