Bishop Duane & Evangelist Cynthia Johnson

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After serving for nearly 20 years at Maximum Life Christian Church in Woodlawn, Maryland under the leadership of his parents, Bishop Carroll and Pastor Muriel Johnson, then Minister Duane Johnson, his wife and high school sweetheart, Minister Cynthia Johnson, and their infant son, moved to Greater Bethlehem Temple (GBT) located in Randallstown, Maryland. While serving under Bishop James D. Nelson Sr., at GBT, Minister Duane continued to pursue his dreams and calling to move into the pastorate.  He served as the Youth Pastor at GBT and later became an ordained Elder in World Assemblies of Restoration.

Bishop Duane Johnson, a fourth generation preacher, received the call to ministry very early in life. Growing up in the church, literally from birth, he has been a faithful member

 and leader in almost all areas of ministry. From driving congregants

to serving as a junior deacon, from singing on the choir to serving

as a Sunday school teacher, from  working in the audio

ministry to serving as the Youth Pastor, Duane has

understood that God has been preparing him, over the

years, to lead His flock. After a period of time at

GBT, Elder Duane Johnson, his wife, now

Evangelist Cynthia Johnson, and

their young son heeded the voice of the LORD

and started Speak To My Heart Ministries

on April 1, 2007, at the Roosevelt

Recreation Center in the Hamden area of

Baltimore City. Though the church was initially

started with just the family of three, God sent

many parishioners from the community and

from the radio audience that Elder Johnson

bolsters. In addition to his work in the church

and as a teacher in the Baltimore City Public

School System, he has been a well-known

and a well-respected Gospel radio personality

in the Baltimore area for nearly two

(2) decades. After worshipping in the Roosevelt

Recreation Center or  almost one year, the

membership of Speak To My Heart Ministries

continued to grow as did the Johnson’s desire to

connect with the people of  God on a more

frequent basis. Thus, after a “ceiling problem” at the

recreation center, the church moved to the Sankofa

Dance Theater in Baltimore City for worship. This

Location provided the church with more time for

worship, and as the service time grew, so did the

church membership. God was blessing the church.

He was sending “good people” to the church

and people” to the church and it was growing, however,

there continued to be a desire in Pastor and Evangelist Johnson’s spirit for more: more time, more space, more opportunities to speak to people’s hearts. They continued to seek God. On April 1, 2009, on the 2 year church anniversary, God blessed Speak To My Heart Ministries to move to its own location at 3903 W. Belvedere Avenue in the Park Heights Community of Baltimore City. This location, a thrift store turned furniture store was cleaned and painted and transformed into a beautiful sanctuary, and service was held at 7:30 p.m. that same night! This particular area of Baltimore has had a long standing reputation of being a rough, high-crime area. However, since Speak To My Heart Ministries came to the neighborhood, drug activity and crime have reportedly decreased and the neighborhood has “changed.” Bishop and First Lady Johnson and the saints of Speak To My Heart Ministries are so happy with their new, nearly 9000 sq.ft, building as it provides them with the physical space and 24 hour access to, not only have Sunday services, but also mid-week services, Bible Study, men’s events, women’s events, and youth events.

The location enables the church to readily and easily dispense the supplies and food during its yearly Back-To-School activities, Thanksgiving Food Basket giveaways, and Christmas Food and Toy giveaways. The church also looks forward to hosting programs for drug and alcohol addiction, educational programs, and working with the community on neighborhood pride and beautification projects. Since moving to Belvedere Avenue, the mandate of God has been brought to the forefronts of Bishop and First Lady Johnson’s minds; that the mission of Speak To My Heart Ministries is to do just that – to speak to the hearts of the people; to save the lost; to offer life to a dying world, to be a light in the midst of darkness, and to express to all, regardless of their past, the genuine and unconditional love of Jesus Christ. Since the church opened its doors in 2007, it is growing and lives are being changed. Though there have been many trials and tribulations that would have Bishop Duane give up,
his convictions, his faith, his humble spirit, his integrity, and the unyielding support of his wife, children, and church congregation have caused him to continue to press ahead and to continue to be used to speak to the hearts of God’s people.

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