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John Wauford Johnson

August 21, 1939 — May 21, 2024

Courtesy Announcement

John Wauford Johnson

The following obituary is being shared as a courtesy to the local family and friends of Reverend Johnson. On behalf of MRC Funeral Home, we extend our condolences during this time. For directions or online floral orders, please visit www.mcewenminthillchapel.com.


Reverend John Wauford Johnson died peacefully in his sleep on the early morning of May 21, 2024, at Novant Presbyterian Hospice Care in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was 84.

 John’s impact on the community was not just significant but profound. For forty years, he dedicated his life to preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, serving as pastor of five churches, including Emmanuel Baptist in Charlotte. His uplifting sermons and gift for storytelling touched thousands of lives, spreading a message of hope and love. He believed God’s love knew no borders and ministered to people from all walks of life.

 Born August 21, 1939, ten days before the beginning of World War II, John grew up on a small family farm with his four siblings some twelve miles from a paved road near Angelus, South Carolina. There, he cultivated a deep work ethic that would carry him through decades of ministry throughout the Carolinas. While John’s primary focus was sharing the love of Jesus, he was also a man of many talents. He was a technical school graduate, a Medal of Honor recipient of the U.S. Navy, a high school history teacher, and a mimeograph machine specialist for the ABDick Company. His diverse skills and achievements are a testament to his dedication and hard work.

 However, a pivotal moment in John's life arrived in 1976. During an evening service led by the Reverend Malcolm Ivey at New Hope Baptist Church in Charlotte, a 38-year-old graphic arts equipment technician made a life-altering decision. He dedicated his life entirely to the service of others. This calling propelled him to Wingate College, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in World History in 1981, and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he graduated in 1984 with a Master of Divinity.

 John’s personal life was as rich as his professional one. In 1959, he met the love of his life, Anita Louise Riddle, at a Spartanburg Jr. College party. They tied the knot in the summer of 1963 and established their home in Mint Hill, North Carolina. Together, they raised their two children, John David and Jane Rebecca, fostering a warm and supportive family environment. John’s love for fishing, gardening, and sports, especially Men’s and Women’s College Basketball and NASCAR, was well-known. For decades, he and his friends spent summers sharing home-grown tomatoes and early mornings in Blue Ridge mountain trout streams and spent their falls on the coasts of the Carolinas, eagerly anticipating their next big catch.

He was predeceased by his parents, Russell B. Johnson and Nell D. Johnson, and his siblings, Ila Sue Reese (Ray), Edith Roper (Terry Sr.), and Sarah Smith. Survivors include his loving wife of over 60 years, Anita, son David, daughter Jane, brother Dwight R. Johnson (Jane), and brother-in-law Jerry L. Smith. Six nieces, six nephews, and numerous great-nieces and great-nephews also survive.

The family will receive friends on Tuesday, May 28, 2024 from 11:00 to 12:00PM at McEwen Funeral Service- Mint Hill Chapel, 7428 Matthews Mint Hill Road Mint Hill, NC 28227. The funeral service will immediately follow. John will be laid to rest at Sunset Memory Gardens, 8901 Lawyers Road Mint Hill, NC 28227.

In lieu of flowers, we ask for donations in John’s name to further his belief in higher education for those serving Christ and our community. You can support Nursing students through the Novant Presbyterian Hospital Foundation by selecting the White Rose Nursing Education Endowed Fund or by mail at 220 Hawthorne Lane, Charlotte, NC 28204. You can support Divinity students at Gardner-Webb University by mail to W.E. Entrekin Memorial Scholarship Fund, Office of Advancement, PO Box 997, Boiling Springs, NC 28017.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Wauford Johnson, please visit our flower store.

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