Charles Warren Johnston, 76, of Rochester, died Sunday, June 1, 2014.
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He leaves a wife, Nancy; two sisters, Marian Giles (Robert) and Marilyn Layer; three children, Laura Peterson (Brent) of New Hope, Kara Rusk (Jason) of Indianapolis, Ind., and Jay Johnston (Jenny) of St. Paul; and 11 grandchildren, Alex Peterson, Cole Peterson, Courtney Cagle Peterson, Madison Cagle Peterson, Carissa Rusk, Katharine Rusk, Olivia Rusk, Linnea Johnston, Meg Johnston, Hanna Johnston and Audrey Johnston.
He is preceded in death by parents, William Warren Johnston and Alice Dodson Johnston, brother, William Harrison Johnston, sister, Elizabeth Swords, and daughter, Marcy Cagle.
Chuck was born Jan. 23, 1938, in Peoria, Ill. At the age of 18, feeling called to preach the gospel, he enrolled at Tennessee Temple University, graduating in 1961 with a bachelor's degree. That summer, Chuck married Nancy Frankforth on July 21, 1961. Following graduation, he earned a Master of Divinity from Central Baptist Theological Seminary, which later awarded him an honorary doctorate. Following seminary, he served as the senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Watseka, Ill., (seven years), Calvary Baptist Church in Danville, Ill., (six years), Faith Baptist Church in St. Paul, (20 years) and Calvary Baptist Church of Sun Prairie, Wis., (six years). After retiring from full-time ministry, Chuck and Nancy moved to Rochester where he filled the pulpit for area churches and served part-time as pastor to seniors at Calvary Baptist Church.
During his 40-plus years in ministry, he served on various boards, including Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Baptist World Missions and Pillsbury Baptist Bible College. By making much of Christ in his preaching and service to others, Chuck strived to live out the command of his favorite verse, John 3:30, "He must increase, but I must decrease." And he did so with wit, wisdom and an always amiable demeanor.
A funeral service will be held Thursday, June 5, at 10:30 a.m. at Calvary Baptist Church (5905 Silas Dent Road N.W.).
Visitation will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 4, at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes, and one hour prior to the service at the church on Thursday. Burial will take place at Sunset Memorial Parkway in Minneapolis.
Memorials can be directed to Calvary Baptist Church, 5905 Silas Dent Road, Rochester, MN 55901 or Central Baptist Theological Seminary, 900 Forestview Lane North, Plymouth, MN 55441.
Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes, 5421 Royal Place N.W., Rochester, MN 55901, 507-289-360, ranfranzandvinefh.com.
Ranfranz & Vine Funeral Homes & Crematory
5421 Royal Pl Nw Rochester, MN 55901
Published in The Post-Bulletin on June 3, 2014