Senior Pastor, Founder
Johnny D. Gentry, III was born in Houston, Texas and raised in Central California. At only 6-weeks old his parents were divorced and he moved to California with his mother where he endured a very troubled youth involving gangs, drugs and crime. Johnny survived the California streets through athletics and Baptist upbringing.
He was recruited by Santa Clara University in 1989 where he played Division 2 football. After a career-ending knee injury, Johnny fell back into a lifestyle of crime. Facing a 50-year aggravated prison sentence in 1996, Johnny hit rock bottom and called on the name of Jesus Christ in a jail cell. It was in the midst of this trial that he experienced a spiritual awakening and divine encounter with the Lord.
After six years, the criminal case was dismissed. Johnny accepted his call to preach the gospel, believing that the mistakes of his past would one day serve as a powerful testimony. He has since served faithfully in the local church.
He was ordained as an elder in 2001 and as an apostle in 2011. Pastor Johnny has been blessed with 20 years of ministry and community outreach through organizations such as Change Happens, Star of Hope Men’s Development Center and Freedom Church which he founded in 2003.
Johnny has experience as a certified chemical dependency counselor, at-risk youth intervention specialist, career and vocational program case manager, life management counselor, juvenile offender mentor director and program director of housing for ex-offenders & men in recovery from drug addiction.
Johnny is founder, visionary and lead pastor of Freedom Church International, an inter-denominational spirit-filled church located in Northeast Houston. He is President and CEO of Freedom Church Ministries, a faith-based 501(c)(3) community outreach ministry committed to At-Risk Youth, Workforce Development and Economic Revitalization in Northeast Houston.
He is CEO and principal of Gentry Global GroupLLC, a family owned real estate investment venture.
Pastor Johnny is married to Jenice Gentry for 24 years.