Rev. Bennett Floyd Johnson was born on December 12, 1933 in Lena, Mississippi to the late Lonnie Gene and Minnie Lucille (neé McCoy) Johnson. Following a long battle with cancer, Bennett passed away peacefully on the evening of February 21, 2022 at Methodist Hospital. He was 88 years old.
Soon after Bennett was born, his family moved to Champaign, Illinois where he spent most of his childhood. After high school, he attended Northern Illinois State Teachers College—now Northern Illinois University. There, he met his future wife, Charlene Johnson. They were married on July 23, 1955. Together they raised two sons: Roderick Julian Johnson and Marshall Floyd Johnson.
Bennett lived much of his adult life in Chicago, Illinois. There he received his calling to preach the gospel and became an ordained minister through Holy Temple Missionary Baptist Church on June 16, 1968. He went on to pastor his own church while living in Chicago, The Friends of Jesus Missionary Baptist Church.
He worked as an accounting clerk for the Chicago Medical School and ultimately retired from there in 1995. He moved back to Indianapolis in 1996 to be closer to his children and grandchildren.
Bennett had a lifelong love of church and sacred music. To know Bennett was to know the care and love of Christ. He was dedicated his monthly mailing ministry—sending scriptures, uplifting notes, and CDs of himself playing his favorite hymns to everyone he knew. Never one to lose his love of learning, he began singing and piano lessons in his early forties and devoted himself to sharing his love of hymns with many churches around the city of Indianapolis.
He loved helping people better understand God’s Word, and through those conversations built numerous friendships with people all over Indianapolis. He cared deeply for those that the world can so easily forget—the sick and shut-in—and made it his mission to ensure that everyone he knew felt loved. While he had been playing for the Sunday service for some time, he recently became a member of Paraclete Life @ Arlington Heights Missionary Baptist Church.
Bennett was preceded in death by Dr. Charlene Elizabeth Johnson; his son, Marshall Floyd; his siblings: Lamar Moore Johnson, Willie Earl Johnson, John Lonnie Johnson, Sidney L. (“Butch”) Johnson, Harry Calvin Johnson, Frederick Linward Johnson, and Ellen Josephine Johnson.
Bennett is survived by his son, Roderick Johnson (Keila); four grandchildren: Virgil Johnson, Jared Johnson, Adrienne Johnson, and Alexis Johnson; eleven great-grandchildren: Jasmine, Jalen, Daisia, Mercedes, Creshaun, Trevion, Derrion, Nivea, Laila, Victory, and Destiny; sisters-in-law Connie Johnson (Tampa, FL), Georgia (Champaign, IL), special care supporter LaToria (Tory) Holloway, along with a host of extended family and friends.