NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – He died in June 1997, after a long battle with chronic illness. Now, decades later, many still remember the impact he had on Nashville, and some are remembering his legacy by cementing it in the very streets we drive on.
Every day, you see the signs that line each street, and many of them hold historic names.
Now, another name is being added to the list.
“There are so many great things I could say about this man; he loved the Lord and he showed that in his daily work,” said Arlene Wolf as she smiled talking about her father.
Her father was the family patriarch, the father of six children and grandfather to 19. However, to the city of Nashville, he was a giant by the name of Reverend J.H. Johnson.
“Dad was born in Bell Buckle, Tennessee. He met my mom when she was 15 and he was 17, and they married,” Wolf said. “We miss him, but today we honor him.”
For 43 years, Wolf pastored over the Cowan Street Missionary Baptist Church. He was married to Anna Lee Scott-Johnson in 1942 until she died after 41 years of marriage.
This year, the Metro Council approved an ordinance renaming the street where his church home sits in his honor.
“The council had approved it at 100%,” Wolf said. “This chill would come over me, and I was so honored that they were recognizing him for the work, and if I could say, ‘Dad, if you’re able to see your children doing this for you, we would say to you, ‘Dad, job well done.'”
The street will now be named Reverend J.H. Johnson Way.
The ceremony and unveiling of the new street sign will be held Sunday, Sept. 24 at 2:30 p.m. A service will be held that will include a slideshow of his life and his time in the pulpit.