Cover photo for Theodore Johnson's Obituary
Theodore Johnson Profile Photo

Theodore Johnson

April 1, 1944 — February 5, 2024

Harrisburg

Theodore Johnson

Emblem

Obituary for Theodore “Ted” Johnson

 

Theodore Johnson, affectionately known as “Ted” was born on April 1, 1944 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the Nation’s first hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital to Talmadge and Doris Smeltzer Johnson.  His birth was shared with his older by a few minutes, twin brother Timothy.

 

Ted was an energetic and inquisitive young man, who had a smile that could light up a room.   He accepted Christ as his personal savior and was baptized at the age of 9 at Faith Tabernacle Baptist Church (Muchmore Memorial), where he later became a Sunday School Teacher.

 

He received his early education through the Philadelphia Public School System, obtaining his high school diploma from Murrell Dobbins High School in 1962.  Ted loved basketball and served as Captain of the Varsity Basketball team.

 

At the age of 17, Ted enlisted in the United States Navy as a “Kitty Cruiser,” the name given to recruits who were not yet of age.  Ted took full advantage of the ability to see the world and travel while serving in the Navy.  After three years of service, and an honorable discharge, Ted enlisted in the United States Army, and served in the National Guard for many years until he resigned.

 

During his time in the Navy, he remembered a beautiful brown beauty who was a classmate of his by the name of Mary Louise Clemons, “Lou” as he affectionately called her, with whom he shared classes and had a friendship with at Murrell Dobbins High School.   The two began writing to each other during his time in the service, and soon fell in love.  

 

On August 29, 1965, the two were married and to this union, three beautiful children were born, Geniene, Theodore (Teddy) and Lydia.  Ted was a loving husband who exemplified Ephesians 5:25 in the way that he loved his wife, and a loving, protective father who mirrored Proverbs 22:6, in his role as “Daddy.”   Ted enjoyed taking the family on outings where there was fun and plenty of laughs!  Ted was an avid reader.  He loved museums and Cowboy Westerns.

 

Ted began his career with the City of Philadelphia Waterworks, and later Holmesburg Prison as a Stationary Engineer.  He joined the board of the Philadelphia Association for Christian Schools (PACS), and later joined the staff as a Business Manager.  

 

During this time, Ted accepted his call as a Minister of the Gospel, serving at his childhood church, Faith Tabernacle under the leadership of Pastor E.T. Lewis, and then later the Faith Fellowship Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor John L. Price.  To further his education and learn more about Christ, he attended Manna Bible Institute where he served as President of the graduating class.  Ted had a passion for missions, serving as a board member for Have Christ Will Travel.  As a missionary, he visited Nova Scotia, Ghana, and Papua New Guinea.  

 

In October of 1976, God in his infinite wisdom brought families and friends together to start a church by the name of Harambe Baptist Church, which in Swahili means Christians Coming Together.  Ted accepted the call of becoming Pastor.  During his leadership, Pastor Ted ministered to the needs of God’s people by loving, encouraging, counseling, and most importantly teaching and preaching the unadulterated Word of God. He incorporated his love of missions at Harambe spearheading an awesome missions ministry.   He became a fixture of the Germantown Community, loving and ministering particularly to those persons with addictions and other challenges in life.  He met people where they were.  So it was only natural for him to become the President of the Germantown Community Collaborative Board.

 

Pastor Ted was a natural born leader, mentor, and counselor, often counseling members, leaders, and other pastors in the ministry. In the year, 2000, after serving as Pastor of Harambe Baptist Church for 23 years, Pastor Ted received another ministry opp0rtunity to relocate to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and serve as Director of the Church Strengthening Division for the Pa. and New Jersey Southern Baptist Convention.   Pastor Ted thrived in his new position, garnering many new friends who became family!   He retired after ten years of employment in 2010.  He never met a stranger!  He was often seen at his favorite restaurant Cracker Barrel holding court!   He and Mary joined Greater Zion Missionary Baptist Church in 2012, where he served on the Intercessory Prayer Ministry, Sunday School Ministry, the PLACE Ministry and as an Associate Minister.

 

Ted received a Bachelor of Science degree in Religious Studies from the Center of Urban Theological Studies (CUTS) where he graduated Summa Cum Laude of his class.

 

 Other accomplishments include but are not limited to:   Director of Evangelism for the Neighborhood Crusade with the late Pastor Melvin Floyd; President of Refreshing Spirit Ministries, where people came to get recharged and refreshed in ministry; he was awarded a Fellowship at Harvard University for two weeks, as well as a member of the Philadelphia Baptist Association.

 

          Pastor Ted had an infectious laugh and a great sense of humor. He was never too busy to talk to those needing encouragement and counsel.  He exhibited God’s love, compassion and grace wherever he went.  He would seize every opportunity to share the good news of Christ and extend an invitation to discipleship.  He will be missed by many.

 

          He leaves to cherish his legacy and memory his loving wife of 58 years, Mary Louise Johnson; his children Geniene Johnson; Theodore Johnson (Renee); Lydia Johnson-Hilliard (Reggie); one brother, Rev. Dr. Timothy James Johnson; one sister, Georgianna Simmons; Uncle, Nathan Johnson; Brother in love, James E. Clemons; five grandchildren, Shanice Johnson, Khiry Johnson, Reginald Hilliard,   III, Essien Hilliard, and Reese Hilliard; one great-grand daughter, J’Kyra Johnson; three nieces, Apryll Adams, Leah Simmons and Belinda Bates (Byron), and a host of family,  friends, church family members, neighbors, and co-laborers in the ministry.


Celebration of Life Streaming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSwm0MZuSVw

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

Past Services

Viewing

Thursday, February 15, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Greater Zion Missionary Baptist Church

212 N. Progress Ave, Harrisburg, PA 17109

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Thursday, February 15, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Greater Zion Missionary Baptist Church

212 N. Progress Ave, Harrisburg, PA 17109

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Viewing

Friday, February 16, 2024

9:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Friday, February 16, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Burial

Friday, February 16, 2024

1:30 - 2:30 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Guestbook

Visits: 839

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree