Staff Spotlight: Reverend Johnnie Palmer
Reverend Johnnie Palmer, a Funeral Director and Mortician with 22 years of experience and licenses in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, joined Vaughn Greene Funeral Services in 2013.
Although Rev. Palmer started out on the funeral services side of the company, he is now the Supervising Mortician for the Compassionate Care Center. In this role, he oversees the embalming, dressing, and casketing of the deceased. When the schedule gets busy, Rev. Palmer says his funeral services experience comes in handy.
A gentle giant with a servant’s heart, Rev. Palmer derives great satisfaction from the compassionate care he provides grieving families. In addition to his work at Vaughn Greene Funeral Services, he has been an ordained minister since 1982. Rev. Palmer is affiliated with the Ark Church in Baltimore City, where he has served as Executive Pastor for the past three years. It was through his funeral experience that he found the Ark Church, and he immediately fell in love with its sound Biblical preaching and excellent music ministry.
Q. How has your religion helped you in your work?
A. It’s dovetailed in many ways but probably the biggest way is in the understanding of ministry, which can be very comforting to the bereaved. The faith system helps them to accept the loss because they know their loved one is with the Lord.
Q. What do you most enjoy about your job?
A. I like the fact that each day is different. Every family we serve has their own unique set of circumstances and desires. It’s a very rewarding job and it’s never boring!
Q. Tell us about your family.
A. I actually met my lovely wife Barbara at her aunt’s funeral, which I was directing. We’ve been married for 22 years and have two wonderful children, Johnnese and Johnnie Jr., who are fraternal twins. Barbara and I married on December 16, 1995 and we welcomed our twins on the same date four years later.
Q. How would you describe yourself?
A. Gentle and low-key. I like to stay on an even keel. Hard work and completing what I set out to do are also important to me. While working full-time, I attained my Master of Theology and Master of Divinity degrees from Liberty University, as well as an MBA from Strayer University.
Q. What do you like to do in your spare time?
A. I don’t have much spare time, but I am an avid reader. I also like watching series dramas on TV. I’m a “Law and Order” buff and I’m currently watching “Homeland”.
Q. If you could meet anyone, alive or deceased, who would it be and why?
A. Dr. Martin Luther King or Frederick Douglass. They were both great men with brilliant minds who made tremendous contributions to our nation.
Q. What would readers be surprised to know about you?
A. That I have a crazy sense of humor! People think I’m reserved and serious, but I love a good laugh.
Q. Do you have a hidden talent?
A. I’m a pretty good singer. I’ve always wanted to do a solo recording.
Q. What words do you live by?
A. “If you can dream it, you can do it.” And “Persistence overcomes resistance.” There’s a lot of power in positivity.