Elijah Johnson

Jay Laga'aia

Reverend Elijah Johnson (2010; 2011-2012)
Jay Laga’aia
Episodes: 50095123; 52385493

Adoptive Parents: Song & Lijuan Johnson
Spouse: Leah Patterson-Baker (2010, engaged); Grace Manthenga (2010-2011, separated)
Step Children: Thabo Manthenga (deceased)

Occupation: Anglican Minister, Missionary


The new Anglican minister in Summer Bay, Elijah was first seen when Geoff came to him for advice after the town’s race riot and their conversation led to Geoff deciding to become a missionary.Elijah met Miles and Leah whilst making arrangement with Miles and Alf for a reverend’s convention coming to town. He then turned out to be behind the Brazillian Jujitsu class at the school which Leah signed up for.Since she was having trouble with crowds, Elijah offered to give her private lessons in return for a discount on meals at the Diner for the convention but she found the close proximity to him uncomfortable and opted to return to the groups.Miles let slip to Elijah that Leah was attracted to him but Elijah told him not to tell Leah he knew and, after a few more lessons, Elijah realised he was attracted to Leah as well.He told Miles there was something he was keeping from Leah and he was considering leaving town.When Miles invited them both to dinner, he and Leah ended up being locked in a caravan together by Rabbit and their brief talk was enough to convince him to stick around.When he found out Miles had told Leah he was attracted to her, he admitted his secret to Miles:He had been with Leah’s husband Vinnie when he had died after a farm accident eighteen months previous.He went out for to dinner with her after she asked him out and they shared a kiss.

Elijah got through a tense first meeting with VJ, impressing him with a story about throwing up in front of the school when he had to give a speech, and gave Colleen some hypothetical advice about her feud with Marilyn.He still felt uncomfortable about lying and, after taking advice from Angelo, admitted the truth to Leah, how Vinnie had told him he was in witness protection and about the life he’d left behind in Summer Bay and how Elijah had accepted the posting there out of curiosity.VJ overheard them talking and was angry it had been kept from him but Elijah helped get him back onside by telling him everything about what happened.He offered to take them to see Vinnie’s grave and, on the journey, told VJ how his own father had died of a heart attack shortly after an accident with a squid and he’d held onto the memory of the last happy moments with him.The pilgrimage seemed to cement his and Leah’s status as a couple.

Elijah was worried that his superior from the retreat, Bishop Pitt, would disapprove of his relationship with Leah but slept with her anyway.He suggested they cool it while he was around but Pitt caught them kissing in her car.After Leah spoke to him, Pitt gave his blessing to the relationship but suggested they be discreet in future.When Miles started seeing Rabbit, he tried to talk him out of quitting his job for her and was puzzled when Miles told him and Leah to stay away from cows and horses, caves and schoolchildren.He tried to get Miles to give up his blind faith in her but failed.He organised a school trip for VJ’s class to some caves but they were closed because of rain and the group’s bus was stolen. Taking shelter in a barn, he, Leah, VJ and the class were overcome by a gas leak but saved by Miles, using the information Rabbit gave him.He still encouraged Miles to let go of Rabbit, while he and Leah organised a party to cheer up everyone who had almost died on the trip.

He proposed to Leah, who told him she wasn’t ready for marriage yet.Elijah decided to propose again with a ring and, while Miles tried to persuade him otherwise, Marilyn encouraged him.He abandoned the plan when Leah told him they should take it slowly, only for Nicole to turn up with the ring, which Elijah had dropped, and accidentally reveal his intention.He tried to backtrack and say they should keep things the same but Leah felt they were in different places emotionally and broke up with him.However, when he came round to talk to her after leaving a befuddled answerphone message, she told him to propose to her again and accepted.They told VJ, who was happy with the idea.He received word that his adoptive parents Song and Lijuan were coming to stay and was worried that his extreme mother might try and take over the wedding arrangements.When the vicarage was flooded, he planned to cancel the visit and was shocked when Leah invited his parents to stay with her instead.He gave Leah an extensive list of do’s and don’ts but Lijuan was pleased to meet Leah when she arrived.

However, the pair’s bickering and Lijuan’s bossiness soon began to get on Elijah and Leah’s nerves.They fled to the Diner to escape them and, when Lijuan turned up with a meal, staged an argument to embarrass them enough to go to a hotel.Elijah and Leah looked forward to a night alone together, only for Lijuan and Song to turn up after Lijuan got them thrown out of the hotel.He tried to talk to Lijuan about it but she took it the wrong way and felt Leah didn’t want them there.At Miles’ suggestion, he tried to resolve the issue by claiming he was having cold feet about the wedding only for Leah to tell Lijuan the truth, impressing her since she knew Elijah was lying. Lijuan organised a test to see if their marriage would survive, which involved placing a document on top of the fridge but things didn’t look good when it fell off and Lijuan developed a toothache.Leah was frustrated by Elijah’s unwillingness to stand up to them whilst Elijah pointed out that Lijuan and Song had taken him in when his parents died.However, he was annoyed when Lijuan told Leah that he wasn’t husband material in an attempt at reverse psychology.He and Leah talked things over however and, as Lijuan and Song left, she told them she always knew they were meant for each other.

Soon after, Elijah offered to give a career’s talk at VJ’s school when Leah was unavailable.VJ initially seemed thrown when Elijah referred to himself as VJ’s stepdad, only to ask if he could call Elijah “Dad”.He decided to impress VJ’s friends by talking about his work as a missionary.Although the talk went well, it left Leah worried that he was missing his missionary work.Leah was concerned when he received a letter from the missionary programme asking if he wanted to stay registered with them.When Elijah didn’t immediately reject it, Leah was angry and Elijah ended up staying registered after an argument.He told Leah he didn’t feel ready for a domestic life and couldn’t marry her.When he heard about a disaster in Africa, he wanted to help out.Leah gave her blessing but told him she wouldn’t wait for him and gave him the engagement ring back.He left town after saying brief farewells to her and Miles.

Nevertheless, Leah and Elijah stayed in irregular contact during his time away and she and VJ even visited him.Miles also went to see him when he was injured during a riot.When he finally returned to Summer Bay, he had a wife Grace and stepson Thabo with him.He had married Grace so Thabo could receive treatment for a weak heart after rheumatic fever, which his father had died from.He went round to see Leah and kissed her but she told him to leave.Leah insisted he explain to VJ what was going on and he managed to clear the air between them.Grace herself seemed keen to move beyond their marriage of convenience and Miles and Morag both warned him about the messy situation.He had difficulty bonding with Thabo, who believed that Elijah had forced Grace to marry him and was unhappy about being taken away from his home.When he found Thabo and VJ playing football together, Elijah lost his temper with them, saying Thabo couldn’t overexert himself, but apologised to VJ later.He then had to deal with Thabo being rushed into hospital, needing an urgent operation, and ended up in an argument with him over his past with Leah.While Thabo was in surgery, he admitted to Miles he was having a crisis of faith.When it seemed Thabo was recovering, Elijah went to see Leah and told her he would end the marriage and arrange for Grace and Thabo to go back to Africa if she wanted, only for her to refuse to have anything to do with a married man and tell him whatever he did was nothing to do with her.

When Thabo died despite his treatment, Elijah’s faith was shaken.He began sleeping with Grace, insisting he would look after her, and had difficulty speaking at Thabo’s funeral, refusing to talk to Miles, Morag and Leah when they tried to help him.He told Bishop Pitt he wasn’t ready to return to the church, shocking Miles, Morag and Grace.He admitted to Grace he was still in love with Leah and thought they should go back to their original arrangement but insisted he took his responsibility to her seriously and didn’t want her to leave.When Immigration investigated the marriage, he continued to plead its validity and begged Leah to back up their story, also talking Grace out of going on the run, but, when she learned Thabo had indirectly reported them, Grace allowed herself to be deported on condition Elijah wasn’t charged.

Elijah was employed at a homeless shelter on the bishop’s suggestion and spent an evening getting drunk at Brax’s restaurant.He avoided Leah, even when she tried to donate food, but agreed to try and help her and Charlie find accomodation for Cathy, a woman they found sleeping in her car.He invited one of the homeless people, Billy McVeigh, to stay in his caravan when he was unable to find a bed for him at the shelter and all the other caravans were booked up, only for Billy to attack him and leave him in hospital.Leah invited him to stay with her while he recovered but Miles thought it could get messy and convinced Elijah to stay with him instead.Elijah felt even more down after the incident, snapping at VJ when he came to visit him.He tried to press charges only for Billy to claim he had acted in self-defence after Elijah made advances on him.When he learned from Billy’s probation officer that he had a history of being abused, Elijah went to speak to him.Billy tried to attack him with a knife but Elijah overpowered him painlessly and convinced him he didn’t mean to hurt him and they both withdrew their statements.

Elijah took over the running of the mission and roped Leah and Miles into helping make rock cakes to raise funds.He tried to win Leah back, turning up at her house with flowers and telling her he still loved her, only to find she was dating Miles, and accused Miles of scheming to keep them apart. However, after he and Miles had a talk on the wharf, they agreed to be friends again.He tried to help Nicole when Angelo when missing and was also involved in the naming ceremony Marilyn requested for George.Miles asked him to speak to Romeo about his health problems but when Romeo asked for a talk he was more interested in getting back in Sid’s good books.However, when he and Miles learned Romeo might have chlamydia they convinced him to get tested.

He then took an interest in Laura Carmody, a friend of Roo’s, and asked the pair to help organise a fundraiser for a hospital in Africa.They shared a drink after making the arrangements and he accompanied both of them to the airport for a trip to meet some sponsors in Melbourne.When Roo had to pull out, he offered to accompany Laura and, when she had cold feet, made a deal that if she went, in return he would face his own fear of returning to the church.After the meeting went well, Laura was pleased to learn Elijah was an Anglican minister and thus allowed to have relationships.He spent the night with her but realised he needed to be more discreet when Colleen started gossiping.However, when he spoke to Bishop Pitt about returning to the church he learned they didn’t want him.He was bemused by Colleen’s reaction when he went to see her after she suffered an electric shock.He was bemused when Colleen insisted she had to make things up to him and made it her mission to keep the centre open but it was given a reprieved anyway.He played a role in organising the bachelor and spinster ball and was disappointed when Laura announced she was leaving.When it appeared she had stolen money from Roo, he helped delay her departure until the matter was cleared up.

He was a confidante to Marilyn over her resentment about Sid and Roo getting together.Marilyn later gave him a tarot reading and Miles told him the reading indicated Marilyn and Elijah would get together. Elijah told Marilyn he only saw her as a friend.He helped Romeo solve the mystery of someone vandalising his boat when he found one of the boys at the drop-in centre had stolen some silver candlesticks.When Miles tried to tell him about Leah’s pregnancy, he admitted he found it difficult hearing about their relationship.He tried to help Marilyn’s hairdressing business by getting her a job looking after the bride at a wedding and was annoyed when it resulted in the bride, Jessica, calling the wedding off because of Marilyn’s advice.Sid confided in him when he found out he had another daughter, Sasha, and Elijah unknowingly met her at the church and introduced her to Roo.

When a storm hit Summer Bay, Elijah found VJ and took him to Leah at the Diner, where he comforted her when she feared she was having a miscarriage.He later conducted Tegan Callahan’s funeral and offered the use of the church hall for lessons after Summer Bay High was damaged in a storm.He was uncomfortable when Miles showed him an ultrasound picture of the baby and admitted to Marilyn he still had feelings for Leah.When Leah miscarried and VJ was unable to get hold of Miles, he called Elijah who went round and comforted her, before looking after VJ when Miles accompanied her to the hospital.He supported them both in the aftermath and learned Leah was planning to have her tubes cut, comforting her when she became hysterical at the sight of a cot Miles had ordered.He later helped out with the breast cancer fundraiser.

He kept quiet about the fact Leah was in town when she’d told Miles she wasn’t and, despite Marilyn’s warnings, insisted on comforting her after she and Miles broke up.He was uncomfortable when Miles suggest the two of them go to Thailand together and Marilyn realised that, unknown to either of them, he had been spending more time with Leah than Miles.When Miles confronted him, he admitted his feelings but continued to hide them from Leah. When he learned Miles was leaving town, he offered to leave instead but Miles accused him of just trying to make himself feel better.He received a brief nod of acknowledgement when he went with Leah and VJ to say goodbye to Miles.

Elijah was with Leah when she found out Charlie had been shot and supported her in the aftermath of her friend’s death, moving in with her and VJ for a while until Ruby returned.He was horrified to find Leah had paid off Brax’s debt to Geoffrey King and attempted to get the money back but Brax refused to help him.He later performed Bianca and Liam’s wedding.At the reception, he admitted to Leah he still loved her and was crushed when she said she only saw him as a friend.He was disconcerted when she became attentive towards Brax but, when Heath asked him to help Brax with his cage fighting, he agreed to train him.Leah was initially furious but eventually acknowledged Elijah was giving Brax help that she couldn’t.

He performed Stu Henderson’s memorial service at the school, where he stopped Christy Clarke making a speech denouncing Sasha. Along with Leah, Elijah tried and failed to dissuade Brax from fighting with a head injury, which resulted in him being hospitalised. Elijah began spending more and more time away from Summer Bay and returned to find Leah, VJ and Brax had grown close. He told Brax that Leah had feelings for him, angering Leah. Around the same time, Elijah was offered a job at another parish and decided to take it. Colleen organised an impromptu farewell party for him on the beach and Leah came along and made sure they parted as friends.

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