Remembering Dr. Charles Johnson

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 7:10 PM CST
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - . Dr. Charles Johnson was 83-years-old when he died Wednesday. His friends are remembering him and the impact he had on everyone.

“Words can just not express the stature of man that we had in our midst. He’s going to be missed enormously,” Fitkins Memorial Church of the Nazarene member Gary “Chic” Johnson said.

Dr. Charles Johnson’s impact on the city of Meridian goes far. He came here from Florida in 1961. He was a pastor for 61 years. Fitkins Memorial Church of the Nazarene was his home.

“By his own assertion he loved Meridian, Mississippi. He truly believed that it was in God’s plan for him to be here. I’m eternally grateful that he did stop by here,” Johnson said.

Dr. Johnson’s place in history is prominent. When it comes to the three civil rights workers came to Meridian, he became their friends. He was also a key witness in the Mississippi Burning trial.

“He spent a lot of time with them and spoke to their parents. He was a pastor, mentor to those young men. It’s amazing,” Rev. Gary Houston explained.

Chic Johnson said that he was one of the greats.

“He and Dr. King and Dr. Abernathy and so many other prolific civil rights leaders would often march together. They would confer together and corroborate.”

Dr. Johnson got to know Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He’s always been an advocate for equality and the acceptance of everyone.

“He would encourage you to believe in yourself. If you didn’t believe, then he would believe in you for you until you got there,” Houston explained. “He was just that kind of person. He didn’t want to see anybody fail. I believe that’s because he knew life could be better for people and they just had to believe.”

Dr. Johnson was a beloved pastor. He was at church just this past Sunday and as jovial as ever.

“Just to know that voice is not among us is an eerie feeling to me. To know that I won’t hear that voice bellow out from wherever,” Johnson said.

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