Rev. James McClain “Mac” Johnson was born on July 12, 1938, in Littleton, North Carolina, and was the third of the nine children of James R. Johnson and Zelma B. Thorne Johnson. He entered into the presence of the Lord on Saturday, June 8, 2019, at Kiddy Askin Hospice Center in Goldsboro, North Carolina.
His formal education was received in the Halifax County Public School System, and he graduated from the former McIver High School with the class of 1956. He then served his country in the United States Army as an International Morse Code Operator. After being honorably discharged, he relocated to Brooklyn, New York.
While in New York, “Mac” reunited with his high school sweetheart, Elizabeth McWilliams, and they were married on October 10, 1959. He started his first business, J&H Tires and Accessories, and later opened Liz’s Gas House, a Sun Oil Company Gas and Automotive Repair Station. He received a 10 year award for exceptional gas sales. During the late 1970’s, “Mac” and Liz returned to their roots and made their home in Littleton, North Carolina, where he worked with family businesses.
“Mac” soon became very active in community and education so much that he returned to school, earned a bachelor of arts degree and a master’s degree in Divinity from Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. He also received an Honorary Doctorate from Eastern Carolina Christian College. “Mac” organized and founded Hollister R.E.A.C.H. Incorporated and served as Executive Director for decades. He also served on multiple boards and committees including the Haliwa-Saponi Charter School, the Southeast Rural Communities Assistance Program, and many more.
Rev. Johnson became the Pastor of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Hollister, North Carolina, Chapel Hill Baptist Church in Norlina, North Carolina, and Locust Grove Baptist Church in Wise, North Carolina, before retiring.
Those remaining to forever cherish the fond memories of his life and to share the legacy of his love are his wife of sixty years, Elizabeth McWilliams Johnson of the home; three spiritual children: godson, Kevin Jones of California, Linda Hinton of Henderson, NC, and Gladys Stevenson of Norlina, NC; his five siblings, Genotre Penny-Boone of Roanoke Rapids, NC, Ivan P. Johnson (Mary) of Littleton, NC, Nelson N. Johnson (Joyce) of Greensboro, NC, Simon S. Johnson (Dollean) of Winston-Salem, NC, and Alma Monk (Winston) of Littleton, NC; and a host of nieces, nephews, extended family, and many friends.
Funeral services will be held at 12:00 Noon on Saturday, June 15, 2019, at the Lee’s Chapel Baptist Church, 8202 NC Highway 4, Littleton, NC. Rev. Nelson Johnson will deliver the eulogy, and burial will follow in the church cemetery. A viewing will be held at the church for one hour prior to the funeral time.