Michael A. Johnson Returns to SGA as President
Recently, Dr. Bob Provost sent a letter to SGA partners announcing his decision to retire after nearly 23 years as our mission’s president. In his letter, Bob echoed the similar words of SGA founder Peter Deyneka Sr. when he decided to retire in 1975. While celebrating God’s hand of blessing on SGA and our many fruitful ministries during his tenure, Peter said that it was time to transition leadership to someone with the strength and endurance of a younger man. He also noted that his successor, Peter Deyneka Jr., was already familiar to SGA partners.
And here in 2017, God has amazingly arranged similar circumstances as our board of directors has unanimously chosen Michael Johnson to succeed Bob as president of SGA effective May 1. Michael has a long history with our mission, having served as our vice president of advancement from 1996-2004. Board chairman Warner Tillman reflected on how God’s hand has guided this entire process . . .
For Michael and SGA, this is truly coming full circle for the glory of Christ. During a visit Bob Provost had made to a supporting church in New York City 21 years ago, he encountered Michael at an Adult Bible Fellowship Michael was teaching. Michael was then a young Madison Avenue advertising executive with a passion for teaching God’s Word. Not long afterward, Bob invited Michael and his wife, Erin, to serve Christ at SGA.
During those years, Bob mentored Michael, and Michael helped develop SGA’s Orphans Reborn and Immanuel’s Child ministries, and assisted in the growth of our training and church-planting ministries. In 2004, Michael stepped back into the business world to help put his sons through college. He has served for the past several years as senior vice president of the highly respected firm, Douglas Shaw and Associates in Naperville, Illinois. Through these experiences, the Lord has been equipping and preparing Michael to return to SGA for such a time and place as this.
In passing the torch to Michael, Bob Provost reflected with thanksgiving on what God has done through the gifts and prayerful support of our partners during his tenure . . .
Through you and other faithful partners over these past nearly 23 years, the progress of the Gospel across the Russian-speaking lands has been far more abundantly beyond all that we could have asked or thought. Through the training of pastors, the planting of churches, the reaching and discipling of children and youth, especially orphans, great numbers of souls have been saved and are serving Christ.
But there is much more to do. With the great number of believers who have migrated to North America, the number of people remaining in the CIS who are secure in Christ and worshipping the God of the Bible is less than one percent. And more than 90 percent of all the communities are still waiting for their first Bible-preaching church, especially in Russia’s Far East. The work that remains to be done is staggering, yet we trust that God will guide and provide in the exciting days ahead.
Michael desires to build on the solid biblical and ministry foundation laid by Peter Deyneka and Bob Provost, who will continue to serve as an advisor to Michael and is being honored by the board with the title of President Emeritus. Please join us in thanksgiving for God’s provision, and please pray for Michael as he takes up this enormous responsibility for the glory of Christ.