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BDC: Meet the Leaders

Meet the Leaders

To contact any of the leaders, click on their names.



Pastor Eric T. Johns

Senior Pastor

Eric Johns has been the pastor of the Buffalo Dream Center, in Buffalo, New York, since 1994. He has become affectionately known as "The Homeless Pastor" in the city of Buffalo for drawing attention to those in need by living on the streets with the homeless for one week each November. His time with the homeless has become an event that inspires people to give funds to Boxes of Love, an enormous Christmas outreach held every year, that provides food and toys to thousands of inner city families. Pastor Eric preaches the uncompromising Word of God. He encourages Christians to look beyond their own needs and meet the needs of others. He believes that there is something greater than being blessed. The greater life is to be a blessing.

Pastor Eric has been arrested five times for his faith in Christ. His ministry has taken him to Canada, Mexico, Africa, and India. He especially has a desire to see pastors in India encouraged and strengthened. He and his wife travel to India twice each year holding conferences for pastors, children's pastors, and leaders. They have pioneered children's ministry in India and established two orphanages, both named "Center of Hope". The Center of Hope in Guntur includes an orphanage, a widows' home, and a Bible training center for new pastors. The Center of Hope in Tirupati is a home for children who have lost their parents to the AIDS virus. Currently their ministry cares for about sixty orphans.

Pastor Eric has been an instructor at World Impact Bible Institute, where he has taught Church History, The Gospel of John, James, and Faith. He resides in Buffalo, New York, with his wife Michelle and their five children: Victoria, Emilie, Mikayla, Alexander, and Nathaniel.

Pastor Michelle Johns

Kidz Club  /  Camp Adventure  /  Dream Team  /  Missions / Boxes of Love

Pastor Michelle Johns

Michelle first began doing children's ministry at the Buffalo Dream Center simply to fill a need. She did not enjoy teaching the same children week after week. A new passion was ignited when she discovered that many inner city children had never heard the Gospel. Unable to find any Bible curriculum that was useful for children growing up in the city, she soon began to write her own lessons. For more than fifteen years, Michelle has written her own creative Bible curriculum designed to reach inner city children with the message of the Gospel.

Creative object lessons, crazy games, and exciting music are all elements of Michelle's program, which has become known as Kidz Club. Kidz Club now has three facets: an after school program, summer outreaches on empty city lots, and a Sunday program that effectively builds relationships with children, bringing them into the local church family.

Michelle realized that the same lessons being used in the inner city of Buffalo, New York worked to convert thousands of children and entire villages in India. Soon she was asked to hold pastors' conferences in India. Thousands of pastors, Sunday school workers, and leaders have been trained at Michelle's seminars across these countries. These same pastors have implemented the strategies they learned. Many of them have reported an increase of up to three times as many children attending their village churches. Her children's festivals have attracted as many as five thousand children. Many of those children heard the Gospel for the first time in their lives at one of these festivals.

Michelle continues to reach children in the inner cities of America and equip leaders in the underground churches of Asia and the Middle East. Pastors, Sunday school teachers, and children's ministers in the United States, Canada, India, Guatemala, Kenya, South Africa, and Indonesia are currently using her curriculum to reach children with the Gospel. In India Pastor Michelle has been instrumental in establishing two orphanages; both named "Center of Hope". The Center of Hope in Guntur also has an elementary school and a Bible training center that trains young men and women to pastor churches in villages that have never heard the Gospel.

Along with her work with children, Michelle's administrative gift has enabled the Buffalo Dream Center to hold large events that make a direct impact on families living in poverty. She oversees Boxes of Love, a Christmas outreach that provides food and toys to thousands of families in the Buffalo area. This outreach attracts more than one thousand volunteers from several states and Canada.

Michelle resides in Buffalo, New York with her husband, Eric and their five children: Victoria, Emilie, Mikayla, Alexander, and Nathaniel. She enjoys being an active member of her community. She is an Americorps member, has received First Aid and CPR training from the Red Cross, and is certified as a Community Emergency Response Team member.

Pastors Tom and Lindsie Rutherford

Worship Team  /  Multi-Media Ministry

Pastors Tom & Lindsie RutherfordPastor Tom and Lindsie lead the worship team at the Buffalo Dream Center bringing dynamic, fresh praise and worship to the inner city of Buffalo, NY. Pastor Tom and Lindsie have both written original songs which are a regular part of the worship at the Buffalo Dream Center.  Along with the worship team they oversee sound, lighting, the website, the audio ministries, amd more.

Pastor Carmen and Linda Alexander

Pastoral Care  /  Joseph Project Mobile Food Pantry  /  Adult Bible Studies  /  Seniors Ministry  /  Dream Centre Ministries Canada

Pastors Carmen & Linda AlexanderPastor Carmen and Linda oversee many ministries at the Buffalo Dream Center.  They provide Bible studies to seniors living in government-funded housing projects.  For many of the seniors who attend, Carmen and Linda have become the pastors they rely on.  During the Tuesday Reheating Service, Pastors Carmen and Linda lead the adult biblestudy, and on Friday they oversee the Joseph Project Mobile Food Pantry.

Pastors Carmen and Linda also oversee Dream Centre Ministries in Canada which was established in 2005.  Dream Centre Ministries focuses on spreading the gospel throughout Canada, and assisting missionaries around the world.

Joanne Lorenzo-Sherwood

Magdalene Project

Joanne Lorenzo-SherwoodJoanne Lorenzo-Sherwood has been showing God’s love to women caught in prostitution through the Magdalene Project for many years.  This ministry takes place every Saturday night in Niagara Falls and Buffalo as Joanne and volunteers give women flowers, sandwiches, and the message of Hope found only in Jesus.

Over the past couple years, teh Magdalene Project has expanded to include Kidz Club, the Joseph Project Mobile Food Pantry, and Project Prevention. Many meals are also distributed throughout Niagara Falls by the Magdalene Project.

Pastor Vidya Sagar and Prabhu Jyothi

Center of Hope – Guntur, India

Pastor Vidya Sagar and his wife Prabhu Jyothi oversee more than one hundred and twenty churches in India.  The Buffalo Dream Center has partnered with them to build the Center of Hope which is the home to three ministries:  an orphanage and widows’ home, a Bible training center, and a school that teaches English to local children.  They are constantly taking new orphans into the Center of Hope and training young men and women to plant churches in unreached villages throughout India.

Pastor Arul and Mary

Center of Hope – Tirupati, India

Pastor Arul and Mary were among the first Christians to live in the city of Tirupati.  The city is the home to thousands of Hindu temples, thus giving it the name “Temple Town”.

The Center of Hope in Tirupati is a home for orphaned girls whose parents are deceased due to the AIDS virus.

Pastor Arul organizes several pastors’ training conferences and children’s outreaches every year.