For ten years, the national spiritual care manager for the American Red Cross, Rev. Earl E. Johnson, recruited, screened, trained, and deployed highly credentialed healthcare chaplains to mass fatality events. From plane crashes to school shootings, Johnson was part of a team that assessed and planned emotional and spiritual support for the victims and loved ones of these horrific unanticipated events.
Johnson is semi-retired. He has recently appeared on MSNBC and CNN State of the Union with Candy Crowley to advocate for families of those lost in the Malaysian air incident. Last year, he lectured at Michigan State, Michigan, and Radford/Virginia Tech disaster preparedness conferences.
In the past decade, he coordinated professional spiritual care support to fatal domestic aviation incidents, massive Gulf hurricanes including Katrina, Rita, and Gus, the Virginia Tech shootings, and Orlando.
Johnson is an ordained Disciples minister, Yale Divinity graduate, and Board Certified Chaplain through the Association of Professional Chaplains. He served Disciples and UCC parishes in Missouri and New York before his chaplaincy training at Memorial Sloan Kettering/New York Presbyterian
(Cornell), and New York Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn.
Rev. Johnson was the Protestant Staff Chaplain at Cabrini Medical Center (now closed) from 1996-2001, when he moved from lower Manhattan to Arlington, Va., on Sept. 9, 2001, to work as a chaplain educator at Washington (D.C.) Hospital Center. Johnson was an adjunct instructor at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (CUNY) from 1992-2001.
Rev. Johnson is a passionate advocate for Disaster Spiritual Care to support families and loved ones impacted so profoundly by natural and human-casued disaster. At the American Red Cross national headquarters, his responsibilities included preparedness and response to every domestic mass fatality incident since the weeks after 9/11, including transportation incidents, natural disasters and criminal acts, as well as being a liaison to faith community disaster response organizations. Johnson helped develop the Psychological First Aid curriculum and its adaption for military families and the National Guard; Coping With Deployment for the organization.
He is a frequent presenter in the emerging field of disaster spiritual care, and is currently working on Meditations on Disaster Spiritual Care. Johnson's blog is his own and does not represent the views or policies of the American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization with a fundamental principle of neutrality.