Rev. Dr. Norma J. Johnson-Patterson is a native of St. Louis, Missouri. Having a passion for missions and business since youth, Rev. Patterson was surrounded by entrepreneurs, ministers and teachers in her early childhood, with two women, other than her mother that inspired her to dream of becoming 1). A businesswoman and 2). A missionary. Throughout her career, Dr. Patterson's dreams unfolded in numerous ways, helping her to realize her dream. Her dream now is to take her combiined academic training, knowledge and training to expand her vision into a GLOBAL MISSIONS MINISTRY, serving as a conduit for change in reaching out to limited income women of color, empowering them to be all they can be, supporting them to realize their dreams, supporting them through IWN GARDEN OF EDEN SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS FOR WOMEN OF COLOR AND YOUTH OF COLOR.
Dr. Patterson's academic journey is too numerous to mention in detail, the following is a profile of her educational accomplishments and professional career. Dr. Patterson attended the Luther-Northwestern Seminary (presently renamed "Luther Seminary"). North Central Bible College, University of Minnesota, Tehuti Institute, Sema Institute and the American Academy for Holistic Theology, to serve in the capacity as a Holistic Health Theologian. She also holds a degree in School Age Child Care from the Concordia State University, St. Paul, Minneosta. She received a mini MBA for Non Profit Management from the University of St. Thomas, Minneapolis. Campus. Black Child Development Certificate from the University of Minnesota. Certified through the University of Minnesota as a Civic Organizer. Church and Community Organizer from the Gamilel Institute in Chicago, Illinois. Certified Diversity and Unlearning Racism Trainer and Educator from the YWCA of Minneapolis. Certified grants writer and fundraiser from Grantsmanship Center, Los Angeles, California, Headwaters Foundation in Minnesota and United Way of Minneapolis ( serving as Assistant to the Associate Campaign Manager).
Dr. Patterson, is a continual learner, she continues to feed her mind and soul through areas of study in religion, business, community development and family/spiritual counseling. She has been for the past five years in extensive study of Ancient Religions, such as Kemetic Religions of Egypt, the Ancient Greek and Roman Culture, Ancient China and the Ancient ways of Native Americans.
Dr. Patterson has served as an Ordained Baptist Minister, since 1992, and was licensed as a Minister in l986. She served faithfully as Associate Pastor for the Community Baptist Church under the leadership of the late Rev. E.Z. Byrd, National Baptist Convention. Her call there was for 14 years. She went on to serve as an urban missions planter for Zion Lutheran Church under the leadership of Pastor Bruce A. Westphal, developing a Youth and Family Ministry for the church. She served as Director of the Kaleidoscope Youth Ministries organized by Our Savior's and Messiah Lutheran Churches under the direction of Pastors Janet Tiedeman and Elaine Lipp. She served on short term mission trips in areas of Houston and Dallas Texas, under the leadership of Pastors Ron and Nancy Maeker. She served in Tokyo, Japan, Seoul and North Korea, Chicago, Illinois, Washington, D.C., to name a few.
BUSINESS AND GOVERNMENT CAREERS:
Dr. Patterson, spent 13 years with the YWCA of Minneapolis, retiring in 2006 to establish the International Wellness Network, a global missions ministry, serving as co-creator, creating a "POVERTY FREE WORLD:WHERE ALL CHILDREN CAN THRIVE". Dr. Patterson served as developer of the Family Services Department for the PHILLIPS YWCA OF MINNEAPOLIS CHILD CARE CENTER, WHICH WAS USED AS A MODEL TO ESTABLISH OTHER DEPARTMENTS WITHIN THE MANAGED CHILD CARE CENTERS OF THE YWCA OF MINNEAPOLIS. She served as the developer of the YWCA OF MINNEAPOLIS WOMEN'S WELLNESS PROGRAM, providing opportunities for low income women of color to become certified professional fitness trainers, instructors,and wellness coaches, at no cost to them. The community was served by these wellness coaches, and instructors, as those trained returned to their communities, providing wellness programs to low income families.
Dr. Patterson introduced to the community health services, free of charge, such as massage therapy, acupuncture, yoga, walking clubs, Food Buyers' Clubs, spirituality, nutrition classes, free one year memberships to the YWCA of Minneapolis Centers, etc. She served as a conduit, connecting local churches, non profits, corporations, to the programs supporting the empowerment of women of color, as well as families of color, receiving qualiity services supporting healthy lifestyles for themselves.
Dr. Patterson also conducted Unlearning Racism trainings, listening groups, she served as one of YWCA of Minneapolis throughout Minneapolis. She utilized skills she obtained from the Gamiliel Foundation to orchestrate churches such as the Lutherans United Methodist churches and others to join forces with community women and their families in creating a "well community" initiative.
Dr. Patterson held government managerial positions for several years, as well as served as co-owner with her late husband for 14 years and founder of a business services company reaching out to Black men and men of color needing these services to successfully manage their small businesses. She founded the Norma's Necessities General Store, and held both the secretarial services and store for several years, successfully selling them at a profit.
As a business developer:
-Successfully developed and managed Elegant Communications Business Services, Inc., first Black owned secretarial and administrative services in the State of Minnesota. Operated the business for five years.
-Norma's Necessities Office Supplies Store, successfully operated this establishment for five years.
-Assisted former husband in the purchase and management of the Johnson's Dairy Store, holding partnership for 10 years with him.
-Throughout her career have conducted numerous cultural diversity and professional leadership training, workshops, seminars, etc.
HER VISION FOR THE INTERNATIONAL WELLNESS NETWORK, INC., IS TO PROVIDE QUALITY LEADERSHIP IN ESTABLISHING BOYS TO MEN INITIATIVES THROUGHOUT THE USA AND INTO COUNTRIES SUCH AS AFRICA. TO ASSIST IN ESTABLISHING THRIVING SMALL BUSINESSES AND COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES IN SUPPORT OF BUILDING VIABLE AND THRIVING BLACK COMMUNITIES AND COMMUNITIES OF COLOR. ALSO, TO KEEP BLACK HISTORY ALIVE IN THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF OUR CHILDREN THAT IS GROWING AND DEVELOPING IN THE 21ST CENTURY.
Recipient of several prestigous awards:
2 Mayor Awards for Outstanding work in the health field, one as founder of the Minnesota Children and Adults with Sickle Cell Anemia Association.
2- Outstanding Leadership Awards:
Minneapolis Urban League
N.A.A.C.P. Achievement Awards
Council of Black Minnesotans - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award (1 for oustanding service in the Health Field and 1 in the area of Community Development)
Favorite books: Book of the Dead, collective writings of R.A. Schwaller deLubcs, such works as the Temple of Man, Temple in Man, Sacred Numbers, Holy Bible the Qu'ran, the Source, Science of Mind. Works of Napoleon Hill, Dr. Amos Wilson, Dr. Richard King, Dr. John Henrick Clark, to name only a few.