Meet St. Brendan’s Latest Clergy Addition:
The Rev. Deacon Darrell Johnson
Not originally a ‘Pittsburgher’, I grew up in a small town in the northern most part of New York State called Chateaugay, about 2 miles from the Quebec border and an south of Montreal. This area, just north of the Adirondack Mountains, is lovingly referred to as “God’s Country” (since only God could love it). Rolling hills and dairy farms interrupted by small towns and lakes. Pure air and blue skies. I was raised in the pre-Vatican II Roman Catholic tradition and served as an altar boy at St. Patrick’s R.C. Church, the largest church in Chateaugay. Trained by Dominican nuns from the local convent, I still remember my Latin!
I completed both undergraduate and graduate school at the State University of New York at Binghamton (then known as Harpur College) and taught high school English for seven years at New Rochelle High School in Westchester County, NY. But even with a master’s degree, permanent state certification, tenure, and seven year’s service, I was earning just under $26K/year. In those days teachers were even less well paid than they are today. My solution was to take evening courses at PACE University and transition from teaching into the world of I.T. After leaving teaching I moved to Pittsburgh to pursue a career with Westinghouse’s Distribution & Control Business Unit, a business that was eventually sold to Eaton Corporation in 1994. And I worked for the Electrical Sector of Eaton Corp until 2016, when I retired. Same company for 30 years, and you do not see much of that anymore! During my tenure with Eaton I worked in I.T., customer support, sales, supply chain, marketing, pricing, knowledge management, operations, and operational excellence. You don’t see much of that anymore either! For nine years I served as a Sr. Examiner in Eaton’s internal Malcolm Baldrige assessment, quality, and business excellence process. And at the same time I served as a Judge for the PA Keystone Award for Performance Excellence process and, for two years, as an Examiner in the national Malcolm Baldrige Award process sponsored by the Commerce Department. There isn’t much I don’t know about process development, execution, and improvement!
I took advantage of Eaton’s educational program in the late 1990’s and completed a BS degree in Administration and Management at LaRoche College here in Pittsburgh.
My affiliation with St Brendan’s began in 2015 when I followed two friends from St. John’s United Church of Christ in Evan’s Ciry, PA back to the Episcopal Church from which I had been separated since 2008 after the ACNA schism. I had been received into the Episcopal Church in 1988 at Church of our Saviour, Glenshaw (now ACNA) and then transitioned to Calvary Church in East Liberty. But I drifted away from the Episcopal Church after the separation.
At St. Brendan’s I began a ministry in 2017 to Sunrise of McCandless assisted-living facility near Passavant Hospital. For three years I led a worship service for the residents every other Sunday, but that ministry became another victim of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 when Sunrise closed their doors to all volunteers per their corporate policy. That ministry had everything to do with my eventual entry into the discernment process for ordained ministry, which culminated in my May 8, 2021 ordination as a vocational deacon – at the age of 70! So much for my long-planned retirement! Our gracious Father has quite a sense of humor.