Founder and Executive Director
Byron Johnson grew up in small town Cartersville, GA. Though he did not grow up in a Christian home, he came to faith in Christ at the age of 16. After graduating from high school, he attended the University of West Georgia (UWG). It was at UWG, that his faith began to soar. Within two days of arriving on campus, it was very apparent that God was up to something significant in his life. He was approached by two young men in his residential hall and was invited to play basketball. In the midst of the conversations that transpired, he discovered that these two men were Christians and that they had just moved to town to start a new ministry on campus known as Campus Outreach (CO) and he was one of the first students they met. Two days later, one of the men (Alan Love) started meeting with him one-on-one and began the discipleship process with him. For the next four and half years, He would enjoy and benefit greatly from this discipleship relationship.
Also, during these four and half years, He took the things that he had learned and began to invest in the lives of other students through this same process of life on life discipleship (2 Timothy 2:2). He seized numerous opportunities to grow and develop in his relationship with Christ. He would participate in retreats, conferences, and mission projects both foreign and domestic while involved with CO. God used these opportunities, along with discipleship, and the local church to give him a passion for evangelism and discipleship. More specifically, it was on a two month foreign mission trip to Mexico City, Mexico between his junior and senior year at UWG that he felt God’s call on his life into full-time vocational ministry. Months earlier he had heard a story about the lack of African-American missionaries. That story gripped his heart and he answered the call to missions. He graduated from UWG in 1990. He spent the next year and half back in Cartersville developing a base that would serve as the foundation to raise financial support and pursue missions.
For 20 years (1992-2012), He served as a missionary with CO. He served in various capacities with CO. His roles included campus staff, campus director, area director, and regional director. He has worked on the following campuses… Alabama State University, Tuskegee University, Morehouse College, Morris Brown College, Spelman College, Clark Atlanta University, Huntingdon College, and Auburn University Montgomery. He is the Founder and Executive Director of VISION 9:38 (2012). He has raised over $3 million in his fundraising efforts. He also has a Master of Divinity from Reformed Theological Seminary (RTS). He is a Ruling Elder in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA). He serves as a consultant/advisor to various mission agencies and organizations; especially in the areas of fundraising and diversity. He's a conference speaker.
He continues to disciple and mentor young African-American male college students at Morehouse College. His hope and prayer is that God would raise up other African-American missionaries to labor in His harvest. God has answered His prayers and continues to do so as there are numerous African-American missionaries on the field and countless laborers in their sphere of influence as a result of God using his laboring. A large number of them have participated in missions both overseas and in the United States. Many continue to labor for the Lord as missionaries in the urban communities, on college campuses, and on foreign soil. Several men are currently serving as pastors in local churches.
Byron is married to Kim and they have five children (Kelsey, James Byron II, Kaitlyn, Jordan, and Jonathan). Kim was also involved with CO as a student at both Livingston University (LU) and Troy University (TU). Kim graduated from Troy in 1990. Byron met Kim on a summer mission project hosted by CO while the two of them were in college. They were married in 1993 and currently reside in Atlanta, GA.