Former NFL player, Tim Johnson is, first and foremost, a man who seeks and follows God. He is a devoted husband, affectionate father, and the beloved Senior Pastor of Orlando World Outreach Center, a multi-cultural, multi-generational Christian church.
Johnson’s love for God, His Word, and His people is unwavering. Early in Tim’s walk with the Lord, he served in his local church as an usher, children’s teacher, life group leader and eventually as an elder. As Tim’s walk with Christ grew, so did his influence. In 2000 Tim was ordained as a pastor and followed God’s leading to Nashville, TN where he became the Associate Pastor of a growing church: Bethel World Outreach Church. By early 2005 he was appointed Senior Pastor. Then, in 2007, Pastor Tim relocated to Orlando to start Orlando World Outreach Center. With the help of his wife, Le’Chelle, their four children, several volunteers, along with a lot of faith and hard work, the church not only survived, but has thrived.
Tim’s faithfulness and commitment to family is known and felt by Le’Chelle, his wife of 28 years, and their children. His relationship with Christ has allowed him to be a man who lovingly leads his family to walk in the ways of the Lord. Together, the Johnson family has learned that “a family who prays together, stays together” is more than a slogan; it’s a truth.
For Tim, disobedience to God’s leading isn’t an option. In 2013, Johnson felt led to pray for the state of Florida in a way that had never been done before. He obeyed. Starting in early spring, he began walking in Pensacola and eleven weeks later, completed the walk of 698 miles in South Beach, Miami. Along the way, he prayed for the people and communities as he walked by them. This has inspired what are now referred to as “prayer walks” across the city of Orlando.
This passion for seeing communities transformed by Christ can be witnessed throughout Tim’s adult life. During his time in the NFL, Johnson co-sponsored and led football clinics for communities in Washington, DC and in his hometown of Sarasota, FL. In 1993, he co-founded the Good Samaritan Foundation along with long-time friends Art Monk, Charles Mann and Ernest Byner. The Good Samaritan Foundation established the Student Training Opportunity Program.
After retiring from the NFL, Tim served as the president of the Youth Life Learning Centers. His ties to the NFL remained, as Johnson was the chaplain for the New Orleans Saints from 2005 to 2008.
Today, Tim’s strong desire to build better communities has been passed on and is shared by his congregants. Partnerships with local homeless shelters and homeless support organizations, adopting a local underserved school, football clinics, and city clean up projects have made a huge impact on the City of Orlando. Between 2011 and 2013, Pastor Tim lead the charge in serving Orlando communities a total of more than 26,000 hours.
Because of Pastor Tim’s leadership in encouraging his congregation to reach those around them, one of his congregants nominated him for the John C. Maxwell Leadership Award. From a pool of over 2,500 nominees, a team of nearly 60 judges had the difficult task of deciding upon the top leader in ten different fields. In February 2014, Johnson was recognized as the “Faith-based Leader of the Year” by the John C. Maxwell Organization.
Johnson is no stranger to winning. As a defensive lineman, Tim became a High School All-American in Sarasota, FL, Walter Camp All-American in college, and won a national championship with Penn State in 1986 under coach Joe Paterno. His NFL career began with the Pittsburg Steelers (1987-1989). He was traded to the Redskins (1990-1995) where he won the 1991 Super Bowl under coach Joe Gibbs as well as being awarded the Redskin of the Year and Sports Illustrated All-Pro in 1993. Johnson retired from the Cincinnati Bengals in 1997. In recent years, Tim was named as one of Tampa Tribune’s “Tampa Bay’s All-Century Team.”
Tim and his wife, Le’Chelle, currently reside in Orlando. They are proud parents of three young ladies: Christa, Kayla, and Karrah and one teenage son: Shaun.