Morgan Park United Methodist Church Pastor
Reverend Dennis C. Langdon has joined Morgan Park United Methodist Church as the new pastor in July 2011. Reverend Dennis Langdon is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. He has served at the Vincent, New Gresham, and South Shore United Methodist Church’s. He is a graduate of DePaul University (B.A.) and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (M.Div.). Rev. Langdon has been married to his high-school sweetheart, Trinida for twenty-nine years, and is the father of three children, Grayson, Kyla and Naida.
Curtis Van Johnson is the proud father of two children, Curtis Van II and Vanessa Michelle. He is the eldest son of Mr. Curtis W. and Adia Johnson, and has one bother, Ric R. Johnson. He was born and raised as a member of Greater St. John A.M.E. Church in Chicago, Illinois.
Mr. Johnson, affectionately known as “Van,” is a proud graduate of Leo High School and received his B.A in Music from Chicago State University. He later received his Master’s degree in Music from Roosevelt University, and has been a director and musician for several churches of different denominations in and around the Chicagoland area. At the present time, he is attending Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston where he is pursuing a Master’s in Divinity Degree with a concentration in Pastoral Care and Counseling.
Mr. Johnson is a Christian who believes and trusts in God and has a heart for people, particularly young people. He was the music and bible teacher at Emmanuel Christian School where he also served as the director of the school’s Jr. Glee Club with 35 students and the Sr. Glee Club with 50 students. Under Mr. Johnson’s leadership, Emmanuel’s Sr. Glee Club won two consecutive choir competitions in 2007 and 2008. Mr. Johnson is also the bowling coordinator for the Greater St. John Junior Bowling League, which currently consists of over 50 children ages 4 – 20 years old. This past summer, he coached a team to win the National Title within the The National Bowling Association (TNBA) tournament. He was the Chicago Bowling Senate Junior Program Director, where he works with junior bowling coaches all over the city for the past eight years.
Currently, Mr. Johnson is musician at Greater St. John A.M.E. Church in Chicago. He is also a real estate agent. In the midst of serving God and humanity in so many capacities, Mr. Johnson, i.e., Van, heard the voice of God calling, saying there is still more work to do: “Go and preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Gary Marks, raised in the Judeo-Christian tradition, began the study of piano at age five. His father, a Chicago saxophonist bought the family’s first piano when they moved to their home in the South Shore neighborhood. Gary spent most of his life as an antique dealer, but after hearing the call of the rich music heritage that he grew up with, he closed a very successful, twenty-plus year business, packed up and moved to Cuba. While in Cuba, he further honed his musical skills in both the classical and Afro-Caribbean rhythms of his adopted home. While there, Gary also produced and directed the award-winning, feature length documentary “Dream Havana” that captured the unique musical and cultural character of Cuba. After four years, Gary returned to his native Chicago to pursue a third passion in the residential construction and rehab business. Never, however, straying too far from his first love, music, Gary utilized his extensive music training in the Christian church. Gary joined the Morgan Park United Methodist Church as director of music in January of 2015. He takes the leadership of a rich and diverse music tradition at Morgan Park United Methodist. Come to Sunday morning worship to experience the rare and rich music of Morgan Park UMC & it’s world travelled and well-trained musical director, Gary Marks.