In the early afternoon of Friday, February 19, 2021 Heaven gained an amazing father, grandfather and husband. James Matthew Johnston, also known as “Matt”, slipped away peacefully into the arms of his Savior.
Born in Pueblo, Colorado on October 28, 1927 to Bernice Gertrude Johnston and James Barnett Johnston, Matt was the youngest of 5 children. As an adult Matt twice joined the Navy to serve his country and also worked as a ranch hand in south central Oregon, roping cattle and riding horses. It was during this time that he met and married his wife of 69 years, Christina Blair Ramsay of Edinburgh, Scotland.
While attending college Matt raised his family and earned a degree in Civil Engineering. During his illustrious career Matt worked for several large international engineering firms that employed him overseas in such countries as Haiti, Pakistan, Turkey, Guatemala and Argentina.
Matt was a compassionate and generous person who was known to help anyone in need. He put others before himself and worked hard to provide for his family. His love for Christ was also evident and one would often find Matt reading his Bible, praying, or talking to someone about his faith. He was very instrumental in showing his children the way to Christ. Indeed, even in his final days he was sharing his love for Christ with the attending staff at the Terraces where he lived. As a result, Matt left a legacy of love and faith for his children to pass on for generations to come.
Preceding Matt in death is his bride, Christina Blair Johnston, sisters Jean, Jane, Betty and Carol, and his parents Bernice and James Johnston. He is survived by 5 children: Rev. Dr. Mark Johnston (Julia) of Norfolk, Virginia, Dr. Callum Johnston of Florence, South Carolina, Dr. Matt Johnston (Leyla) of Brunswick, Georgia, Rev. Dr. Cinda Swan (Terry) of Campbellsville, Kentucky, and Chris Johnston (Jeannie) of Parma, Idaho.
He also is survived by 13 grandchildren: Daniel Johnston, Josiah Ramsay Johnston, Jenni Rose Arnette, Joshua Johnston, Zach Johnston, Sara Parker, Lisa Rabitor, Asa James Swan, Eva Swan, Nathan Johnston, Josiah Matthew Johnston, Sean Johnston, and Arielle Johnston.
The Flower Chart has been moved to the bulletin board in the hallway next to the office. Please feel free to add your name to put flowers in the Sanctuary.
And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
I just love it when God shows up and does what only God can do…The old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is a little dated in terms of the joy we experienced today! It is always wonderful and fun to be in fellowship with God and each other here at First United Methodist Church. Paul in his letter to the churches in southern Galatia first said, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.’ (Galatians 6:9-10, NKJ)
“Supposing today were your last day on earth, The last mile of the journey you’ve trod, After all your struggles, how much are you worth? How much could you take home to God? Don’t count as possessions your silver and gold ,For tomorrow you leave them behind. And all that is yours to have and to hold are the blessings you’ve given to mankind. Just what have you done as you’ve journeyed along, That was really and truly worth while? Do you feel you’ve done good and returned it for wrong? Could you look o’re your life with a smile?” (Author Unknown)
Next Wednesday, (and every Wednesday thereafter until God directs us otherwise) we will continue with food box distribution at 12:00pm in the Family Life Center parking area while supplies last.AND…during the Lent we are “kicking it up a notch or two” (Emeril Lagasse) because we, the people of First United Methodist Church realize physical nourishment is only part of the famine. Next Wednesday we will offer Drive Thru Prayer for any and all who stand in the need of prayer.
Taylor F. Coates, Pastor