Summary: This is a funeral sermon of someone who had been a faithful Christian all of her long life.
Today we celebrate Alberta Johnson’s life and witness…..but we also come to worship God. The Great I Am. Who makes everything possible for us today. It is He who created us, it is He who has watched over us along the way. And it is He who has provided for us a Savior, Jesus Christ. And it is He who continues to provide for us even into eternity. And finally, it is He who has called us here, today. This is a solemn moment in time.
So let us be happy….. For it is God who is in charge of everything. And he loves us, and he has a perfect plan for his children. Our Alberta is a part of that plan. She accepted Christ a long time ago. And when she did, she put on a new self, she died to her old self and was no longer a citizen of the earth, but she became a citizen of Heaven. You see, her death was no accident. It is God who called her to her rightful place. So let us celebrate.
Let your hearts be happy. Alberta is with God!
In our church, when a Christian dies we call it a “Witness to the resurrection” based on the scripture that says that “We were crucified with Christ, we were buried with Christ, and we were resurrected with Christ, but not yet, not until we die do we reach perfection. Today we come together to witness Alberta’s reaching perfection. She is now with God. Her race is over and she now claims victory in Jesus. Amen.
I have to tell you that this is hard for me because she was a very dear friend and supporter. With Alberta as your friend, you need no other. And when I considered her legacy, one of her virtues came to mind…….She was a team player. And if you were on her team, she expected you to work for the team. She wanted you to be as devoted as she was. We can see that in her life. She decided a long time ago that one of the important things to her was politics. And she joined the Democratic Party team. And she went to work. She served her party well as the President of the Boyd County Democratic Women’s Club for more than 30 years and was even elected as the President of the entire State. She served several governors as a member of different boards. She was even a delegate to the National Convention. I know today, there are many candidates who owe their success to her hard work.
She commanded a great deal of influence. She was probably one of a few people who could call Frankfurt and actually get to speak to the governor. She had that kind of clout.
That reminds me of a story that Bobby Jack Woods told me several years ago. He said that he was interested in running for Sheriff. He knew that if he could get Alberta and Jimmy to back him, it would be a feather in his cap. He decided one evening, that he would just drop by their house to ask them for their help. He said that when he got to their house they already had company. He asked me to guess who was sitting in their living room that evening? I said, I don’t know. He said, It was Paul Patton. He said, “I pulled to their house and there was his State Police escort setting outside and inside…… there sat the Governor himself on their couch.” That is the kind of influence Jimmy and Alberta had. Paul Patton needed their help as well.
Beside her passion for politics. Alberta had a passion for her family. She was a good mother. All you need to do is talk with Elizabeth and you can tell that she dearly loved her mother. It is the same with the rest of her family. Alberta was so proud of them. And I guess the one great tragedy of her life was when her son Robin died at the age of 46. I asked her about it one day and she told me that “Children are not meant to die before their parents” and that she thought about Robin all the time. But in her own style, she said, “What else can you do, you just have to pick up and go on with your life."
The love of her life was Jimmy Johnson. What a great pair they were. God really knew what he was doing when he put them together. Elizabeth told how they first met. She said that she was walking down the sidewalk with her mother on Broadway Street one day and Jimmy drove by in his car. Alberta ask her who was that man and Elizabeth said that he was one of their neighbors. I guess everything just fell into place after that. Alberta and Jimmy had a love affair that lasted 54.