After attending Florida Bible College for a year, John toured for two years with the Internationals. This music ministry presented concerts in the USA, Canada, and Europe in order to share the gospel of Christ and encourage believers in their spiritual walk. During the first year of touring John met Linda, a singer in the group, who grew up in Levittown, PA. They were married in 1978 and are now blessed with five children. Linda holds an Associate of Arts degree in music from Bucks County Community College.
After the Internationals, John completed his Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Literature at Northeastern Bible College, Essex Fells, N.J. (now the Kings College, NY City), then enrolled at Biblical Theological Seminary in Hatfield, PA. where he completed the M.Div. degree in 1981.
From ’82-’89 John served as Associate Pastor at Peoples Church of Montreal. The church is a multi-ethnic congregation of 300 located in the center of this major city. The church sent him on short term missionary trips to Indonesia (’85) and India (’87).
From 1989 through July, 2001, John served as pastor of Winona Gospel Church in Stoney Creek (across Lake Ontario from Toronto). The church is affiliated with Associated Gospel Churches of Canada. God blessed the ministry in Winona over the years with the assistance of L.K. Redinger as Minister-at-Large and John Bryan as Assistant Pastor.
In ’96 John and Linda attended Charles Solomon’s Institute of Exchanged Life Counseling in Pigeon Forge, TN. This solidified the helpful teaching in Dr. Solomon’s books that have been so influential in John’s life and pastoral counseling over the last 20 years: Handbook to Happiness, The Handbook of Acceptance, The Ins and Outs of Rejection, and Handbook for Christ-Centered Counseling.
In 2000 he became an instructor with Grace Fellowship International, helping with 3 Institutes. In the fall, Trans World Radio started using a recorded script of Grace Notes for weekly episodes of their MemCare by Radio program, which was sponsored by GFI. In August, 2001 John left the pastorate in Ontario and moved with his family to Tennessee where he now serves full time with Grace Fellowship International as Director of Education and Media. The Woodwards are supported through the gifts of God’s people. John counsels at the GFI center and by telephone and email. He also serves as director of GFI Counseling Institute–a distance education program leading to a diploma in biblical counseling. John is available to give conferences, including The Exchanged Life conference, Promised Land Living conference, and Stress and the Christian seminar, and the Christ is Life conference.
(Dr. Solomon’s primary focus is on GFI’s international works in India, Romania, Ukraine, South Africa, Kenya, and the Philippines. Other countries have trained workers using this model of counseling in various ministries.)
John earned a Doctor of Ministry degree in Discipleship Counseling at Luther Rice Seminary in Lithonia GA, graduating in May 2004. During this course of study he wrote a paper on Trichotomy in Exchanged Life Counseling (see Theological Papers) and a manual on How to Create and Manage Web sites for Ministries (see E-books section).
His published books include: Man as Spirit, Soul and Body: a Study of Biblical Psychology (2007), and Blessed Reassurance: Finding Security in Christ(2008). These are available from the GFI bookstore.
John is the author of some Grace Notes and editor of GraceNotebook.com. Reader’s prayers for his family, personal growth, and ministry are greatly appreciated.