Popular Fresno Pastor Retires

Fresno This is one of the last times Pastor G-L Johnson will unlock these doors to the Peoples Church a sanctuary he helped build.

Pastor G. L. Johnson, Peoples Church: "See we started with less than 200 people in a little chapel that seated about 2 and a quarter."

Now the church welcomes about five-thousand worshippers every Sunday.

After 45 years of leading this congregation Johnson has decided to retire.

There's a lot of hard work and a lot of sacrifice and a lot of effort. But as a result we're able to see lives changed.

Some of those lives are the very people now employed at Peoples Church.

Lynne Mushines: "The only pastor I've ever had so he's very near and dear to my heart."

Bonnie Diaz: "He is a man of prayer, a godly man. He cares about the people, not only at People's Church but of the community."

There's no real way to know the exact number of lives Johnson has touched during his 68 years of ministering not just in Fresno but in 51 countries around the world.

The late reverend Jerry Fallwell considered Johnson a friend and during a spike in violence back in 2004 he led a group prayer with worried residents.

Most recently the City of Fresno honored him declaring February 12th G-L Johnson Day.

After he retires Johnson says he's looking forward to a few Sundays off.

Johnson: "I'll probably take off several days besides Sundays because then I'll won't have anything I have to do."

Johnson's last service and retirement also coincides with his 80th birthday.

Much of Sunday's service will include sermons from guest pastors.

Johnson doesn't plan on preaching and admits the day will be a surprise even for him.

Johnson: "The people have been so kind. It's been the easiest church in the world to pastor."

Johnson has already received an offer from a company looking to start a world ministry-spreading god's word in other countries.

If he accepts, Johnson says he would use his contacts to help head up this ministry.

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