Robert Johnson and Marianne Vermeer
Robert and Marianne ended their service on June 30, 2008. They would be happy to share stories from Pakistan with congregations as their schedule permits. Due to their busy schedule, they’re only able to speak in the Richmond, Va., area. Email them to extend them an invitation to your church or organization.
Marianne and Robert were appointed in July 2005 to serve in Lahore, Pakistan. Marianne is executive assistant to the principal of Forman Christian College (FCC), the major Christian institution of higher education in Pakistan. Marianne’s tasks include supervision of key administrative personnel, managing public relations, overseeing infrastructure, buildings and grounds, funds development and building an alumni network. Robert teaches at Forman and at Gujranwala Theological Seminary.
In March 2003, Forman Christian College was returned to the control of the Christian community 31 years after it was nationalized by the government of Pakistan. A year later, the Punjab government granted university status to FCC, which will begin a bachelors-degree program in the fall of 2005. The goal for the new team in charge of administration is to rebuild the college, academically and physically, into an institution worthy of accreditation according to the highest standards in the Western world and to restore it to its prior prominence in Pakistan.
“Ever since I left Egypt over 20 years ago,” writes Marianne of her two-year appointment as a PC(USA) volunteer in mission, “it has been my goal to take time again to serve in some capacity overseas. I realize that ‘letting go and letting God’ act in my life is very freeing and comforting. I have been focused in recent years on climbing a career ladder. But as I’ve read books or articles on discerning a calling and as I’ve considered and prayed about what I am called to do is that the ‘bigger’ and ‘better’ positions rarely provide the satisfaction I desire or the opportunity to live my faith in direct service to others. That is what motivates me, and I believe that is what God is calling me to do now.”
Marianne’s employment experience has prepared her well for the challenging new position at FCC. During the years prior to her appointment she led the Vermeer Consulting Group, a consulting practice for early stage companies and nonprofit organizations. She has served as chief operating officer, chief financial officer and executive director of companies and of nonprofit organizations. She worked for five years in the early 1990s in higher education at Ohio University.
Robert completed requirements for a Ph.D. in history and theology at Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond, Virginia, shortly after his appointment. He served Union-PSCE as director of its Institute of Reformed Theology (2000-2003) and was associate for theology with the General Assembly Council of the PC(USA) in Louisville, Kentucky (1998-2000). He was pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Wellston, Ohio, from 1996 to 1998 and pastor of Outville Presbyterian Church in Pataskala, Ohio, from 1988 to 1992.
Marianne holds an M.B.A. in entrepreneurial management from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and a Bachelor of Science from Colorado State University. Robert holds an M.Div from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey, and a bachelor’s from Austin College in Sherman, Texas.
Robert is ordained to the ministry of Word and Sacrament and is a minister member of the Presbytery of the James. Marianne is ordained to the office of elder and has served on the sessions of Outville Presbyterian Church in Outville, Ohio, and Second Presbyterian Church, Richmond, Virginia, where she is a member.
Marianne and Robert are the parents of two children, Nathan and Peter Vermeer Johnson.
Bob - March 13
Marianne - November 21