Rev. Jeff R. Johnson


Jeff R. Johnson was ordained in 1990, and is the fourth pastor to serve University Lutheran Chapel of Berkeley, the Lutheran community of faith “at work in the world” at the University of California, Berkeley.

He is a member of the Board of Directors for both SHARE El Salvador and Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries; on the Steering Committee for the Faith Alliance for a Moral Economy; a member of the East Bay Interfaith Immigration Coalition; and serves on the Spiritual Care Team at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary.  Prior to his ministry at the Chapel, Pr. Jeff was pastor of First United Lutheran Church in San Francisco's Richmond District.  

He was married in 2014, and lives with his husband in Oakland in a 1920’s stucco bungalow. He enjoys working around the house, watching movies, tracing his family history, cooking, visiting family, studying Spanish, playing piano, salsa dancing, and visiting other places and cultures.

Jeff is a graduate of California Lutheran University (1984 BA in German and History) and Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley (1988 MDIV).

Upon graduation, he founded Lutheran Lesbian and Gay Ministry  with Ruth Frost and Phyllis Zillhart and in January 1990 was one of three openly lesbian and gay Lutherans to be ordained extra ordinem (contrary to official church policy) at St. Paulus Lutheran Church, San Francisco. Both First United (expelled) and the Chapel (censured) have been disciplined by the ELCA for having called as pastor Pr. Jeff who was in violation of the ELCA's denominational policy of discrimination requiring life-long celibacy of lgbtq pastors.  Along with almost forty others on the irregular roster of the Extraordinary Candidacy Project, Jeff was received onto the ELCA’s roster of clergy in 2010 following a change at the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly in official denominational policy.

(This biographical statement provided by Jeff Johnson.)

Biography Date: December, 2004; rev. 2017

Additional Resources



Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) | Frost, Ruth | Zillhart, Phyllis | Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries (ELM) | Activist (religious institutions) | Church Trials | Clergy Activist | Ordination/clergy | California | San Francisco | Johnson, Jeff | EXHIBIT Rolling the Stone Away


“Rev. Jeff R. Johnson | Profile”, LGBTQ Religious Archives Network, accessed July 21, 2024, https://lgbtqreligiousarchives.org/profiles/jeff-r-johnson.


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