Stan was born in Northern California on Hoopa Indian Reservation in 1970, and spent the first 20 years of his life living in the Northern California mountain town of Orleans, just up the Klamath River from the reservation. His parents, Lonnie & Karen Johnson, owned a logging company in Orleans until they re-located to the Boise area in 1990. He has 2 brothers and 1 sister.
“Being born into a logging family, (my Grandpa Jack started logging with horses) I learned the value of hard work, long days, and problem solving to get the job done. You have to work as a team. If one person didn’t do their job, it effected the production of all. My Dad taught me to not just work harder, but to work smarter. If you were not smart, you had a good chance of getting killed or injured.” Stan also says with a smile, “I think my Dad made me and my two brothers work in the woods during the summers to keep us in college. It worked! All three of us have college degrees and work in fields that we love.” He grew up hunting, fishing and riding motorcycles, things he still loves to do with his family.
Most loggers have a reputation of hard living. Not so with Stan’s family. “My parents lived for God and modeled what living for Jesus looks like. They were the same at home as they were on Sunday. They loved each and other showed me what a family is supposed to be. Though there were plenty of drugs and alcohol in the town I grew up in, it was never in our home. Never a swear word. I’m very thankful for that. My grandparents also modeled the Christian life. The older I get, the more I realize how blessed I was to grow up in such a functional home. My parents challenged us that we could accomplish just about anything if we worked hard, kept our integrity, and persevered through hard stuff. It has challenged me as a Dad and husband to model the same thing for my 3 kids. We still love to hang out with my parents, who have been married for 48 years.”
Stan and his wife Kris have been married 22 years and have 3 children, Lauren, Alexis and Travis. “Our heart for the family is that it can a healthy, vibrant relationship. But you have to apply God’s Word to that family for that to happen. Good families don’t just happen, they’re created and maintained.”
Stan and Kris met in 1989 at Bible College and were married on August 1st 1992, beginning a life of full time ministry together. They have served 24 years in almost every capacity of ministry (including janitor) in 4 churches. They have been Lead Pastors at Kuna Life Church for over 18 years. “The first service we attended at KLC had around 15 people. I have to admit, I wasn’t sure if this was where God wanted us, (we had just come from a church as Youth Pastors with 150 kids in our youth group- the KLC building was smaller than our youth room), and I would have to get a full time job outside the church just to live.” With 2 kids and one on the way, this required some faith. “After that service, we both knew that this is where God wanted us. We discovered that were actually about 30 people who were a part of KLC, and we worked together to make it what it is today.” As the church grew, KLC needed to build. It was located at School St. and Avalon, where the current City Hall is now. That facility is a total of 4 building projects. “after 4 years, I was able to quit my job as a house painter and focus solely on the church.”
KLC outgrew that facility, sold it, and re-located to it’s current location by Kuna High School. Stan says this was exactly where God wanted KLC to be. “It’s a long story, but God did several miracles to place us at this location. As an outreach driven church, what better place is there than next to the High School and a grade school? All three of our kids attended Kuna High School, and both daughters recently graduated. I have the privilege now of driving my son to school and seeing him first thing when school is out. I’m very blessed.” He says, “My wife Kris also works part time in the church office, so I actually do get to kiss the secretary when I want and not get into trouble.” He believes that ministry should be fun. He adds, “You won’t last in ministry if you don’t keep a sense of humor.”
What we do as a Family:
“One thing that is very important to me is that my kids never feel they were ripped off in life because their parents were pastors. They didn’t choose what their parents do for a living, and being a PK can be tough. I’ve heard many stories of PK’s (Pastors Kids) who felt the church was more important than them. I don’t take those stories lightly. I try to be very intentional about not letting that happen. My wife is my #1 after Jesus, my kids second and the church after them.” He says, “There has to be a balance. My work ethic from growing up absolutely determines how I approach God’s call on my life, with absolute passion and integrity. Work hard and do the best you can.” On the flip side, he says spending time with his family is of absolute importance. “There aren’t many jobs in this country where you are literally on call 24/7, as pastors are. If it’s your day off and someone has a serious emergency, you’re there, day off or not.” But he also believes in protecting his family time. “We do get to spend a lot of time together as a family. We enjoy hunting season and family vacations, or just hanging out watching Duck Dynasty or other shows. We like dirt bikes, horses and fishing. We try to have dinner together as often as we can, eating on the same table I did as a kid growing up.” We have a no phone policy at dinner (if you call when we’re eating, I won’t answer). Stan also has a side business painting houses on his days off, which he uses to fund family trips and other things. They often work together as family on these projects. “My kids flat out know how to work,” he says. “I am very proud of their work ethic. They are not afraid to get dirty to get the job done.” “I want my kids to know that what God has called us to do as Pastors is best job in the world. We actually get to make an eternal difference in a person’s life. That is priceless.”
To contact Pastor Stan, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org