Saint Mark United Methodist Church welcomes new pastor

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) It's a new era for Saint Mark United Methodist Church in Wichita, as Pastor Robert Johnson officially takes over for Rev. Junius Dotson.

Dotson announced his departure earlier this year after he was selected to lead "Discipleship Ministries" in Nashville, Tennessee.

Dotson was involved in a variety of civic projects throughout Wichita, including the "No Ferguson Here" effort to improve community and police relations, and the Citizens Advisory Committee in the search for a new police chief.

Robert Johnson is now stepping into the role as lead pastor. Johnson says he plans to keep those tough conversations going both in and out of church.

"I'm excited to be here as we help our nation navigate through this very difficult time. To see a better time for our country in terms of race relations, in terms of relationships between police and the African American community," said Johnson.

Long-time member Kaye Monk-Morgan says Dotson's departure was a loss for the congregation, but she's confident Pastor Johnson will help move them forward.

"These two pastors, both the outgoing and the incoming have worked together to make sure the mission of Saint Mark does not change," sad Monk-Morgan.

Johnson moved to Wichita from Texas. He previously served as a pastor at Aldersgate UMC, and spent two terms on the Texas Conference Board of Ordained Ministry.