Founding Editor

“I cherish Psalm 23 as my spiritual resume.”  WLJ

Al McLure, President of the North American Division of SDA (right) presided at the General Counsel’s retirement luncheon, June 22, 1992. With him, shown here (l to r): General Conference President, Robert S. Folkenberg and Warren L. Johns with wife Ruth. Also present, but not pictured was previous GC President, Neil C. Wilson.

Photo, circa 1986

Warren LeRoi Johns, JD

Warren LeRoi Johns honed academic skills in four universities: La Sierra University, B.A., Religion; Andrews University, M.A., Church History; Michigan State University, post-graduate history studies; and a Juris Doctor law degree awarded by the University of Southern California.

Fresh out of law school, he won his first trial as a Public Defender in a criminal case heard by the Chief Justice of the Federal District Court of Southern California. In the wake of that victory, the Prosecuting Attorney invited him to join the lawyer in the Office of U.S. Attorney. In declining, while expressing appreciation for the invite, he explained he was serving as General Counsel for the local Conference of the SDA Church. 

A ten-year-old Johns joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1939, at the time his father pastored the Loma Linda College Church serving the medical community. He has attended, and been a delegate to nine General Conference sessions of the Church. beginning in San Francisco in 1936, with the last in 1990.

Born at the dawn of the “Great Depression,” he spent most of his professional career standing up for the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech and religious liberty. His 1951 Seminary Master’s thesis analyzed the United States Supreme Court’s interpretation of First Amendment Free Speech guarantees between the1941-1951. 

The foundation for this Biblical perspective began in the home of Christian parents; continued with a college Religion major; a Seminary Masters in Church History; and a series of Seventh-day Adventist associate pastorates.

Fresh out of the Seminary in 1951, with a major in Church History, the Editor was invited to serve as an Associate Pastor in Michigan’s Grand Rapids, Lansing, Bunker Hill, and Alaidon Churches. While attending the USC Law Center, he was appointed Associate Pastor of the Van Nuys, California Seventh-day Adventist Church prior to championing the Christian cause in the legal profession.

In Lansing and Grand Rapids, his sermons were broadcast live on local radio stations. While in Michigan, he announced for the local Christian television series, “Beyond Tomorrow.”

While pastoring in Grand Rapids, the U.S government awarded him a First Lieutenant’s commission as Chaplain in the Civil Air Patrol, a United States Air Force auxiliary. When accepting the commission, he took the oath of loyalty to the United States Constitution. This was the first of five occasions for declaring allegiance to the Constitution: when sworn in to practice law in California; Federal District Court of Southern California; Maryland State Court and the United States Supreme Court.

Schooled in the history of religious liberty, he authored Dateline: Sunday, USA, published originally by the Pacific Press in 1967, an era when mandated Sunday Closing still infected American business. In the midst of the national legal fight, a lawyer representing business interests called the author and credited Dateline as the attorney’s “bible” in the struggle for First Amendment freedom.

As General Counsel to the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, the Editor co-founded California’s Church State Council. As Council Director, Title VII of the Civil Right Act of 1964 came into national focus. The Act prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. EEOC Commissioner invited him to visit Washington DC to consult with the Commission staff relating to implementing the goals of the Civil Rights Act.

The Church State Council honored distinguished champions of religious liberty and human rights. The Council presented former United States President and Illinois U.S. Senator Edward Duerksen with these awards of merit during their lifetimes. The Editor was one of four churchmen being guests of Ike, in the living room of his Palm Springs home for the presentation of the plaque.

In furtherance of a career dedicated to religious liberty and civil rights, and while serving as Director of the Church State Council in Sacramento, he was elected to the eighteen-member Sacramento Area Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 1974, and was selected as its Chairman by the other seventeen elected members.

During the years 1975-1992, the Editor served as General Counsel to the General Conference, the world organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. A bold advocate of the creation miracle, Johns stands tall for civil rights with the belief that all mankind is “created equal” and all humans share a genome inherited from the identical, common ancestor couple.

Author of 14 books, his Dateline: Sunday, U.S.A., an academic legal history documenting blue law confrontation with the U.S. Constitution, drew national attention in 1967. Later he used his lawyer’s perspective to target evolution’s “flaws” and “holes,” as admitted by Darwin, topped with the 2020 edition of Cosmic War: Battlefield Earth.

He holds the Church State Counsel “Defender of Faith and Freedom” plaque of honor; he owns the Andrew University “Alumnus of Achievement” medal, and was recognized by La Sierra in 1994 as its“Alumnus of the Year.”

His strong advocacy of the Biblical narrative of creation appears on the website,, an international voice presenting the truth about God from the Christian perspective. His professional resume appears in Who’s Who in American Law; Who’s Who in America; and Who’s Who in the World.

Dan Matthews, one-time speaker for TV’s “Faith for Today” series, interviews the Founding Editor on the patio of his Banning, California home, circa 2016.

After graduating from the Seminary with a Masters in Church History, Johns served as Assistant Pastor of the Michigan, Grand Rapids SDA Church.  While pastoring, he and Robert Williams, a teacher, held an evangelist meeting in Wright, Michigan, site of the first SDA camp meeting.

Church State Council honor award presentation to Dwight D, Eisenhower at his Palm Springs Home, 1966.

As an 18-year-old college student, the founding editor designed and marketed this organic chemistry “Aliphatic Synthesis Chart” learning device. 

Cabinet of Counselors

While serving as General Counsel to the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the Founding Editor created the Cabinet of Counsellors composed of lawyers, selected for professional skills, dedicated to shaping legal strategies that advanced the spiritual goals of the Church.

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