GL Johnson of People's Church Passes | News
To those who knew him best, G.L. Johnson was first and foremost a man of God.
"He was a leader for 40 plus years, a leader with a Bible in his hand and a bounce in his step," Earl Giacolini, long–time friend of Johnson's and church member, said.
He was also a man with a darn good memory.
"If you met him once, he knew you better than you knew him. He remembered what you told him. And he would bring it up at a later time whether it was bad or good," Giacolini joked.
He was a pastor with a passport.
"He was an influence all over the world to the missionaries all over," Myrel Hobbs, long–time friend of Johnson's and church member, said.
But he was also Fresno's biggest cheerleader.
"When pastors would come to visit him when they first came to Fresno, he would say, welcome, great to have you here. And I hope that you plan to stay here all of your life. Because Fresno is a place you could give your life to," Doug Holck, Peoples Church Executive Pastor, said.
That's exactly what Johnson did.
The senior pastor of Peoples Church from 1963 to 2008, GL Johnson watched the congregation grow from 150 people to 5,000.
"During that time he ministered to six generations in our family. I know we're not the only family who had that privilege," Giacolini said.
"What you saw on the pulpit was what he was like behind the scenes," Holck said.
"He was a man of integrity, a man that myself and so many others patterned their life after," Hobbs said.
A man those who knew him best say can never be replaced, but will continue to inspire long after he's gone.
"His legacy will go on. Just because a Godly man dies doesn't mean the work of God ends. It will continue in a different direction," Scott Workman, church member and long-time friend of Johnson's, said.
GL Johnson's friends also talked about how relatable he was.
They said he was the type of guy who could impact international leaders one day, and then sit across from you at his kitchen table eating a McDonald's hamburger the next.
GL Johnson is survived by his wife, Jackie, of 61 years, a daughter and two grand–daughters.
Services will be held next weekend.
Visitation will be Saturday, July 9th, from 10am to 4pm at Peoples Church.
A memorial service will begin at 6pm on Sunday, July 10th, also at the church.
A private burial will be held following the services.