Evangelist Irene Leona Johnson entered eternal rest on Friday, August 14, 2015 at Select Specialty Hospital in Augusta, Georgia. Funeral services held on Monday, August 17, 2015 at Smith Grove Baptist Church with interment in the Sandersville City Cemetery. Bishop Richard Peoples officiated.
Evangelist Irene Leona Johnson was born in Philadelphia, PA on August 22, 1945. She was the youngest of five children of the late Clayton and Ada Burgess. Mother Johnson was educated in the Philadelphia Public School System. She attended Simon Gratz High School but received her GED in Jacksonville, Fla through the Florida Cooperative Extension Program. She earned her Associates degree in Criminal Justice in 1987 from Philadelphia Community of Philadelphia.
Mother Johnson spent her youth attending Jones Tabernacle AME Church. When she was 12 years old, she joined the Ebenezer COGIC Church. After moving to Jacksonville, FLA, she attended Faith Temple COGIC where she diligently worked with the youth choir and outreach ministries. Returning to Philadelphia, she put her hands to work at Solid Rock COGIC. Then she transitions to Overcoming Church of Deliverance pastored by Bishop William Kinning where she was ordained on June 29, 1980.
In 1998, Mother Johnson moved to Sandersville, GA where she planted the seeds of gospel at the young people at First Love Ministries pastored by Bobby Jackson. Her heart’s desire was to win all souls to Christ but she was passionate about the youth in Sandersville. She actively participated in the van ministry gathering all who wanted to know more about Jesus. The youth outreach ministry grew and evolved to the Children of Love and Hope pastored by Dolton Glenn. To get young people more involved in church, she would help take the church’s children on retreats. Mother Johnson often encouraged the people to seek out higher education and taught them the value of prayer and determination.
Mother Johnson was always looking for ways to be a blessing and being used by God gave her great joy. At the Children of Love and Hope Ministries she put her wisdom to work in the women’s ministry, her kindness into feeding the community, her fellowship in home visits and her love into every soul that she encountered. Having Pastor D. Glenn as a shepherd fortified her resolve to do all for Christ.
Mother Johnson met her former husband, David Johnson, Sr. at a church that she was visiting. Their wedding took place in Maryland on July 6, 1963. The union produced three children, Evelyn, David Jr. and Crystal the adorable. Mother Johnson had a daughter from a previous relationship, Beloved La-Barbara Burgess, who preceded her in death.
Mother Johnson leaves to celebrate her extraordinary life, her daughter and son-in-law: Lanod and Evelyn Broadnax; her son and daughter-in-law, David Johnson Jr and Shelly Bland-Johnson; and her youngest child, Crystal. She also had seven grandsons: George Clayton Johnson who preceded her in death, La-Mont Johnson, Jeremy Johnson, Jermaine Johnson, Mark Williams, David Johnson III, Daniel Johnson and Darius Johnson; five granddaughters: Tiffany Israel-Bland, Tamika Bland, Da’Shell Johnson, Destanee Johnson, and Daijonet Johnson; two great grandsons: Mark Jr Williams and Shaheim Miller; three great granddaughters: Ashley Johnson, Kashmere Miller and Aliyah Williams.
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