To say religion wasn’t a part of Meisha Johnson’s first 29 years would be a huge understatement.
Not today. At age 42, the mother of two teenage daughters is closing in on a Master of Sacred Theology on the way to a doctorate — all while employed as the director of Church Mission at St. Joseph of the Lakes in Lino Lakes.
Johnson was raised in Circle Pines and graduated from Centennial High School in 1997. She then spent five years in Sweden before moving back home to the Twin Cities. Later, she moved from the Midwest to the East Coast, where she worked as a television network reporter. She says a spiritual awakening changed her life in a big way: she then gave up her high-salaried position “in order to work for God.”
“I just literally was in a blank slate my whole life and wasn’t at all versed in denominational differences,” Johnson recently wrote in “The Catholic Spirit.”
“At that point, I only knew that Jesus Christ was Lord and that I needed him. In hindsight, I was unprepared for how God was about to use my training as a journalist to begin the quest for truth — to begin asking tougher questions that really mattered. I know I have to do a deep dive into religion.”
This quest led her first to the Bible, which she read cover to cover — it took about six months — then to the front doors of many different churches. Ultimately, it led to her academic “deep dive” of sacred theology.
Her news director in Philadelphia plus friends and family told her she was “crazy,” but that didn’t deter her from her newfound passion.
“But deep in my heart, by the grace of God, not yet understanding the magnitude of the salvific mission, I knew He was up to something great,” she said.
Contributing Writer Abe Winter can be reached by emailing email@example.com or calling 651-407-1200.