New leader for local Mormon stake

By AMY JONES / Associate Editor

Local members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have a new leader.

On Jan. 13, members of the church’s Bessemer Stake unanimously sustained Peter M. Johnson as stake president.

Peter M. Johnson

A stake in the Mormon church is similar to a diocese in other Christian denominations. The Bessemer Stake contains churches that cover several locations in Shelby County, such as Hoover, Calera, Columbiana, Alabaster, Helena, Wilsonville, Chelsea and Pelham.

A stake president is a man asked to serve as a volunteer in that position. As stake president, Johnson will oversee church programs, help the members of his stake in their efforts to follow Jesus Christ and oversee activities of church leaders, according to a press release.

“It is important to note that this is not my stake. I’ve just been asked to serve. This is the Lord’s stake,” Johnson said in the press release.

Johnson is the first black stake president in Alabama. He and his family recently relocated from Utah, but he served as a missionary in the Alabama Birmingham Mission from 1987-1989. He currently works as an accounting professor at the University of Alabama.

He and his wife, Stephanie Lyn Chadwick, have four children.