Evangelist Norma Johnson

Obituary of Evangelist Norma Jean Johnson

Norma Jean Johnson, affectionately known as "Tinky & Meima", began her life's journey on June 28, 1953, in Baltimore, Maryland. She was the baby of 10 children born to the late Francis and Anthia Gant. In the stillness of night, she was peacefully ushered into the presence of the Lord on Saturday, June 1, 2024. Educated within the Baltimore City Public School System, Norma was a proud graduate and member of Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School's class of 1971. In 1972, she married Ernest Queen, III, and together they were blessed with three wonderful children: Ernest IV, Andre, and Sharron. As life unfolded, Norma found love again and married Melvin Johnson, Sr., whom she affectionately called "My Mel," on April 23, 1988. She cherished him deeply until his passing in 2014. Norma embarked on her professional journey in 1983 with Arthur Andersen, initially starting out in the word processing department. Through dedication and hard work, she advanced to become the Executive Assistant to several firm partners. Her skills and experience at Arthur Andersen paved the way for her next role as the Executive Assistant to the Partner-in-Charge at Ernst & Young in 2002. She retired in 2019. But not one to rest on her laurels, and in true Norma-fashion, she did not stay retired long. Thirty days into retirement, Norma received a call from a former partner at Ernst & Young. Her exceptional work ethic and dedication earned her widespread admiration, leading to a special request to assist the Executive Director of the ARC of Baltimore for a brief period. Following her initial two-week assignment, Norma's contributions were so valued that she was offered a permanent position, which she held until her sudden passing. In 1992, Norma ran into a friend, now Minister Ed Bennett on the bus. That chance encounter led to an invitation to attend a service at True Gospel Apostolic Faith Church. The extension and acceptance of this invitation would prove to be a divinely orchestrated moment that would shift the trajectory of Norma's life. Upon hearing the powerful message preached at that service by the late Pastor Don Booker, Norma felt a profound stirring in her heart and made a resolute decision to dedicate her life to Christ. She was baptized in Jesus' name and filled with the Holy Ghost. She became a member of True Gospel where she continued to be nurtured in the Word under the leadership and tutelage of Bishop Otto Richardson, Jr. The same qualities that defined Norma's professional career were equally evident in her service to the Kingdom of God. She epitomized the scripture that inspires diligence in work and service: "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might…" (Ecclesiastes 9:10). Norma was steadfast in her service and committed her time, talent, and tithe to the things of God. A perfectionist at her core, whatever she put her hand to was performed with a spirit of excellence. Norma walked with God for over 32 years and faithfully served the Lord and his people in various capacities. In her local assembly, she served as an usher, choir member, missionary, altar worker, Sunday School teacher, Sunday School Superintendent, and was a member of True Gospel's Executive Board. Just as she excelled in her professional endeavors, Norma's contributions to the church and her love for souls were recognized, and she obtained her ministerial credentials as an Evangelist from the Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith International, Inc. (PCAFI). In 2014, Evangelist Norma assumed the role of Assistant General Secretary of the Eastern and Southern States Council (ESSC) of the Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith International (PCAFI). She also served as the Young People's delegate for the Council for many years. Evangelist Norma exemplified unwavering commitment and diligence, continuing in her service as Assistant General Secretary for ESSC and as Director of Evangelism & Outreach until her passing. She also significantly contributed to the PCAFI/ESSC Evangelical Training Association (ETA) program working closely alongside her friend Pastor Mary Farmer, whom she affectionately called "Mama." Evangelist Norma's dedication to the ETA program led to her being entrusted with its leadership and she served as the program's director until her passing. Norma achieved numerous milestones in her professional and spiritual life, but her greatest accomplishment and testament was her ability to find balance in these duties and enjoy life and her family. What truly defined her essence was her deep sense of family. While some knew her as Norma or Evangelist Norma, she was affectionately known as Tinky and Meima to her family, extended family, and close friends. If you knew anything about Meima, she LOVED her family and loved spending time with them. Family trips, gatherings, events, and celebrations—Meima was front and center. Her love for her family was expressed in countless ways—both tangible and intangible. She lived and breathed for them and would move heaven and earth if it was within her power. She would often say, "Ain't no mountain high enough, ain't no valley low enough, ain't no river wide enough, to keep me from getting to you." And she meant it! As a mother, grandmother, and aunt she exemplified a warmth, care, and loyalty that was palpable. Like a mother hen and her chicks, she adored and was fiercely protective of her three children, affectionately referring to her family unit as "Me and My Three." She doted on her grands and great-grands, or as she would say, "My Babies." She would often be overheard telling them, "Don't forget me," ensuring they never would by creating moments and memories that would forever echo her enduring love and presence in their hearts. But Meima didn't just believe in creating memories; she also cherished them by collecting photographs, mementos, and keepsakes to commemorate the precious times shared with family and friends…a chest full of them! Meima was also the aunt and sister who offered sanctuary, wisdom, and sound counsel. And, as a friend she was a trusted and loyal confidante to many. Meima was passionate about many things. She was a true diva at heart. She had a fashion sense and style of her own, with her signature red hair. She loved handbags and a nice pair of shoes, preferably heels (tennis shoes were NOT a part of her shoe game!). Music was another one of her loves. Music is often celebrated as "the universal language of mankind" and music spoke her language. Those acquainted with Meima knew of her passion for good music. From soul-stirring gospel renditions to the soulful sounds of various genres. She found joy and solace in the power of music. She also loved to laugh and was profoundly humorous. Travel was another pastime and for someone who did not have a car or a license, she sure found a way to get around! Meima was gifted in so many ways, but one area in which the Lord spoke to her and used her to communicate with others was through dreams. Those who witnessed the manifestation of this gift can attest to the accuracy of her visions and the pitfalls they escaped. When Meima's family heard her say, "I had a dream about…," they already knew that a warning was to follow and to take heed. Meima was a woman of faith and integrity and demonstrated forgiveness and altruism throughout her life. She had a generous spirit. She was so passionate about giving she would offer her own time and money as well as her children's. Meima demonstrated resilience both in her spiritual life and when facing life's challenges. She approached life with passion and determination, embodying a driven spirit in all her endeavors. Meima was known for her no-nonsense attitude and for speaking her mind. She was straightforward and would not hesitate to call you out when necessary. In alignment with Matthew 18:6, Meima mirrored the heart of Jesus by advocating for the innocent and vulnerable. She championed the cause of the underprivileged and protected those who were marginalized. While others remained silent, she courageously spoke out, ensuring that the voices of the overlooked were heard and respected. Norma's 70 years on this earth left an indelible print on the hearts of all who were privileged to know and love her, and to be loved and known by her in return. Norma's ("Tinky," "Meima") zest for life, boundless love, and enduring legacy will be forever cherished by her three beloved children, Ernest IV, Andre, and her baby girl Sharron; her bonus son, Melvin, Jr.; five grandchildren whom she loved immensely, Quiana, Deja, Kaiya, Aubrey, and Chloe; three great-grandchildren, Kennedi, Reign, and Khoi; four siblings, Agnes Terrell, Francis, Warren and Robert Gant; a special sister-in-law, Joanne Frazier; a niece and two nephews who were dear to her heart, Katherine Redmond, Victor and Frederick Jones. She will be remembered fondly by six devoted friends, Elsie Wilson, Minister Deborah Lee, Evangelist Carolyn Rodgers, Pastor Evon McDowell, Evangelist Brenda Davis, and Pastor Viola Cullars; and a host of nieces, nephews, in-laws, relatives, friends, colleagues, and church family.