Pastor John Mark Richardson, Sr. was born and raised in the Church of God in Christ and is third generation. Pastor Richardson is the son of the late Superintendent George and Elouise Richardson, Los Angeles, California, and Grandson of the late Superintendent Louis and Louise Elam, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Pastor Richardson is married to Renita Jones-Richardson for thirty-six (36) years and they have three children: Jennifer (husband-Tyrone), John Jr. (wife-Myra), and Joshua (wife-Ernestine). They also have six beautiful grandchildren Skyler, Joshua, Aubrey, Eli, Alyssa, and Summer.
Before entering ministry full-time, Pastor Richardson worked as a Police Officer for the Oakland Police Department, Oakland, California; served as a Christian Counselor for Teen Challenge, Riverside, California; and, founded and operated the Bethel Church of God in Christ (COGIC) sixteen (16) bed Substance Abuse facility, Los Angeles, California.
Pastor John Mark Richardson served as Assistant Pastor to his father at the Bethel Church of God in Christ, Los Angeles, California, for eight (8) years. After the retirement of his father, Pastor John Mark Richardson was installed as the Pastor of Bethel COGIC by General Board Member Bishop George Dallas McKinney, Sr., in 1988.
In 1992, in addition to Pastoring the Bethel Church of God in Christ, Pastor Richardson was led of the Lord to plant a new Church in the city of Hawthorne, California. After receiving guidance on how to successfully plant a Church from General Board Member Bishop Jerry Wayne Macklin, Pastor Richardson held the first service on Sunday, August 9, 1992, with thirteen (13) in attendance. Since the first service, the New Journey Church of Hawthorne has impacted thousands of individuals of all races.
The New Journey Church is building a $3,000,000 Church and School Campus. The final construction phase will be completed in 2017. The New Journey Church owns and operates a twenty (20) acre Christian Retreat and Camp Center in the city of Wrightwood, California that can accommodate up to one-hundred eighty (180) guests. And, the New Journey Church Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) purchased in June 2015, low-income housing through a $1,000,000 grant from Housing Urban Development (H.U.D.).
Through the leadership of Pastor John Richardson, the New Journey Ministries Church of God in Christ has started and financially supported twenty-two (22) new Church Plants in the United States and Foreign Countries. Pastor Richardson also worked with the Free Methodist Church of North America helping this organization to Plant Churches, and find and train Pastors for their existing churches that were located in Urban Communities throughout the United States.
In 2015, Pastor John Mark Richardson was led by the Lord to start a District of Churches focusing on Churches that were not COGIC and unaligned COGIC Churches that were not part of any Jurisdiction. At the 2016 April Call Meeting, the COGIC General Assembly approved the recommendation by Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. and the General Board that the Journey District of Churches become a Jurisdiction in the Church of God in Christ and that Pastor Richardson be consecrated to the office of Bishop. The name California New Journey Jurisdiction Church of God in Christ was requested and approved! In November 2016, Pastor Richardson was consecrated to the office Bishop in the Church of God in Christ, Inc. The California New Journey Jurisdiction has over 70 Churches and will continue to reach out to Churches, not COGIC and unaligned COGIC Churches bringing them into full fellowship with the Church of God in Christ.