Dr. Linus Johnson
Linus Johnson was born on July 25, 1892 in
Råncå, Norbotten, Sweden. Linus was the son of Oskar Johansson
and Maria Magdalena Johansson. Oskar and Maria had a total of ten
children, five brothers and four sisters. Oskar, Linus's father had a
lumbermill on an island in the Baltic Sea. Linus and his brothers worked
in the sawmill which logged cedar trees and also manufactured perfume boxes for
import to France. Linus was converted at the age of seventeen, and baptized
on March 3, 1909 and united with the church in Jämtön.
Linus left Sweden on May 21, 1911, at the age of 19, from the port of Gothenburg and upon arrival in America traveled to Cadillac, Michigan. After his arrival in Cadillac he joined the Swedish Baptist Church. In the summer of 1913 he was student pastor at La Porte, Indiana. In the fall of 1913 he entered the Morgan Park Seminary and moved with the school to St. Paul in 1914.
On June 5, 1918 Linus married Clancy Minnie Juleen. They had four children: Beulah Marie born November 4, 1919, George Homer born September 9, 1921, Earl Roger born November 15, 1923 and Marion Ruth was born March 3, 1927. They had been married a few years when Pastor Johnson's wife, Clancy died suddenly on a Sunday afternoon December 16, 1928.
On the first Sunday of October, 1919, Linus, a member of Bethany Baptist Church in St. Paul, Minnesota and also having served as Missionary for some time, began his ministry in Bethany Baptist as Pastor. He followed Adolph Olson, who handed in his resignation as the pastor of Bethany on August 8, 1919 to be professor full-time at Bethel.. Pastor Johnson graduated from Bethel Theological Seminary in 1920, with a Th. B. degree. Linus was ordained October 8, 1920 at Bethany Church in St. Paul, Minnesota . He was pastor at Bethany, 1919 to 1922. He studied at Macalester College in 1920-1922. He was pastor at Lindsborg, Kansas in 1923 to 1926 and The First Swedish Baptist Church, McKeesport, Pennsylvania from 1926 to1929. He received his Bachelor of Arts (AB) in 1924, his Master of Arts (AM) in 1926.
In 1929, Linus married Ruth Oden by the unanimous decision of the family, in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. Ruth was a registered nurse and left a good job to be a mother and a pastors wife. He pastored the church in Stromsburg, Nebraska in 1929 to 1932. On May 7, 1931 he earned his Master of Sacred Theology (S.Th.M.) from Western Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh. From Stromsburg, Nebraska he went to Temple Baptist Church, Duluth, Minnesota, from 1932 to 1939. (The church had a boy scout troop with a great leader. His name was Lenus Peterson who had a daughter named Beverly (Loy). The Peterson family later moved to Portland and became members of Temple Baptist.) From Duluth Dr. Johnson answered the call to Temple Baptist Church in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Johnson and his family arrived at Temple in September 1939. His first challenge upon arrival Temple in Portland was to get rid of the debt which was done on May 22,1942. In May 8, 1942 a Doctor of Divinity (D.D.) was presented to him by Western Theological Seminary in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Johnson was instrumental in founding the Oregon Baptist Retirement Home in 1945.
He passed away suddenly on March 2, 1956. He had been to a meeting at the church and was returning home at about 10:30 pm . He was driving the car with Mrs. Johnson at his side. He felt ill. Soon he was compelled to stop. The end came in a few minutes. It was caused by a heart attack.
A memorial service was held at Temple on March 6. Pastors Bror Lundgren, William G. Backlund, Gordon V. Johnson, Columbia Secretary Gordon Carlson, Home mission Secretary William Turnwall, and Dr. Albert Johnson of Western Theological Seminary took part in the service. Music was rendered by Mrs. F. G. Salstrom and the Temple choir.
Dr. Johnson never wasted energy or time. He wanted every move and every minute to count. Neither did he spare any effort to attain a goal he had set his heart on. His fellow students wrote about him in the 1919 Bethel Annual, "He found Sweden too small for his developing ambition so he emigrated to America." Students can be pretty sharp in sizing up a fellow and picking a winner among themselves.
Dr Johnson had studied psychology in his college courses with great avidity. It was his favorite draught from the fountain of knowledge. He did not permit these principles that he found in the text books to go to waste. He took them out from between the pages and put them to work in actual life.
Dr. Linus Johnson had many traits of character that made him an effective servant of Jesus Christ and a trusted leader in The Columbia Conference, known and respected through out The Baptist General Conference and he was dearly loved by the those associated with Temple Baptist Church.
In 1948, the congregation at Temple thought
so much of his work that they gave him a new automobile to help persuade him not
to take another job in the East, which offered a $1,000 higher salary.
"Even today Dr. Linus Johnson is greatly missed and I know this sparkling jewel Bible verse was one that motivated and strengthened him, because he did all things through Christ!" "I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13
Click Here to read more about Pastor Johnson from the notes of Harley Hallgren.
...for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on
the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. Be ye therefore
perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
The above text in part and picture of Dr. Johnson's boyhood home, Linus in college, the post card was submitted by Mr. Earl Johnson 2002.