NOVEMBER 15, 1936 - MAY 1, 2014
John was born to Roger Claire and Winnie Beatrice Johns in Shreveport, and reared in Mansfield, LA. He
grew up in First Methodist Church there, with his brother Roger Dick Johns. He graduated from Mansfield High
School and entered Centenary College in 1954. He soon felt called to the Methodist ministry. He was blessed with
a good mind and a quick wit. Every body enjoyed being around him so as to enjoy his witticisms as good and as fast
as Bob Hope. No one was surprised when he became president of Kappa Sigma Fraternity.,
However, he felt most at home in the “MSM”, Methodist Student Movement, and then with the Kappa Chi,
the ministerial student fellowship. Life-long friendships were formed there, including: Ray and Liz Holt (later
missionaries to the Philippines), Larry Robertson, Paul Durbin (later became the first chaplain to make Brig. General
in U.S. Army Reserve), Ray Spiller, Bill Blakely, Bill Eubanks, Eddie Morgan, and many others who served
together in the Louisiana Conference. The game of “42” with dominoes was a favorite past-time when together. He
studied under the beloved Dr. Webb Pomeroy, Chair of the Religion Department, graduating in 1958.
Upon graduation he went on to enroll at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University,
where we were roommates in Perkins Dorm. Upon completing the first year there he, along with some of those
friends, was ordained Deacon by Bishop Paul E. Martin at the Louisiana Conference in 1960, then Elder in 1963;
retired in 2000, completing 40 years of service to his Lord Jesus Christ.
The best day’s work he ever did was on April 1, 1962 when he married Peggy Moore in Pleasant Hill. She
was always there for him, a solid rock, and always with a ready smile. Their two sons are: John R. “Richie” Johns,
Jr., and Jeffrey “Sonny” Johns. Richie and his wife Michelle have twins, a boy and a girl: John R. Johns, III, and
Sydney Johns. Throughout his life John lived and served with compassion for others who suffered. He was
especially concerned for those who suffered discrimination, whether it was religious, race, gender, or otherwise. He
had a strong social conscience.
It was natural, then, that he became the Coordinator of Restorative Justice for the Louisiana Conference.
His heart was dedicated to the GRACE Camps, serving children with incarcerated parents. He did fund raising and
public relations for this ministry, as well as working in the camps. John was always good with children; perhaps
because he not only enjoyed his “second-childhood,” but also realized that he had never really quite outgrown his
John and Peggy’s ministry ranged over a wide-circuit for half a century. Appropriate to his character, in
retirement, his last ministry was as Minister of Visitation, Hammond First UMC, under the grand leadership of Rev.
Joe Donakey. Here he was right at home visiting the hospital, nursing homes, the sick, and the grieving.
In the last decade of his life, he bravely battled Parkinson’s disease, never ready to quit his ministry of
visitation, though much of it, toward the end, had been visiting by telephone. He was deeply grateful to this church
for enabling him to continue his beloved ministry to the end.
He shared God’s wonderful love with his own caring, loving ministry…and, as always, with his dear Peggy
at his side. The Hammond congregation has developed a series of musicals with wonderful local talent. He was
delighted to play the part of FDR in the musical, “Annie,” sitting, of course, in his wheel chair. FDR was one of his
heroes of American History.
In his closing weeks, he wanted to call together family and friends for a party…to celebrate the good life
God had given him and allowed him to serve Christ’s Church through the ministry of the Louisiana Conference. So,
naturally, he gave his body to science, and a Memorial Service was held May 22 at his beloved Hammond church.
Now the “Angels Above” surely are being delightfully entertained with his witticisms.
Larry D. Robertson