Bob Irvan Johnson Ph.D.

Bob Irvan Johnson Ph.D. 

In 1990, Wanda and I moved to Louisville from Kansas City, MO where I had served on the faculty at Midwestern Baptist Seminary for 11 years. My job here was as Dean of Boyce Bible School which was Southern Seminary’s undergraduate offering to potential ministers who were at least 21 years of age. I served for nine years in this capacity.

Our commitment to Broadway came through the influence of David and Marilyn Mueller and Lucy Belle Shuck. Lucy Bell was the true gate keeper for us. She did everything a good member should do in relating to us.  We found a warm and accepting place as a result. One of the joys, one that shall never be again, was eating Wednesday night dinners with so many of my colleagues who were members of Broadway and still at Southern Seminary.

Through many of the 25 years of our membership, I was serving in interim positions at other congregations. However, I was never forgotten by Broadway. It should be noted that Wanda was not with me on all those occasions, so she was better connected than was I. That’s been great for both of us! 

The other factors in our being blessed at Broadway are the music; the challenge of being Christian in a moderate church setting while everybody else goes to Southeast Christian. (lol). Also I have been asked to serve in areas of my strengths and training. I have been respected for my training and experience but not placed on any kind of unwanted/unneeded pedestal. 

Whether it should have been different or not, I am not sure, but when our gay son, Jeffry, married his partner, David, last year, only a couple of people ever mentioned it to us. The primary person was Paul Simmons who was very encouraging and even suggested that I should write a book on being a minister and father of a gay son. I am considering that (but probably am too lazy to follow through).

Worship and biblical preaching have fed us spiritually. Broadway tries and succeeds largely, to take being church seriously, and that is essential for me. Being willing to take a bold-faced look into the future excites me as one who has taught in that general area for many years.  It is a joy to see “theories” and the like actually being put into practice in the local congregation.