Reverend Bennie Johnson
Published: Thursday, November 20, 2003
Updated: Sunday, August 10, 2008 00:08
The Rev. Bennie Johnson, 53, an information systems analyst with the General Services Administration who was pastor of Resurrection Baptist Church in Southeast Washington and honored for his volunteer work in D.C. schools, died of a lung aneurysm Nov. 7 at Washington Hospital Center. He was a lifelong resident of the District. Pastor Bennie Johnson was a committed and humble servant of God. He was born in Washington, DC on May 13, 1950, to the late Eula M. Johnson and the late Benjamin F. Johnson. Pastor Bennie Johnson graduated from Eastern Senior High School in 1968 and continued his education at Wilberforce University in Wilberforce, Ohio, where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics in 1972. After completing his undergraduate degree, Pastor Johnson returned to Washington, DC and continued his service to the Lord at Greater Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church where he had been baptized years earlier. While at Greater Mt. Pisgah, he served as usher, financial secretary, member of the Board of Trustees and original member of the Golden Gate Choir. Under the pastorate of Rev. James A. McKinnon, he answered God's call to the ministry and preached his initial sermon on November 1, 1987, the first Sunday in the month. By divine providence, Pastor Johnson preached his final sermon exactly 16 years later on the first Sunday in November 2003. Pastor Johnson matriculated at the Howard University School of Divinity and received a Master of Divinity Degree in 1992. He was ordained to preach the gospel in 1991 at the Brookland Union Baptist Church where he served as Assistant Pastor and subsequently as the Interim Pastor from 1992 until 1994. In 1995, he was Special Assistant to the Reverend Dr. Delmas Cooper of Mt. Horeb Baptist Church in Washington, DC Pastor Johnson accepted the call to be the second pastor of Resurrection Baptist Church in Washington, DC on June 2, 1996. Pastor Bennie Johnson was a visionary leader who was led by the movement of the Holy Spirit as he shepherded the flock of Resurrection Baptist Church. He believed that the ultimate mission of the church is to spread the Gospel throughout the world, offering God's gift of salvation to all of mankind-The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). He further believed that, as a community of believers, we are extensions of Jesus. His vision for Resurrection Baptist Church was represented by the theme, Reaching With Jesus: Reaching Within to develop effective communications among the membership, thereby, enabling them to care and share the Christian experience; Reaching Out to develop an effective outreach ministry of service to the community to share the love of Christ with others; and finally, .Reaching Up to enhance the worship experience enabling the congregation to grow in grace through worshiping God in spirit and in truth. The evolution of Pastor Johnson's vision for Resurrection Baptist Church has been the spiritual growth of the church body through the teaching and preaching of God's Word, increased membership, and a monthly newsletter. He expanded the Church's outreach ministries to include Feed the Hungry, the Christmas Gift Angel Tree Project, Thanksgiving Feast (an annual , onsite Thanksgiving dinner for the church and the homeless and the distribution of more than 5° baskets), partnership with local schools, and the Bus Ministry in which the Church purchased a new 15-passenger bus in 2001. In 1998, Pastor Johnson formulated a 7~Year financial plan to pay off the mortgage of the church. He commissioned the Baptismal Mural which is displayed on the wall over the pool. Pastor Johnson was a man of works and not just of words. He was active in several organizations. He served as General Secretary of the National Capital Baptist Convention of Washington, DC and Vicinity for the past several years and a member of the Missionary Baptist Ministers' Conference of Washington, DC and Vicinity. He was also a distinguished alumni of Wilberforce University where he received a plethora of awards and held numerous positions, including membership in the President's Club (1987-2002), President of the Washington, DC Chapter of the Alumni Association, Chairperson of the 1990 National Alumni Conference, and Vice President of the Alumni Association in 2002. He also served on the Wilberforce University Board of Directors, and was a member of Blacks in Government (BIG). He worked tirelessly in the community. Most recently, he was a charter member and drafter of the constitution of the Rock Creek East - Takoma Park Civic Association. He was chair of the Mentally Disabled Advocacy Group, den leader of the Boy Scouts, Troop 1611, and he supported the United Negro College Fund. He held offices with the DC Parent Teacher Association and local PTA's at Bunker Hill Elementary and Jefferson Junior High Schools. He was awarded a life membership in the DC Congress of Parents and Teachers Association for his outstanding service. He was a frequent parent chaperone for field trips and outings at Bunker Hill and Whit tier Elementary Schools. He was a supporter of City at Peace and the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. He sang with the DC Mass Choir. He was recipient of numerous volunteer and service awards for his work with DC Public Schools. Pastor Johnson's years of public employment started in 1967 where he served as an administrative assistant with the DC Metropolitan Police Department. Upon graduation from college, his professional career began with the federal government and continued for more than 30 years. He was a computer programmer/systems analyst for the U.S. Department of Commerce from 1972 until 1986 where he served at the National Bureau of Standards, the National Fire Administration, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). From 1987 until the present, he continued his federal career as an information systems analyst with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). Pastor Johnson loved the Lord with all of his heart and soul. He dearly loved his wife, children and family, and, he loved Resurrection Baptist Church. He demonstrated his love by the way he served people. He never asked others to do what he was not willing to do himself. It was not uncommon for him to work in the kitchen, clean or do yard work at the Church. He often provided for the needs of people using his personal funds. He had a special place in his heart for the youth and senior citizens. He established Senior's Day as a special day of recognition for the senior citizens of the church. He regularly met with the youth of the Church !0 provide spiritual and moral leadership. , Pastor Johnson is truly a child of God, who modeled Christ in so many ways. He was caring and loving, diligent and tireless, and patient and unselfish. He was a man of principle and conviction. His trust in God was steadfast and unfaltering. Even during the last twelve months of his earthly life when his faith was tested, he never doubted God. He was an inspiration to all who knew him. His smiling face and caring ways will always be in our mind's eye. He is a testimony to the great works that God can do through a willing vessel. It is not the length of time that we serve God here on earth, but rather what we do in the time that He gives us. Jesus proved that in the 33 years that He walked among men. Pastor Johnson was a modest person who never gave accolades to himself. He knew that his reward would come from God, when he would hear the words, "Well done thy good and faithful servant." Pastor Bennie Johnson was a devoted and loving husband and father. He was married to the former Flossie M. Fleming, his soul mate and the true love of his life for more than 31 years, and they were blessed with three sons, Bennie, Brian and Brandon. He was so very proud of his sons, who he adored and affectionately referred to as "My Three Sons." He leaves to cherish his memory and legacy his wife and sons; sisters, Sonja Johnson Quinn and Opal E. Johnson; aunt, Bertha Vaughan; nephew, Patrick Francis Quinn; mother-in-law, Emma J. Fleming; daughter-in-law, Kera Edler Johnson; Father-in-the-Ministry, Reverend Dr. Delmas U. Cooper and Mrs. Willie Cooper; close friends, James, Shirley and Marcus McCall and Veronica Raglin; and a host of other relatives and friends.