Larry Johnson

Larry JohnsonI was born on Wednesday, December 20th, 1950 and my birth was announced that night at a Wednesday night service at University Baptist Church. My grandfather, Hugh Sadler, was a founding member of the church, so my heritage at UBC goes back to the very beginning.  I joined the church at age 10.  Lifelong membership of any organization is a special relationship, and mine with this church is most precious to me.

I attended UBC all of my formative years, singing in all the graded choirs (with my dad as my director for much of my teen years), participating in Sunday school, training union sword drills, VBS, and church-wide events like picnics at Greenwood Community Center, and Sweetheart Banquets (now variety shows).  I went to Eagle Eyrie music camp every year from ages 9 to 17, getting in mischief occasionally as UBC youth were known to do.  Since my mom was often the chaperone, this was not a pleasant experience the times I got caught.

I went away to college and was active in the Raleigh Wesley Foundation instead of the BSU at N.C. State.  I found a connection with the people there and some friendships remain to this day.  I taught high school math for three years in Walhalla, S.C., and was active in two different churches while there.  I actually sang in the choir the very first time I attended church in Walhalla as my landlord was a member of the choir and pushed me into a spot without any rehearsal.  It was the beginning of my continuing to sing at every church I ever attended. When I changed churches about nine months later, I became a part of a quartet almost immediately, and one member of that quartet is still one of my best friends.

I met my wife, Debby, on the side- (some would say the main-) steps of the church.  I had returned in the summer of 1976 for summer choir and greeted her with a “Hi!” as she came up the steps.  The rest of that story continues to unfold.  Let’s just say I never returned to Walhalla and she and I have been members together since 1977.  Our three children, Courtney, Jeremy, and Kelly were all born in the same hospital, Martha Jefferson, which I was and all were baptized at UBC.  Much of my family’s lives revolved and still revolves around the activities here.

It is easy to take for granted something that has been a part of your entire life, but University Baptist Church and the people who make it up are a treasure to me.  This is a special place and I thank God for my heritage which brought me here in the beginning and His grace which sustains me and keeps me here now.