Pastor Johnny Durant Johnson was born Aug. 13, 1921 in Evanston, Ill. to the late Mary Phoebe Moten-Johnson and James Preston Johnson. He was the 13th of 14 children born to that union. J.D. or “Little Squat” as he was known by friends, excelled in athletics, especially boxing. Over the course of his long life he had many careers which included licensed barber/beautician, educator, a golden glove professional boxer, minister and missionary.
He attended J. C. Corban College Preparatory High School at Pine Bluff where he met the “love of his life”, the former Ida Clemmons of Almyra Ark. In 1942, he joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church, laid down his boxing gloves and picked up his Bible. That same year he married his soul mate on March 19th; a bond that endued for nearly 69 years. After 23 years of marriage and much prayer, to their union was born one daughter, Afriyie Johnson.