Edward Donnell Johnson was born on February 21, 1921, in Mayodan, North Carolina. He was called to meet his Heavenly Father, September 9, 2012, at his home in Converse, Louisiana, at the age of 91. His daughter and caretaker, Donna Hawkins, was faithfully by his side.
Reverend Edward Donnell Johnson was known to his family as Donnell and to his Church family as Brother Ed. To his children as daddy and to his grandchildren, he was simply, Papa.
On May 19, 1939, Donnell married his lifelong partner, Jo Horner. They spent a lifetime of 63 years together, during which they had four daughters, Janice, Lynda, Donna and Terre.
Reverend E.D. Johnson served as pastor throughout North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Texas before coming to Ohio. His first church was in Durham, N.C., in 1943 at the age of 22. He had a desire to further his education. In 1961, Donnell graduated summa cum laude from the Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C., with a bachelor of arts in degree psychology. In 1966, Donnell graduated with a bachelor of divinity degree from the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He had an active trade in watchmaking and at one time was teaching others this trade. He had in S.C. a radio ministry with a 30-minute Bible study that reached out to the surrounding seven states.
From 1974-1991, Brother Ed served as a pastor at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Ayersville, Ohio. While in Ohio, he served for some time as chaplain of the Defiance Hospital. He worked with many of the surrounding Defiance jewelry stores as watchmaker from his home and was well known for his work in this area. He worked, too, for a time with the Northwest Community Action Commission and was a part of naming the Spark Program, Spark standing for "Senior Personal Advisors Reaching Kids." He had to resign from the Spark Program in 1993. He was honored by Community Action for his service and felt honored to be a part of service to the community. He was called to pastor the beginning of a new church in Sherwood, Ohio. It was named the Sherwood Community Church. He served Sherwood Community Church until 1998. Due to the failing health of his wife, Jo, he knew she would need his full-time care. Donna Hawkins, by his side, gave her the care she needed. He continued to minister even though he was no longer pastoring a church. He found the Internet to be a tool he could use to send out weekly sermons until the day came he could no longer see well enough to do so. This is when Donna took over, sending them out for him. These sermons reached around the world. He would smile, calling this "His Cyber Church." His very last sermon that was sent out was titled, "Heaven is Going Home." With that done, Donnell, Brother Ed, Daddy and Papa went to meet His Savior Jesus Christ, Sunday morning, with Donna, his faithful daughter and caretaker by his side.
Edward Donnell Johnson was preceded in death by his loving wife, Jo Horner; his precious son-in-law, Cliff Hullender; and his precious granddaughter, Danielle Cook. Donnell was the last remaining of his 11 brothers and sisters. He leaves behind Janice Hullender of Stonewall, La., Lynda Clemmer of Grover, N.C., Donna Hawkins of Converse, La., and Terre Baden, Defiance, Ohio, along with 13 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. His words of wisdom and his guidance will be missed but the knowledge that he is rejoicing with his wife, our mother, in the presence of their Lord and Savior, gives us peace.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Gideon's Bible Society or Samaritan's Purse so that his wish for the Gospel will continue to be spread.
There will be held a celebration of his life at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, 29013 Harris Road, Ayersville, Ohio, October 13, 2012, at 2 p.m. as an open house with a short ceremony at the beginning. Come to share fellowship, food and memories with us. All are welcome!