Pastors' Memoirs

Calvin Brewster Johnson, 1927 – 2007

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2008 Memoirs

 Calvin B. Johnson died July 15, 2007, in High Point, N.C., after a debilitating illness of several years duration, six weeks after his 80th birthday. He is survived by his wife, Marvel (Oswalt, married in 1950), and their four children: Philip (& Cindy), Miriam (& Fred) Van Pelt, Stephen (& Kendra), and Ruth (& Chris) Caul. He is also survived by six grandchildren and one brother. His family was the love of his life.
 Calvin was born in Bluefield, Va., on May 30, 1927, to William Andrew and Ida Crouse Johnson. The family moved to Pound, Va., shortly after Calvin was born. He had four brothers, one of whom was his twin. Although they grew up in the Appalachian coal mining region, the family earned their living by truck farming on those mountains. He accepted Christ at age 10 in a community-wide revival and joined Pound Methodist Church (Holston Conference). At age 16, he accepted God’s call to preach. After serving a brief time in the United States Navy at the end of WWII in the Philippines, he entered Asbury College and later, Asbury Theological Seminary, from which he earned an A.B. and M.Div. degrees respectively. During those years, he was a dedicated student of the Scriptures, served as a student pastor, and participated in other mission opportunities.
 Calvin was admitted into the Virginia Conference in 1955 and served the following appointments (districts in parentheses) until his retirement in 1990: Alexander Park/Parkside (Portsmouth); Christ (Peninsula); Wallace Memorial (Peninsula); Stokesland (Danville); Mount Bethel (Danville); John Wesley College in North Carolina; Rockbridge (Staunton); Parrish Court (Staunton); and Oakland (Danville). He served John Wesley College for 14 years as administrator/professor and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from this institution in 1984.
 Calvin was a man of fervent prayer, a serious Bible student, and thoroughly committed to being a conservative Christian theologian and scholar. He loved books, collected them, read them, and even wrote one, Beyond the Point of No Return, reflecting his concern for recent trends in The United Methodist Church. Very few preachers have been more loyal to Christ and his church than Calvin throughout his life. As a Spirit-filled pastor and college president, be was attentive to duty and always full of concern, compassion, and Christ-like care for people in need. Every day and in every way, Calvin did the work of an evangelist, telling the good news, preaching the word, and lifting up our Lord wherever he went. In his retirement years, he completed a review of every chapter in the Bible in outline form. It took him seven years. Though a gifted leader, a successful husband and parent, Calvin walked in great humility, giving all the glory to Christ whom he loved and served.
— Marvel Johnson and several friends


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