Saturday, hundreds of people visited the church for a visitation service. Sunday July 10, organizers expect about 3,000 people will attend Pastor Johnson's funeral at Peoples Church.
For six hours people had the opportunity to visit Pastor Johnson's casket and reminisce about the years he spent serving others.
A steady stream of mourners visited Peoples Church in Northeast Fresno Saturday.
G.L. Johnson's casket, adorned with flowers and a cowboy hat in honor of his Texas roots, sat in front of the alter he helped build more than thirty years ago. "He was here everyday for everybody all the time," George Goodall said.
Pastor Johnson joined peoples church in 1964. Back then, there were only a few hundred members attending services at a much smaller location on Dakota and Cedar. By the time he retired in 2008, membership stood at more than 5,000 people
Doris Ghan has been with Peoples Church since its inception. She flew in from South Carolina after learning he had lost his battle with cancer. "I'm thrilled he's with Jesus because that was his wish all his life, but he was so precious and he'll be missed so much."
Pastor Johnson's legacy goes far beyond the Central Valley. He dedicated his time to serving churchgoers around the world.
Pastor Powell Lemons of Fresno's Bethel Christian Center recalls a missionary trip the two took to the Phillipines several years ago. "I can still remember 600 people, ministers standing on their feet and applauding because he talked to them about how they stood in the great line of preachers from the time of Christ until now."
Even after his death, people are still applauding Pastor Johnson as they recall how he dedicated his life to touching theirs. "He really guided me, supported me, teaching me, learning me. It's a blessing for me...so blessing."
Pastor Johnson leaves behind his wife of 61 years, Jackie. He also has a daughter Cindy and several grandchildren and great grandchildren.
If you'd like to volunteer with child care on Sunday July 10 from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. call Pastor Chip at 974-7986