Remembering Rev Dr David Johnson

By JEFFARAH GIBSON Tribune Features Writer THE very first job the late Rev Dr David Johnson had was delivering newspapers for The Tribune. Everyday young David would hop on his bicycle, map out his route and distribute a pile of papers to customers. "My brother always told us about his job as a paper boy. He said that he did have some challenges delivering papers. For instance there was a specific spot he had to throw the paper and sometimes the papers did not land in that spot," said Mary Johnson, speaking of the late reverend. "This was a problem because the customers expected the paper to be in a certain spot. Sometimes the papers got caught in the tree so he had to climb and get them down and there were some people who had dogs in the yard, so if the paper landed in the wrong spot he had a very hard time getting it," said Ms Johnson. This is just one of the many memories Mary and her sister Esmeralda Rutherford recall of Rev Johnson. He died on Sunday due to complications related to a brain tumour. Rev Johnson, 77, was the pastor for over thirty years at Macedonia Baptist Church. Before entering the ministry, Rev Johnson worked for a shipping company. As a young husband to Selina Bowe Johnson, he went off to Corpus Christi University in Texas to study English Language. After graduating from the university, he returned to the Bahamas and made a valuable contribution to education. "Before he went away to school he was already ordained a minister. When he came back he went to Little Sound, Andros, where he was a teacher. His teaching tenure ended at L W Young School here in Nassau. After he retired from teaching he started ministering at St Luke's Church," Mary explained. Rev Johnson and his wife have four children, Charles, David, Daphne, and Aleta. They remember him as a humble man with a big heart. "He was the first born and the big brother. He has five siblings who are alive, including myself, Esmeralda Rutherford, Dr John Johnson, Robert and Stephen. He always took good care of us. He really carried his role well. He provided guidance to all of us. He was always pleasant, loving, and fair," said Mary. "He loved the gospel and he loved teaching it as well. My brother was humble and gentle but he had a strong personality and never flinched in the face of adversary. He was very family-oriented, and he loved his church family," she said. Gwedolyn Pratt, a founding member of Macedonia Baptist Church told Tribune Religion that news of her childhood friend's passing is still very shocking. "I still cannot believe he is gone. I am still in shock up to this day. Rev Johnson and I grew up together. We are like family and I really miss him. But we have to learn to accept what God has done. The Bible said live we may and die we must and I will not fly in the face of God. Rev Johnson was a real humble servant. He loved the Lord and he did what he was supposed to do. He was a real Christian," she said. Eric Sweeting, a member of Macedonia Church, said Rev Johnson was a "honourable man." "He was a very honourable person, gentle. He was pleasant and always said things that would brighten your day. Rev Johnson was outgoing in terms of supporting his community. Anytime you called on him, he was willing, able, and ready to assist. He was also never one of those people who told their members to do one thing while he did the next. He practised what he preached and he demonstrated real belief in Christianity. We will be sorrowing for a very long time because we have lost someone extremely special," he told Tribune Religion. With the death of Dr Rev Johnson on December 11, and his brother Emmett Johnson, a few days earlier on December 1, Mary and her family are doing their best to remain strong. The funeral service for Rev Dr David Samuel Johnson will be held on Sunday, December 18, at Joe Farrington Road auditorium.


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