Jason J. Isaacson of Signal Mountain, Tennessee has been called as the stake president of the Chattanooga Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with Bruce P. Tidwell and Kurt Johnson serving as first and second counselors, respectively.
“The calling of a stake president is a sacred and spiritual experience,” said Elder Neil L.
Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2009/12/the-spiritual-gifts-given-the-stake-president?lang=eng
. “Under the direction of the First Presidency, General Authorities and Area Seventies are charged with this responsibility.” Two are sent to an area to feel the Lord’s will, “and each must receive the same inspiration before callings are extended.”
This past weekend, Elder James B. Martino, General Authority Seventy, and Elder Richard G. Youngblood, Area Seventy, followed this pattern and bestowed the keys of the priesthood “necessary to preside over and direct the affairs of the [Chattanooga] stake” upon President Isaacson. “These keys to preside over the stake come by delegation from the President of the Church and the other 14 apostles who hold all the keys upon the earth. Within these keys are spiritual authority and power,” Elder Andersen said, because the Church is organized, locally and globally, under the direction of Jesus Christ, to accomplish the work of God that all might live “after the manner of happiness” (2 Nephi 5:27).
The prophet Isaiah described the Church being secured by “stakes” (Isaiah 33:20, 54:2). As Elder Andersen explains, “The Lord has declared that a stake is to be ‘for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm’ (D&C 115:6),” a place for “the gathering together” of His people. It is a defined geographic area “composed of individual congregations called wards and branches” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org) where all are invited to receive the blessings of the gospel. The stake president, as Elder Andersen teaches, acts as the “Lord’s shepherd” for the area. A stake president does not seek the office nor is he remunerated. He is assisted “by two counselors and a group of 12 men called a high council” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
President Isaacson is a native of Seattle, Washington. He served a full-time mission for the Church in Manila Philippines from 1998-2000 where he learned to speak Tagalog (Filipino). He earned a Bachelor’s degree in political science from Brigham Young University in 2005, and a law degree from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He is an attorney at the law firm Spears, Moore, Rebman & Williams, PC, providing corporate counsel work for various businesses in the real estate, construction, health care, technology, and maritime industries. Previous Church service includes Bishop of the Hixson Ward and President of the Signal Mountain Branch. Jason, his wife, and their 4 children (Emma, Joshua, Jake and Lincoln) love calling Chattanooga home.
In response to his call, President Isaacson said, “I accepted this calling because Elders Martino and Youngblood, the Lord’s authorized servants, received inspiration from our Heavenly Father through the Holy Ghost and extended the invitation on behalf of The Lord. We don’t seek positions in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because it is Jesus Christ’s church. He organized it, He leads it through living prophets and apostles, and He picks where He wants us to serve. We’re all just happy to serve Him. Jesus Christ’s church is blossoming like a rose in Chattanooga, and I’m excited to continue to be a part of it.”
Bruce Tidwell was born and raised in Tullahoma, Tennessee. He served a mission for the Church in Tokyo Japan from 1984-85. He married Dana Wimpee and they have four children – Lacey (Brandon) Jones of Ringgold (4 grandchildren); Lauren (Nate) Pippin of Dayton, TN (3 grandchildren); Taylor (Erin) Tidwell of Augusta, GA; and Tanner Tidwell of Ringgold. President Tidwell received a BS in Finance from Brigham Young University. He has worked for SunTrust (now Truist) Bank for 24 years as a Senior Credit Officer. He and his wife have lived in Ringgold, GA for 24 years. He currently serves on the Executive Board of the Cherokee Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Previous Church service includes Bishop of the Brainerd Ward and President of the Ringgold Branch. He was serving on the Stake High Council and teaching the Young Adult Institute class at the time of his call.
Of his call, President Tidwell said, “It is an honor to be called to serve not only the members of The Church of Jesus Christ but everyone who lives in the Middle Tennessee and North Georgia region. Our Savior Jesus Christ and his restored Church look to be a beacon of hope and a pillar of strength in our community.”
Kurt Johnson was born and raised in Lubbock, Texas. He married Shelley L. Johnson and they moved to the Chattanooga area in 1995. Their children include daughter Whitney (Ryan) Sink, grandchildren Emaline and Bennett; daughter Kailey (Russell) Barfield, grandson Koos; and son Barrett (Mei Ling) Johnson who currently reside in Seattle, Washington. President Johnson has been employed at the National Boiler Service, Inc since 1995 and is currently the Chief Financial Officer. President Johnson served on the stake high council prior to his call.
President Johnson said, “I am humbled and excited to serve everyone within the Chattanooga Tennessee Stake. I truly appreciate this wonderful opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
The Chattanooga stake includes 13 wards and branches in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. The stake president and his counselors will oversee the activities of these congregations and will do all they can to help everyone in their efforts to follow Jesus Christ.