Love Story

January 7, 2010

Yesterday, I attended the memorial service of our precious friend, Bishop Charles Johnson.

Bishop Charles was a unique and remarkable man.  He had a true passion for souls, and made it his mission to carry the message of God’s love around the world.  From the backwoods and hollows of West Virgina to India and Africa, he was unstoppable!

Back in October, when the doctors diagnosed him with leukemia and sent him home with a prognosis of two days to live,  he traveled instead to North Carolina and preached to one of his many beloved congregations.  He had unfinished work to do and no man was going to tell him he couldn’t do it!

Bishop lived and ministered for three more months, not two days as had been predicted.  His desire to live and preach God’s Word was stronger than the disease that was trying to take him.

Bishop Charles was a great story-teller!  In his 50 plus years of ministry, he’d had many adventures and could describe each of them in a way that made a person feel as if they’d been right there beside him in the experience.  Many of his stories were hilariously funny and I often found myself wiping away tears of laughter as he spoke.

Even though I’d only met Bishop Charles six years ago, I felt I knew him fairly well, but it was not until his memorial service yesterday that I realized the legacy of love he was leaving behind.

Hundreds of people flowed into the auditorium to pay their last respects, and being very much a “people watcher” I couldn’t help but notice what a diverse group they were.

There were men and women in fur coats and fancy hats, as well as tattooed biker types with pony tails and tattered jeans.  There were old people and youngsters, people with perfect hairstyles and buttoned down collars … and a half-dozen or so with their hair dyed in all the colors of the rainbow.

Those who stood on the platform and spoke at the service were equally varied in their culture and color.

As I watched and listened, one thing became undeniably clear … not only had Bishop Charles Johnson preached the love of God to the nations, he’d practiced it!  The variety of people in attendance at his home-going celebration was a testimony to that fact.  As different from one another as we might have been, we had one thing in common.  Bishop Johnson loved us all unconditionally.

In his lifetime, Bishop Johnson was a great story-teller.  Ironically, it was his life itself that was the best story of all.  It was a story  written in accordance to God’s greatest commandment …

“Love One Another!”

Rest in peace, Bishop Charles.  May the lives of those you’ve touched continue to carry your story of love and acceptance to the ends of the earth!

Becky J. Taylor

http://www.boldnewday.com

January 7, 2010

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One Response to “Love Story”

  1. Vicki Says:

    Sounds like a wonderful man who served God with gratitude. Very nice and worthy tribute Becky.


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