We celebrate the life and memory of Mrs. Bernice Brown Johnson whose death occurred Monday, October 5, 2020 at her residence under the care of Hospice Savannah, Inc.
On July 24, 1937 in Savannah Chatham County, Georgia a beautiful black baby girl was born. This precious bundle of joy was kept safe in the arms of Jesus… She was later named, Bernice Grant. She was loved and nurtured by her adoptive parents, Leon and Everleaner Boyd Grant. She was their only child; blessed to have the best and a little spoiled.
Education: Bernice attended Florence Street Elementary School and Haven Home School;, and Beach High School. Later she was certified as a Foster Care Parent and Adult Care Advocate.
God was still in control and He put people in her life that nurtured her and most of all, helped her to learn of HIM. In 1954 her mother, Everleaner married the Rev. Frank L. Wright, Sr. (pastor of Tremont Park Baptist Church and later founder/pastor of Second Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church of Savannah). This relationship brought more love and more siblings; however, she remained the only child in this household. She soon received Christ and was baptized.
Through the leading of the Holy Spirit and in due time she was able to forgive and move forward when told of her biological mother, Alice Boyd. She had a loving relationship with her biological mother and siblings. Look at God, more people to surround her with love to give and to receive...
Beginning her own family... In 1961, she relocated to Miami, FL to start life anew. God soon blessed her with a second marriage; uniting her to Cleve Brown (of Riceboro, GA). This union was blessed with the fifth child. Cleve was a faithful husband, a father to their children, and a strong provider for the family. And yes, adding more family and friends to give love and receive love. Cleve and Bernice were married for 23 years; until his death on September 6, 1985.
Mother was employed at Jackson Memorial Hospital for many years as a cafeteria cashier. She retired from Miami Dade County Public Schools, West Little River Elementary School under the leadership of principal Glenda Harris, as a cafeteria cashier, cook, and finally as a teacher’s aide. She retired in June 2000.
Mother loved her family. She never had an idol hand. She participated in school activities with her children; supported her girls in Girl Scouts, attended school football games and church youth ministry. She enjoyed working in her garden, cooking, feeding people, making mission crafts, and giving gifts. She was not selfish (shared what she had with others). One had to be become a better person after coming to know and love her. She was sharp and quick, kept you laughing… She wasn’t weak, she would let you know if you were wrong and please don’t tell her a lie. She would let the person know it… The Spirit gave her the gift of discernment; she knew the person’s intentions and motives before the person could get the words out of his or her mouth or before he or she accomplished the deed.
Mother loved the Lord. As a church member she was a diligent and a willing worker in ministry. At Mt. Olive Primitive Baptist Church under the leadership of Elder Frazier Arnold, Jr. she sung in the choir and helped cook... She loved to hear Bro. Levi Anderson sing, “On the Banks of Jordan” and would ask him to sing it often.
In 2003 she relocated to Winter Garden, FL where she united with the Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. Clarence R. Taylor, Pastor. As she progressed in age she continued to be steadfast in the work of the ministry. She served as the cook for Wednesday Night Enrichment/Bible Study, chaperoned on Youth outings and conventions, and was a member of the Pastor’s Aide and Golden Angel’s ministry.
In 2013 Mother returned to her birth home of Savannah, GA. On September 22, 2013 she united with the Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of the Late Rev. Dr. Sammie Gordon, Sr. and current pastor Minister Gwyn L. Hall, Sr. She wasted no time sharing her previous experiences from Bethlehem by organizing fundraisers and special services. Throughout her life Mother Brown-Johnson had a way of uniting people: family, friends, churches and formed meaningful relationships.
Love will find a way… It was there in church where she and her childhood friend, in the person of Minister Augustus Johnson rekindled an old relationship. God allowed them to go their separate ways but, brought them back together again and in due time. By the Grace of God on June 9, 2015 Minister Johnson and Mother Bernice Brown were united in Holy Matrimony in the pastor’s study. To this union are six children. He is a strong father figure for all. I believe God and the angels laughed when they heard Pastor Hall say, “I think I can take the credit for that!” ...another family and more people to love and to be loved by her.
On Monday, October 5, 2020 at 8:30 PM God called Mother Brown-Johnson to rest in His heavenly home. Mother Brown-Johnson transitioned from home surrounded by her family.
Mother Brown-Johnson was preceded in death by; 4 brothers: Melvin Simmons, James Houston, Jonathan Simmons and Charles Houston; two sisters: Audrey Wiley and Rosa Lee Frazier.
She leaves to cherish her memories: her husband, Minister Augustus Johnson; her children: Larry Levan (Sandra) Grant and Eddie Nathaniel (Elvia) West, Jr. of Miami; Valleaner (Sylvester) Franklin, Sr. and Valencia Spruell of Savannah; Clevell Brown-Jennings of Miami; Joy Johnson of NY.; 19 Grandchildren and 20 Great-grandchildren; her siblings: one brother Henry Wiley; three sisters: Viana Houston, Hattie Lee (Ronald) King all of Savannah, and Geraldine Snowden of Hinesville. Host of nieces and nephews (especially The Frazier Family). *Special thanks to Hospice of Savannah (Alesia, Frankie, Angela, and Tammy).
Public viewing will be held 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at Campbell & Sons Funeral Home 124 W. Park Ave. Savannah, GA 31401
Graveside service will be held 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at Bonaventure Cemetery (Greenwich Section) 330 Bonaventure Rd. Savannah, GA 31404
**The family is asking that "in lieu of flowers" please make a contribution directly to her home church in loving memory of Mother Bernice Brown-Johnson. Thank you in advance for your expressions of love.
Mt. Moriah Baptist Church of Savannah, Inc.
Pastor /Minister Gwyn L. Hall, Sr.
3922 ACL Blvd., Savannah, GA 31405
For your convenience:
(1) an envelope was created on the Givelify App and is named: Bernice Brown Johnson Memorial Fund or
(2) Cash App you may use $MMBAPTISTACL or
(3) Mail check directly to the church and note: Bernice Brown Johnson Memorial Fund
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