Pastor Danny Johnson (December 26,1982-February 24, 2023) went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Friday, February 24, leaving us far too soon, but joining heaven’s glory and the reward of faithfulness.
Danny was born in Columbus, Ohio. He eventually moved with his family to Bozeman, where he graduated from Bozeman High School. He continued his education at Montana State University, graduating with a History degree. For several years, he traveled the world teaching English. It was during these years he began to ponder his life and its impact. Danny loved traveling and teaching. But one day by the side of a road in Australia, he realized the existence of a God who was even greater than his expectations or imagination. He remembered the words of forgiveness spoken in Scripture. Leaving behind the carefree life of his youth, Danny began the pilgrimage that would consume the remainder of his days – pressing to know Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection. He returned to Bozeman to train for ministry at Montana Bible College. He graduated and began working as a college pastor at Grace Bible Church, his home away from home.
The measure of a life is not in its years . . .
Danny loved life! His laugh was contagious and his gorgeous tenor voice unparalleled. He embraced every moment, from food in his travels to singing “Country Roads” with a busload of people trying to learn English. Joy seemed his vernacular, and he never met a stranger. His passion overflowed in every endeavor. He never wasted a moment.
Danny loved his children! Every day, his return home was a delight. He enjoyed reading, playing, and singing with them. But more than these things, he loved being their dad. He strived to give them faithful training in how to love the Lord and think of others before themselves. Not a day passed without Danny praying for their hearts to be crafted into a heart of devotion to Jesus.
Danny loved his wife! Nowhere was Danny’s passion for people clearer than in the way he adored and served his beloved wife, Kate. His love for her was attended with much learning and many apologies. He never shied away from learning to love better. But every moment he spent with her was like a sunrise through the clouds. The kaleidoscope of love he felt for Kate was only matched by his desire to serve her and be with her.
Danny loved Jesus Christ! He found his greatest joy in the realization that Jesus had forgiven him every wrong thing. He could hardly keep silent about the fact that such forgiveness was offered everyone through Jesus’ death on the cross. Danny’s life was an invitation. Breath and time were gifts for the sake of speaking the reality of the Gospel. Though certainly struck occasionally by fear, as we all can be, Danny was never ashamed; he never wavered.
Danny loved people! Danny was blessed to be a shepherd of people. His days were given to leading Bible studies and meeting over coffee (always the best coffee!) with anyone who would listen or have conversation about the goodness of God and the grace found in the cross. His work as a pastor was sometimes hard, but never burdensome. He gratefully embraced the mantle of caring for others.
It is a fair summation to say that Danny never wasted a day!
Danny is survived by his loving wife, Kate, and precious children, Lucy, Daniel, Joshua, and Zacharias; his parents, David Johnson and Diane (Dave) Trusdle; brothers, Davey (Sandy) and Joey (Marissa); in-laws, Russ and Linda Bladen; brothers-in-law, Matthew and David; his grandma, Grace Schoenfeld; numerous nieces, nephews, and extended family; and many close friends and “adopted” family members.
A Private Family Graveside Service will take place at Sunset Hills Cemetery. A Memorial Service to honor his life will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, March 4, at Grace Bible Church.
Should people desire, a fund has been set up to help the family: https://gbcbzn.shelbynextchms.com/external/form/a0c0ca24-6fd5-4614-be9a-2f7e8766fd8f [gbcbzn.shelbynextchms.com]
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com [dokkennelson.com]