John G. Dawson is a Jacksonville native and has been married to his lovely wife Jane for over 30 years. Together they have raised three sons. Pictured below is their youngest son David, working on a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering at FSU; John, Christian minister and diamond broker; Virginia, our daughter-in-law, a 3rd year resident M.D. at Emory University; Daniel, who has his own company with a full-time relationship with Coca-Cola and other companies; Jane, receptionist at Fletcher High School; Matthew, a Captain in the USAF, Meteorologist; he is also working on his Master’s degree at FSU. John and Jane reside in the Beaches area located in N.E. Florida in Duval County.
“Chaplain John”, as he is often called, has a diverse spiritual and educational background. John was reared as a Catholic in St. Matthew’s Parish. After his devout Catholic mother died while he was 10 years old, John began his Protestant experience while attending Jacksonville Episcopal High School; his interest in God was clear as he won the award for “Academic Excellence in Religious Studies”.
After graduation, John attended Berry College where he had a profound life changing “born again” spiritual experience in January 1979; this event has been the foundation of his life and ministry. John joined a Maranatha Campus Ministry at Berry College and two years later transferred to Florida State University to found and preside over a new chapter of Maranatha Ministries, a full gospel outreach geared to reach college age students on their campus. FSU Coach Bobby Bowden allowed John to preach and show films to the football players in their compound and many of those players made of a sincere commitment to Jesus!
After earning his B.A. Degree at FSU, John decided to attend formal Seminary. In 1983 he entered Columbia International University in S.C. where he met Jane from South Africa who was studying in their undergraduate program at Columbia Bible College; the two married in Johannesburg some six months later.
After Jane graduated with her B.S. Degree, they went to the Assembly of God Theological Seminary in Missouri to understand the Pentecostal perspective; John earned his Masters of Arts Degree and the couple returned to Jacksonville, Florida to seek the Lord’s direction.
John and Jane initially considered mission work in Nigeria with a large Ministry, “Christ for All Nations”, but after investing many months of time, energy and money in that pursuit, the Nigerian Consulate simply refused to grant a VISA. At that point, John recognized that the Nigerian endeavor was an “Abraham/Isaac” test (meaning God wanted to see if they were willing to sacrifice their lives for Jesus as this area was known as the “Missionary Graveyard” due to rampant disease, poor infrastructure & intense Muslim persecution).
Happily, several friends confirmed that the Nigerian endeavor was an “Abraham/Isaac” test from the Lord, so after prayer, James 1:27 came to mind: “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”
The scripture about “widows in their distress” led John to begin ministering as a volunteer Chaplain in Avante Nursing Home in Jacksonville Beach; this is where Christian Compassion Ministries was born. Their Pastor wanted to financially support this “home mission” so advised them to apply to become a non-profit organization.
A year later in 1994, this outreach became an IRS approved 501 (c) 3 non–profit religious organization. John also founded a small diamond and jewelry brokering business (Covenant Stones, Inc.) to help make ends meet while Jane raised a family as a stay-at-home mom. Jewish friends informed him that Rabbis can also be diamond dealers as it is “kosher”.
Five years later, Christian Compassion Ministries, Inc. (CCM) expanded into ministering in various Assisted Living Facilities. John regularly ministers to eight different congregations located in several different facilities such as Cypress Village, Ashford Court, The Windsor, Pablo Towers and Pablo Hamlet. Jane accompanies him when available as she is presently the full-time receptionist at Fletcher High School.
John and Jane believe in the “Full Gospel” which means that they accept that God still does miracles and answers all kinds of prayers. The Lord will test people’s faith (there is no testimony without a test) and as Christians, we are called to simply believe and trust Him, so it seemed that the Lord allowed an interesting “health” test for him.
John’s mom was diagnosed with cancer when she was 40 and he was also diagnosed with cancer in his lungs at age 40. John’s mom was a cancer-phobe, but he felt it necessary to trust the Lord to heal him and NOT to have any medical treatment other than CT scans. These scans confirmed that John had hundreds of carcinomas in his chest and the doctors recommended starting radiation and chemotherapy.
Without fear of the CT scan results confirming the masses of cancer in his lungs, John requested prayer and a friend simply prayed for healing. John then felt a tangible “heat” that others have said they also felt when he prayed for them. Many people who feel heat when receiving prayer actually get healed and John was excited to feel that sensation!
After John’s next CT scan, (same machine) all the tumors inexplicably shrunk and the nurses thought he was on a special medicine, but he smiled and said, “Prayer in Jesus’ name is all I’ve had“.
Several months later, the next CT scan (same machine) revealed that all the tumors dissipated and no medication of any sort was ever administered! The nursing staff were simply amazed and the doctors said nothing more needed to be done. His recent 2015 medical physical confirms that John remains cancer-free in his lungs!
His G.P. doctor, Samuel Fern of Baptist Primary Care, wrote the following on his office stationery of which John has the original: “My patient John Dawson had a previous history of lung granuloma diagnosed in 2000. After a series of CT Scans were completed in that same year, he was shown to be cleared and free of disease“.
John and Jane have prayed over their sons and have seen miracles (missing teeth appearing, bones mending on the way to the hospital, etc.). The Dawsons have seen incredible miracles in the nursing home with friends and neighbors and whomever is willing to accept that Jesus WANTS to help! Of course they still believe in going to the doctor and taking medicine, but at times the Lord just offers to cure for free!
John (plus Jane when available) also visit hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and personal homes. He is also “on call” to almost anywhere including middle of the night emergencies. One of their chief missions is to reach the elderly with the Gospel before they pass on and encourage everyone to build upon their relationship with the Lord.
The Dawsons minister that the Jesus desires a personal relationship with His people rather than going through the motions of a form of religion. Fortunately, this mission has been successful and the Dawsons are able to bless a person’s passing with an “End of Life Celebration”. They often conduct a Memorial Service and/or Funeral of a member of one of their congregations upon death.
Chaplain Dawson has been heavily involved in several large events such as serving on the Citywide Seniors Steering Committee for the Jacksonville Billy Graham Crusade, the Executive Committee and Coordinator of the first March for Jesus, and is a member of the Beaches Ministerial Association. He has been involved in fund-raising events for Alzheimer’s and other causes for the elderly. He also conducts renewal of marriage vow ceremonies for couples of fifty years or more.
John has also taken many post graduate courses in Christian inner-healing, Spiritual gifts, Christian psychology, family counseling and elder care issues. As a result, he has worked closely with a wide variety of people in all walks of life.
John and Jane were Children’s Pastors and Sunday School Directors at Beaches Chapel Church and John coached soccer at that school. He also coached Patton Park League soccer for ages 4 through 18 for over 15 years, always with a son on each of those successful teams.
In the last few years, Chaplain John with his wife Jane have been increasingly asked to provide marriage counseling as their 30+ year marriage, along with the success of raising three children, has become a “neon sign” to people looking for proven and sound counsel!
It has dawned on the Dawsons that they have been performing more marriages than funerals lately, so they find that their ministry is expanding beyond care for the elderly. They really appreciate prayers and support. This ministry is faith-based and non-denominational without any church sponsorship.
This ministry proclaims and teaches that JESUS CHRIST IS LORD, that He came to fulfill the Law and then sacrificially die on the Cross so our sins could be forgiven through His shed Blood; that He was actually resurrected from the dead, recovered the Keys of Death and Hades from Satan; that He presides over Heaven, sending His Holy Spirit to help, lead, and comfort His people; He will indeed come again to earth to rule and reign forever!