A holy ghost in Dallas: 'Servant leader' steps into key public office in the Lone Star State

Dear Dallas Morning News: Please ask the obvious follow-up question.

That's my simple request of the major Texas daily as it reports on new Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson.

No, I'm not suggesting a holy ghost in Johnson's first name, although it certainly wouldn't hurt for a reporter to ask if there's a story behind it.

But the more newsworthy detail missing from the Morning News' coverage relates to Johnson's description of herself as a "servant leader."

This was the Dallas newspaper's lede early last month when Johnson's appointment was announced:

Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday appointed a new Dallas County district attorney who says she sees herself as a "servant leader" who wants the public to believe in the prosecutors at the DA's office.

Again in today's newspaper — in a story on Johnson's swearing in Monday — the Morning News includes this note:

Johnson calls herself a "servant leader" who wants to work with residents to make the district attorney's office better. 

Here's the question: What — or better yet, who — is Johnson's inspiration for that description of her leadership style? Could it possibly be Jesus Christ, who says in Mark 10:42-45 of the New Testament:

42 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Based on other reporting by the Morning News, the evidence seems strong that Jesus is, in fact, Johnson's role model.

In its latest story, the paper highlights — albeit shallowly — the new district attorney's faith:

Today's lede:

Faith Johnson began her tenure Monday as Dallas County district attorney by asking for prayers.
"Pray for wisdom, so I will do justice and that I will be fair," she requested after she was sworn in among a crowd of prosecutors, judges, her fellow churchgoers and elected officials. 

Later, the story notes:

Bishop T.D. Jakes, Johnson's pastor at The Potter's House church in Dallas, led a prayer at the ceremony, which was attended by several elected officials, including Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis, Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson, Kaufman County District Attorney Erleigh Wiley, Dallas County commissioners John Wiley Price and Theresa Daniel, many judges, and mayors and city council members from several cities in Dallas County.

But the report fails to elaborate on Johnson's use of the term "servant leader.

Dear Dallas Morning News: Please ask the obvious follow-up question.

Please respect our Commenting Policy