• Ben Shenk

Richard Johnson: Leveraging His L.I.F.E. To Build Other's Lives Up

Richard Johnson is one of the most skilled builders we know. Though maybe not in the traditional sense.


Unlike carpenters that build with wood, or masons who build using brick and mortar, Richard works with a uniquely different material: relationships.


For over a decade, Richard has leveraged his L.I.F.E., his Labor, Influence, Finances, and Expertise to build relationships that help strengthen and encourage others through discipleship in the 9th Ward.

A 9th Ward native, Richard grew up in the Desire Projects, across from where T9 stands today. After graduating from George Washington Carver High School, Richard’s athletic abilities took him away from the city. Even so, it wasn’t long before his faith and a call to serve his 9th Ward community led him back home.


That’s when Richard's career in professional (relationship) building took off.


Upon his return, Richard launched Rebuild Church and Ministries in the lower 9th ward, where he has served as lead pastor, building up the faith and lives of church members and neighbors through discipleship and outreach.

As a part of Rebuild’s Ministries, Richard also leads Temple Fitness, a community ministry of Rebuild New Orleans. Temple Fitness hosts classes designed to encourage God's people to take care of their bodies, the holy temples he has given us. Through this ministry, he has helped build youth and adults up both physically and spiritually through the relationships he’s developed during regular training and camps.


Richard has also been active in building and developing relationships in the 9th Ward community, and building up young leaders through his work as a Career Counselor at Carver High.

He’s one of those coaches and trainers that after you meet him, you’re going to leave changed for the better.”

“Richard’s been a part of this community from the beginning” explains Oscar Brown, Director of Thrive 9th Ward. “The thing about Richard is that when he’s mentoring others he’s doing it for the long-haul, building something to last. He’s been pouring into others so long, that now he’s actually mentoring the kids of the men and women he mentored before. He’s got a gift. He’s one of those coaches and trainers that after you meet him, you’re going to leave changed for the better.”


As Thrive 9th Ward prepares for our new programs in the fall of 2020, Thrive is excited to have Richard join our staff part-time, where he'll have the opportunity to continue his work building relationships with youth, parents.

Truly, we are blessed by and grateful for the many ways Richard has chosen to leverage his L.I.F.E. to build others up to experience flourishing lives, and look forward to the future Richard is helping to build in the 9th Ward.


If you feel called to leverage your L.I.F.E. on behalf of the families, communities, and businesses that Thrive NOLA walks alongside, one of the most meaningful ways to do that during COVID is by investing in T9’s new basketball mentorship programs by donating online at www.Thrive9th.org/donate.


Or, to get involved as a volunteer, visit www.thrivenola.org/get-involved today.

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