Johnnie James
Johnnie James
  • January 12, 1926 - January 2, 2018
  • Canton, Mississippi

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Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.

Psalms 116:15

Reverend Johnnie James passed away quietly at approximately 4:05 a.m. on Tuesday January 2, 2018 at the Sonny Montgomery VA Medical Center in Jackson. Johnnie was born to Mr. David James and Mrs. Daisy Williams James of Farmhaven. Six children were born to this godly couple, Malcolm, Odie, Johnnie, Cleveland, Bessie Mae and Mack. Johnnie’s mother stepped into eternity at an early age. His father met and later married Mrs. Bessie Smith. To this union two children were born, David and Arthur. In addition merging into this family were Edna, Alta Mae, Bonnie, Deloris, Ozzie Lean, Jolly Steen, and Myrthaween. Preceding him in death were father, mother, step mother and brothers Malcolm, Odie, and Arthur.

Johnnie was educated in the Madison County school system. He grew up attending the Millville Church of God founded by his grandfather Rev. Allen Williams, and was later changed to the Farmhaven Church of Christ (Hol.) USA. As a young boy he was humorous and loved to play with the other children in the community. Their favorite activity was playing church. Johnnie was always the “Preacher.” Being a husky young man he loved to test his strength as a wrestler.

As time passed Johnnie was called to serve his country in the United States Armed forces. He served heroically and was given an honorable discharge. After serving in the military, wanting to better his life, he did as many young African Americans in the south. He moved to Chicago for a better paying job and better opportunities. After working as a tanner for 28 years, he accepted a job as a chef igniting his passion for cooking. This opportunity led him to meet the love of his life, Rev. Marie Moody. He won her hand in marriage and they began a tremendous and spiritual filled journey together. Eventually, Johnnie answered his call to the ministry.

Together, they established the God’s House of Love, Prayer and Deliverance Church and the Mary P. Moody School in Robin, Illinois. They invested their time, skill, finances and with the help of family, cousins and friends building a successful ministry and school. They served as co-pastors of the church and his wife was headmaster of the school. His wife, Marie was a masterful pianist. She was asked to play wherever she traveled. Later, due to declining health of his wife they had to give up some of the duties as pastors and headmaster. Through it all God continued to bless them with help from a young lady from their church, Maudell Rice, who became his wife’s caretaker. After his wife passed, Johnnie’s health continued to decline and his sister, Bessie Mae became his caretaker.

Johnnie’s dream was to return to his roots in Farmhaven , MS and he and his sister made the trip. He attended and reunited with the Farnhaven Church of Christ (Hol.) USA, the same one he attended before he left. While here he loved watching his chickens and garden grow. He would invite everyone who came to visit to go and see his garden and chickens. He was a happy person, loved to praise the Lord, loud and clear, any place and anytime.

Preceding him in death were his father, mother, stepmother and his brothers Malcolm, Odie, and Arthur. Beneath the flurry of angels wings he leaves behind his sister Mrs. Bessie Mae Wilder, his brothers, Cleveland( Connie), Mack, David ( Dorothy) , a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, family members and friends. He leaves to us the memories of a man who enjoyed life, family, and friends. But most of all, he leaves us an example of faith, commitment, and passion for God.

“ I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord , the righteous judge , shall give me at that day; and not to me only but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

2 Timothy 4: 7-8