On January 31,1921, Mrs. Bessie Moon Johnson was born to the late Martin and Mariah Shell Moon. She was born to parents who had come into their marriage with five children each. Eventually her parents had thirteen more children together and Mrs. Johnson was the eldest of that set of children. Born and raised in the Mount Mordecai community of Owings, South Carolina, Mrs. Johnson and her siblings were taught to work hard - they worked as farmers and harvested cotton, corn, and everything in between. Earlier this year when Mrs. Johnson was interviewed by the Laurens County Advertiser, she said, "We worked hard but no one went hungry."
Mrs. Johnson remained committed to hard, meaningful work throughout her education and career. As a student, she attended the Laurens County public schools and Bettis Academy and earned a B.A. degree in Elementary Education, as she furthered her studies at Benedict College. As an educator, she made a lasting impact in the lives of generations of families. For a few years very early in her career, Mrs. Johnson taught fifth grade in Cross Hill, South Carolina. Then, she spent the next thirty-eight years teaching second graders at Pleasant View Elementary School in Gray Court, South Carolina. After spending forty years educating, inspiring, and positively impacting families, Mrs. Bessie retired from the school system.
Not only was Mrs. Johnson committed to making a lasting impact in the classroom, she was also dedicated to changing lives in her church, community, state, nation, and in the world. She was baptized at an early age at Durbin Baptist Church in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. As a faithful member of Mount Carmel AME Church in Gray Court, South Carolina, Mrs. Johnson believed in the mission of the church and was committed to seeking out and saving the lost and serving the needy. When performing her duties as a Willing Worker, Mrs. Johnson provided supportive services for the successful operation of the church. As a member of the Women's Missionary Society, she expressed and strengthened her faith and continued the ministry of Jesus Christ through service and witnessing to others throughout the nation. As a stewardess, Mrs. Johnson prepared elements for Holy Communication and Holy Baptism. When working in the capacity of a Sunday School teacher and Vacation Bible School leader, Mrs. Johnson's knowledge of the Bible and love for Jesus Christ and others was always evident in her communication, smile, kindness, tone, demeanor, and treatment of others.
Mrs. Johnson's commitment and service to others lasted her entire lifespan. While in college, she joined Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated and remained devoted to service, charity, scholarship, civic and cultural endeavors, sisterhood and finer womanhood until her death. Throughout her life, she remained committed to promoting community outreach programs, funding scholarships, supporting charities, and promoting legislation for social and civic change.
Since 1954, Mrs. Johnson served as a member of The Order of Eastern Star, Fountain Inn Chapter#60 and was the oldest member of the Chapter. On her 99th birthday last year, the Chapter presented Mrs. Johnson with special recognition.
"Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord....they will follow them."
from their labor, for their deeds will follow them."
Mrs. Bessie Moon Johnson, 100, died on Sunday, July 25, 2021, at Prisma Health Richland Hospital, Columbia, South Carolina. She was preceded in death by her husband of over 54 years, Luthon Thomas Johnson, her parents, and several siblings.
She leaves to cherish her memories one daughter, Reverend Izora Johnson Adamson of Columbia, SC; one sister, Sarah Lou Moon of Greenwood, SC; one brother, Jasper Moon of Simpsonville, SC; a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, friends, and generations of students who will miss her dearly.
"We honor God for blessing Mom
these 100 years"
Rev. Izora Adamson
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