Rev. Johnny Lee Clary learned to hate at a very young age. He was raised in a family filled with racism, anger, and bigotry. As a young teenager, after his father committed suicide and his mother abandoned him, Johnny found himself alone and looking for some place to belong. At 14 he was seduced by the teachings of the notorious David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan, and he joined the organization. As an impressionable young man, Johnny became so enthralled with the sense of belonging and a need for “family” that he participated in KKK events as a security enforcer and bodyguard to David Duke.
Johnny continued to advance in the organization, reveling in the feeling of finally fitting in. He went on to spend 16 years in the Klan, as State Organizer and Public Relations spokesman for Imperial Wizard Bill Wilkinson of the Invisible Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan; then becoming Grand Dragon of the National Knights of the KKK; then Heartland Director and right-hand man to White Aryan Resistance leader Tom Metzger (by all accounts, one of the most violent men ever to preach hatred); and finally in the 1980′s, becoming one of the most nefarious national Klan leaders in America after being elected to the very top: Imperial Wizard (national head) of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, a branch that originated in Mississippi and was considered to be the most dreaded Klan faction in history (and widely acknowledged by law enforcement as the most violent and militant of all the Klan). The White Knights had a history of bombings, murders, and countless other crimes throughout the 1960′s, and to this day, the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan are considered the real Ku Klux Klan. During the 1980’s Johnny also gained national publicity as a professional wrestling Arkansas State champion for the NWF, known by the moniker of “Johnny Angel.”
As the Klan’s national leader, it was hoped by the KKK that Johnny could change the image of the Klan, by attracting new members through his many appearances on such television programs as The Oprah Winfrey Show, the Morton Downey, Jr. Show, and others, where Johnny advocated, supported, and defended racism. But then, the destructive mindset and lifestyle he had lived for so many years began to take its toll. Johnny began to struggle with the beliefs of the Klan, such as their praise of the Holocaust where 6 million Jewish people were slaughtered, and the fact that Nazis and Skinheads were now associating with the KKK committing crimes which included all sorts of Civil Rights violations including murder, which Johnny disagreed with. Riddled with torment, angered over a false arrest in Tennessee on a weapons charge, disgusted with internal bickering between the various white supremacist organizations, being totally harassed by the F.B.I. as well as the United States Secret Service, seeing people close to him being hauled off to prison, and the discovery that his girlfriend was an informant for the FBI, Johnny Lee left the Klan.
Over the next year he found himself derailed by personal issues, losing all of his friends, and struggling just to make an honest living. These challenges, combined with his feelings of guilt over the life of violence, prejudice, and hatred he had lived for so long, led Johnny to near depression. On the verge of committing suicide one night, he started reading the Bible and cried out to God to deliver him from his nightmarish existence. God answered Johnny’s plea for help. He received a job the very next day and began attending church the following weekend. Johnny dedicated his life to Christ. Johnny began to study the D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program where former drug addicts are sent to schools to share their stories of how drugs almost destroyed their lives but then how they were able to get drug free and turn their lives of near destruction into victory.
In the early 90′s Johnny developed Operation Colorblind, Inc., using the same tactics as D.A.R.E. From that point on, Johnny Lee has used his life, his experiences, and his near destruction to help others leave the same evil path that he had walked for so long. Every year thousands of school children around the world benefit from Johnny Lee Clary’s highly acclaimed motivational talks that gives kids the skills they need to avoid involvement in racism, drugs, gangs, and violence.
In 1995 Johnny was appointed by Roy Ennis to serve in the the Congress Of Racial Equality, and is a lifetime member of C.O.R.E. Since then, he has spoken at innumerable Universities, High Schools and churches, and has been a featured speaker for The U.S. Armed Forces, The N.A.A.C.P, Youth Alive and Teen Challenge. He lectures for the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, educating officers on the mindset of white supremacists and how to best fight against domestic terrorism.
As a renowned international speaker, he has set records for the largest crowds for any preacher in Australia other than Billy Graham, with literally thousands receiving his message of hope, healing and forgiveness for racism, low self-esteem, suicidal tendencies, and substance abuse. Johnny holds the record for the largest crowd ever at Hillsong Brisbane (formerly Garden City).
Johnny is an ordained minister with World Evangelism Fellowship under Jimmy Swaggart Ministries in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and he and his wife Melissa are members of Family Worship Center, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Johnny is accountable to and under the leadership of his pastors, Jimmy Swaggart and Donnie Swaggart.
Johnny is also an ordained Elder under the Church Of God In Christ, America’s largest African American denomination with over 6 million members under Bishop George D. McKinney who serves on the national board of the COGIC. Due to the success rate Rev. Clary has had throughout the world in promoting racial unity, Bishop McKinney has appointed Johnny to the office of Racial Reconciliation and evangelism for C.O.G.I.C.
Rev. Johnny Lee Clary stresses the need for adults from all walks of like to set the proper example of promoting racial unity for the children by not only promoting racial integration in public places such as schools and the workplace, but also in churches, civic organizations as well as in their homes when gathering with friends for social functions. “If you want to play beautiful music, you have to learn to mix the black and white keys together on the piano!”
Rev. Johnny Lee Clary is married to his wife Melissa, who managed him in pro wrestling. He has appeared on numerous radio, TV magazine and newspapers outlets from around the world, including FOX NEWS, Oprah, The 700 Club, Queen Latifah, Charisma Magazine, Guidepost, Christianity Today and the L.A. Times just to name a few. Johnny now appears weekly on “Francis And Friends” hosted by Francis and Donnie Swaggart and has preached to a world wide TV audience for Jimmy Swaggart at Family Worship Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana broadcast over Sonlife Broadcasting Network.