For more than 16 years, John served as the president and CEO of Citygate Network, formerly known as the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions. During that time, he totally transformed a hundred-year-old federation that was struggling with identity, relevancy, and profitability. John successfully led the organization through a reassessment, relocation, re-staffing, refocusing, rebellion (almost), rebranding, and a pandemic. Through all of this, Citygate Network membership has grown by one-third and member events have increased almost fourfold. Today, Citygate Network is an extremely valuable and strongly viable association that is highly regarded and greatly respected by its members, other faith-focused organizations, and the government.
See some of the photos of John at work, taken over the past decade and a half.
John has made an incredible difference in guiding the association and its members from the past into the future, ultimately impacting millions of lives. His leadership has changed so many missions, how they work and how they serve. His efforts in the public square have created a foundation to change even more lives in the future.
— Jim Reese, former CEO of The Atlanta Mission
What a fantastic leader for Citygate Network John has been. He led us through some very difficult times and started new initiatives that helped many rescue missions take a leading role in their communities when it came to meeting the needs of the homeless and hurting.
— Micheal Woods, CEO of Western Carolina Rescue Ministries
John has an incredible ability to anticipate cultural changes and get ahead of them. He predicted the need for new ministry modalities and understood the various ways that members would need to prepare in order to effectively provide help and hope for those on our streets.
— Justin Boles, former vice president of Citygate Network
At the 2023 Annual Conference and Exposition in Orlando, John was honored by family, friends, colleagues, members, staff, and the Citygate Network board of directors. U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy gave him a U.S. flag that had flown over the House Chamber in an autographed frame. Singers/songwriters Cindy Morgan and Joel Hanson wrote and performed a song in his honor. John will now move into a president emeritus role, further assisting with the leadership transition and serving as an ambassador for Citygate Network.
Click on the linked names below to watch a brief video testimonial from that person, sent in for the tribute.
President, Union Rescue Mission of Los Angeles (CA)
Jason Ashmen, Senior Solutions Architect, Apple, Inc. (NJ)
Jesse Ashmen, Program Director, Carolina Creek Christian Camps (TX)
Janelle Witcher, PICC RN, NursePro+ (TN)
Former Secretary, U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (FL)
Former Membership Director, Christian Camp and Conference Assn. (CO)
Former President, Union Gospel Mission of Vancouver (BC)
Former President, Christian Camp and Conference Assn. (WI)
CEO, National Health Care for the Homeless Coalition (TN)
Former Director of Hospitality, Moody Bible Institute (OH)
CEO, Rescue Ministries of Mid-Michigan (MI)
Executive Director, Warm Beach Camp and Conference Center (WA)
President, Adult & Teen Challenge USA (MO)
Pastor, Fellowship Alliance Chapel (NJ)
Executive Director, Alliance Redwoods Conference Grounds (CA)
President, John Pearson Associates, (CA)
Attorney and Director, Schmitt Schneck Even & Williams, P.C. (AZ)
National Commander, The Salvation Army, (VA)
President, Inspiring Growth (MD)
President, Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, (VA)
President, Robert Loggins Ministries (MO)
Former Executive Director, U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (DC)
Executive Director, Downtown Hope Center (AK)
President, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (DC)
President, National Association of Evangelicals (VA)
Associate Professor, The Master’s University (CA)
President, European Association of Urban Missions, (CZ)