Service before self is an interesting concept.

It seems so simple that you would think everyone would find it easy to contribute their time, treasure, and talent for the benefit of others. I am always humbled when I run across saints like Rev. Amos Johnson, Jr. that have been stepping up to serve others for thirty plus years at the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA. So much of his foundation for Social Responsibility comes from childhood memories when others helped support his family making it easy to understand why giving back to his Y is so important.

My Y Story: Rev. Amos Johnson, Jr.My "Y" Story

I was brought up in San Diego in a family of 10 children and my parents struggled to make ends meet. I can remember one Christmas when my dad was out of work and we received food and toys from the Salvation Army. Despite that I never thought of myself as poor because I was always involved in sports and church activities which allowed me the opportunity to always be surrounded by great coaches and counselors. These caring adults gave me encouragement and direction.

In January of 1974 I was asked to join the Jackie Robinson Board of Directors I accepted the offer as an opportunity to help young people find their way, just as I was helped when I was growing up in San Diego.

In March of 1974 I became pastor of the New Creation Church. Shortly thereafter I approached the Jackie Robinson Y director about renting a space for our Sunday worship services. Thus began a wonderful relationship between the YMCA and New Creation Church.

Our church was housed at the Y for five years. We held our worship services in the multi-purpose room and baptized our new members in the swimming pool. Our members became active in the various Y programs and participated in the annual support campaign.

I am no longer pastoring the church but I am still on the Y board. I have maintained my position on the Board for the last 36 years because I believe that the Jackie Robinson Y is the best organization in southeast San Diego when it comes to helping our youth to reach their full potential as children of God.

Rev. Amos Johnson, Jr.

P.S. Though he did not mention it, Amos was a Y kid long before joining
the Board of Management in 1974. His Y story could fill volumes!

Send your Y Story to [email protected]

Life is not
a spectator sport. If you're going to
spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in
my opinion you're wasting your life.