B. Edgar Johnson joined our Lord Jesus Christ in Glory on February 17, 2012. A celebration of his life of service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Monday, February 20, 2012, at the Brandt Center of Northwest Nazarene University.
Benjamin Edgar was born to Judson and Elsie Johnson on the family farm, October 30, 1921, in rural Sterling, CO, the third of seven children. He committed his life to Jesus in 1929 during a revival meeting held in a storefront and was called to ministry at age 16.
He earned a degree from Pasadena College in 1943, completing dual majors in history and philosophy/religion. During those college years, he served as a summer circuit minister in Colorado, was involved in the Los Angeles City Mission, was youth director of the Pasadena Salvation Army Corps, and pastor of Long Beach First Evangelical Church.
On February 8, 1944, B. Edgar married his college sweetheart, Kathryn Pierret, who was his loving partner in life and ministry for 63 years. He became associate pastor of the historic Los Angeles First Church of the Nazarene, followed by pastorates in Whittier, Santa Ana, and Upland. Dr. Johnson served as district secretary 15 years and editor of the Southern California.
From 1964 to 1990, B. Edgar served as General Secretary of the International Church of the Nazarene. The role might best be described as the Chief Operating Officer for the denomination, managing the operations of a worldwide church during a period of major growth. He authored Refereeing the Meeting Game in 1979.
B. Edgar's service included: the American Bible Society Board of Trustees, World Relief Corporation, president of National Association of Evangelicals, president of Religious Conference Management Association, president/executive director of the Christian Holiness Association and president of Hands of Hope.
He received a Doctor of Divinity from Pasadena College in 1965 and a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, from Northwest Nazarene University in 2005.
In 1990, B. Edgar and Kathryn moved to Nampa, ID, where he was on staff at College Church of the Nazarene and actively involved with Northwest Nazarene University. In his "retirement," he worked to create ways to bring families together and strengthen the Nampa community. He was instrumental in launching 15 non-profit organizations and coalitions to benefit families, underserved and at-risk youth, and seniors in Nampa. He loved his church, but his passion was to bring together people of all denominations and walks of life.
Kathryn passed away February 2, 2007. On June 21, 2009, B. Edgar married Vada Kellerer and embraced her family as his own. Together they continued to enjoy the blessings of community service and active participation with numerous Nampa service organizations.
B. Edgar is survived by his wife, Vada Johnson, of Nampa; children Lois (Dale) Van Hooser of Nampa; Jan (Dana) Bonstrom of Kettle Falls, WA; Elesia (Nat) Maffei of Fortuna, CA; Alan (Patty) Kellerer of Arcata, CA; Karen Kellerer of Sacramento, CA; Glen (Debi) Kellerer of Daly City, CA; Rhonda (Ron Weaver) Kellerer and Eric (Paula) Kellerer of Nampa, ID; 13 grandchildren including Adrian (Melissa) Van Hooser of Kirkland, WA, Alysha (Tim) Schlack of Nampa, and Logan (Grayson) Belleque of Pullman, WA; 11 great-grandchildren including Kathryn Van Hooser and Abigail Schlack; siblings Arthur (Polly) Johnson of Fair Oaks, CA, Calvert (Beverly) Johnson and Marion (Hugh) Lynch of Sterling, CO, and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family suggests memorial contributions be made to the B. Edgar & Kathryn Johnson Endowed Scholarship at Northwest Nazarene University, 623 University Dr., Nampa, ID 83686.
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Published by Idaho Press Tribune on Feb. 19, 2012.