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May 1, 2014 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Notables: Rev. Thomas Nicholas Johnson

Buckingham County: Sharon Baptist Church

Sharon Baptist Church, Photo by Joanne Yeck

Thomas Nicholas Johnson was an exceptionally vigorous man.  In 1867, at the age of fifty-five, he conducted the marriage ceremony for my then youthful ancestors, John T.L. Woodson and Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Saunders.  Betty Saunders’ parents were members of Sharon Baptist Church.

More from Virginia Baptist Ministers:

His ministry covered a period of sixty-three years. The country pastorate has its compensations and, along with the exposure of long cross-country rides, comes also physical vigor. Brother Johnson had a magnificent physique, standing six feet two inches tall. Upon one occasion a wicked fellow threatened this man of God with personal violence if he preached at a certain time and place; but he did preach at that place and time, nor was he molested.

As a preacher he was patient and careful in his preparation; clear, logical, simple in his presentation of the truth. He was felicitous in his use of illustrations and effective in his quotations from the Bible. While by nature timid and shrinking, this weakness was not a hindrance to him in the pulpit. . . .

He was married three times. Of the first marriage only two children lived to maturity. The daughter became the wife of Rev. Dr. J. A. Mundy. Of the two children of the second marriage, one became the wife of Rev. Dr. W. J. Shipman. The eight children of the third marriage all lived to the estate of manhood and woman hood. His home was a happy one. For many years he lived on his own farm, in a comfortable dwelling, not far from his Mulberry Grove Church.

 He once expressed the desire that he might die at home in his own bed. This desire was granted to him. After two months upon a bed of sickness, during which time he displayed not only patience, but even ecstatic joy, he was called to his heavenly reward on September 13, 1894.

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