Seventh-day Adventist pastor Jermaine Johnson is one of 72 people who recently received a Governor General Medal of Honor in Kingston, Jamaica, for significant and exceptional contributions to their communities and the nation. The ceremony was held at King’s House on September 28, 2023.
Johnson, who pastors the Moneague District of churches in St. Ann, is the author of the “I Believe Initiative” theme song titled, “I Believe.” His Medal of Honor Gold Award was presented in the category of social program contributors.
“I am deeply honored to have received the Governor General’s Medal of Honor for my contributions to the esteemed office and the advancement of our nation,” Johnson said. “This recognition is a testament to the indelible impact that pastoral ministry can have on matters of national importance.”
In 2009, shortly after Governor General Sir Patrick Allen was installed, Johnson was inspired with a song that emanated from the themes of his inauguration speech. Johnson then put pen to paper and, after refining the composition, recommended it to His Excellency as a possible theme song for his “I Believe Initiative” (IBI) social transformation program.
“Sir Patrick invited me to come to Kings House with my choir to share the rendition,” Johnson said. “Upon hearing the song, he was blown away and decided that it best befit the IBI.”
Subsequently, the Governor General commissioned the song to be produced by the Northern Caribbean University Media Group and a production company based in Kingston, Jamaica. The piece was then presented at the launch of IBI and has been its official theme song ever since. It is a musical reflection of the notion of “using what is right with Jamaica to fix what is wrong with Jamaica.”
Johnson, who is a sought-after motivational speaker, is also the author of the book The 7 Ps to Effective Church Leadership. It is a culmination of numerous experiences, lessons, and inspirations whereby he uses his expertise as a trained educator, motivational speaker, and leadership specialist to carefully detail practical steps for current and emerging Christian leaders to effectively lead the departments and congregations they serve.
The IBI focuses primarily on three main pillars: youth, family, and education. Through his motivational and musical work over the years, Johnson has contributed to national development as a social transformational leader. As a result, in November 2021, Johnson was inducted as an IBI Ambassador for the Governor General’s Program for Excellence (The GGPE).
“In all my 24 years in the church, this is the first pastor I have ever seen to be so passionate about the mission of the church and he has only been with the district since May 7, 2022,” said Earl Waysome, a church elder at the Moneague Church and the congregation’s personal ministries director. “He has been networking with various government and non-government agencies to effect social intervention programs that have not only benefited the church, but also the communities of Moneague and its adjoining communities,” Waysome said.
Johnson joins the ranks of several privy counsellors, ambassadors, custodes, Governor General’s secretaries, aides-de-camp, national coordinators for the GGPE, close protection officers, private and public sector representatives, benefactors, and other staff members with more than ten years of service, who have contributed to the Governor General’s office and national development.
“I look forward to continuing to serve and contribute to my country’s growth and prosperity, for I think that God doesn’t fill you up for you to live like you’re empty,” Johnson said. “We must pour out ourselves for His glory, using our gifts and influence to transform others for time and eternity.”