Pastor Johnnie L. Abram was born and raised in Latta, South Carolina . He is the youngest of 12 children born to Julia and Arthur Abram who were Christians and together they raised their family in the fear and admonition of the Lord. At the age of 10 at St. John Baptist Church, Latta, S.C. he publicly accepted and received the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and was baptized by Pastor Dr. O.E. Jackson. He graduated from Latta High School in 1974 with honors.
During the fall of 1974, he entered the Baptist College of Charleston, South Carolina where he continued with the same kind of Christian principles and efforts, which brought him success in high school. While at the college, Pastor Abram was elected as the first African American Student Government President. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and double minors; Criminal Justice and History. Pastor Abram furthered his studies at the graduate level at Howard University in the Master of Arts and Religious Studies School .
After graduation, Pastor Abram moved to the Washington area and began making an impact on the lives of the people he came in contact with. In the summer of 1978 he performed missionary work at the First Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland where Dr. Leroy Fits is the Pastor. From the fall of 1978-1980 he was the Youth Facilitator at New Southern Rock Baptist Church, Washington D.C. under the pastorate of Dr. M. G. Barr. By 1979 he organized the first Men’s Ministry at New Southern Rock as well. Pastor Abram went on to join the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia and served as Minister of Youth under the pastorate of Dr. A. A. Booker. Pastor Abram quickly became known in the metropolitan area for his evangelistic preaching and singing style and has conducted numerous revivals. He received the Altruists Award as one of 5 “Outstanding Men of the Year. In June 1995, Pastor Abram was chosen “Pastor of the Week” by WYCB radio station. Pastor Abram has also appeared on Fairfax County Cable Channel 35 as a distinguished panelist for the “It takes a Village” program that is sponsored by Fairfax County Department of Education.
He is a member of several organizations most notably the Baptist Ministers Conference of Alexandria and Vicinity. While serving with the conference he was voted in as the President
in 2001. With his visionary and leadership abilities, Pastor Abram worked toward and accomplished the increased membership of the conference participants and was able to disseminate information to them on issues that would concern and be helpful to their membership.
Pastor Abram married Reverend Velvet (Byrd) Abram September 1986. They reside in Alexandria, Virginia with their son Todd E. Abram.
On Palm Sunday, April 12, 1987, Pastor Abram became the Founder and Pastor of Harvest Assembly Baptist Church (HABC) which he planted under inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The church held services in two temporary locations but on December 7, 1991, Harvest Assembly Baptist Church held dedication services and officially moved to 8008 Fordson Road, Alexandria, Virginia. Harvest Assembly quickly out grew the sanctuary resulting in 3 worship services on 1st Sunday and 2 worship services on 2nd , 3rd , and 4th Sundays. By 2003 God had once again blessed Pastor Abram and the Harvest Family with a second church with a seating capacity of 450+ at 8012 Fordson Road. As of 2003, the Net worth of the ministry was over $4.5 million dollars.
Since Harvest Assembly Baptist Church was founded in 1987, more than 1,000 members have joined by Baptism, Letter or Christian experience. In this ministry, over 55 preachers have served as associates and over 40 have been called under him to the gospel ministry and licensed. Harvest Assembly Baptist Church has also ordained eight preachers. While Pastor Abram has not officially accepted the title of Bishop, five of the forty preachers whom he licensed are pastoring churches in the metropolitan area. He also serves as the covering to several young ministries in the area. As a way of continuing to show brotherly love to his fellow pastorate, Pastor Abram has also allowed several churches who don’t have a present building or baptizing capabilities the opportunity to use the Family Life Center for services or baptism.
Under his executive ability HABC has purchased several houses, church vans, buses, and a truck to be used in the Outreach Ministry for transporting the elderly, homeless, handicapped or whoever is in need of transportation. In addition, he heads a Bible Institute that offers Bible Classes for men only, discipleship training, leadership training, marriage seminars, and other courses as needed and necessary for the body of Christ. Under Pastor Abram’s guidance 55 active outreach ministries were also birthed to include, the AIDS Ministry, Prison Ministry, Evangelism Ministry, the Food Share Ministry, Singles and Young Adults Ministry, the Married Ones Ministry, Nursing Home Ministry, and he found the HABC Youth Power Extension Program (Y-PEP) which targets teen and junior age groups. In 2002, Harvest Assembly became the first church to host a Virginia branch of the Wilbur Waters School of Theology and Seminary, where Dr. Mark Jackson is the President. In 2003, Pastor Abram received the Proclamation of the City of Alexandria, Virginia for his work with the Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Day activities and his roles as the 2003 keynote speaker. This was done by Order of the City Council and signed by Mayor Kerry J. Donley and the city clerk.
In 2005, Pastor Abram credits and thanks Dr. Carroll A. Baltimore and members of C.A.B. Outreach Ministries for extending the international invitation to him to partner with their mission ministry in the Philippines. Pastor Abram traveled to the Philippines for two weeks to minister to those in impoverished areas, not only bringing them the Word for spiritual healing, but also brining them much needed medical supplies which helped to treat many who don’t have access to medical facilities.
Pastor Abram is a child of God and an Ambassador for Christ. He devoted his time and attention to the Ministry of HABC and is delighted in carrying out the works of the Lord. He enjoys evangelizing the good news of Jesus Christ and working with and helping people. He believes that every aspect of an individual’s life should be dedicated to the service of the Lord! Pastor Abram’s Motto, “If I can help somebody as I pass along the way, then my living shall not be in vain” is not just another cliché, but one that he lives by every day.