In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Elizabeth “Liz” Johnson, 1939-2023

Elizabeth “Liz” Johnson, 1939-2023

Elizabeth “Liz” Johnson, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel in Japan, died Feb. 7, 2023. She was 83.

Liz was born Nov. 29, 1939, in Jones County, North Carolina, to the late Charlie and Nellie Sutton Wells. She received the Bachelor of Science from Atlantic Christian College (now Barton College) in Wilson, North Carolina. She also studied at the University of Maryland, the University of North Carolina and Boston University.

After graduating from Atlantic Christian College, she moved to Maryland to begin her career in education. While there, she met her husband of 60 years, Hershel Conrad Johnson. They were married in 1962.

While Hershel was pursuing his Ph.D. in Louisiana, the Johnsons considered serving with the Foreign Mission Board (now the International Mission Board), but Hershel opted to take a job as a professor at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland. Starting in 1969, the Johnsons traveled from assignment to assignment in seven countries in Asia and Europe to teach. They spent three years in Asia and one in Europe.

After their appointment in 1982, they were instrumental in the building of three churches in their beloved Japan.

The Johnsons served in the city of Fukuoka as teachers at the Seinan Gakuin school. Hershel and Elizabeth joined a church with members who also taught at Seinan Gakuin. They actively served in the church by teaching an English Bible class. In a newsletter, they shared the story of a woman who committed her life to Christ as a result of the class.

In 2004 they returned home to the U.S. and settled in Jones County. The Johnsons served for 21 years before retiring from missionary service.

Liz is preceded in death by Hershel Conrad Johnson, her husband of 60 years.

She is survived by many cousins, in-laws, nieces, nephews, and special friends.

A graveside memorial service was held Feb. 12, at Westview Cemetery in Kingston, North Carolina.

Donations in her memory may be made to the Lottie Moon Offering, IMB, 3806 Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA 23230, or online at Generosity Resource Center – IMB Generosity.

Read an obituary here.