By Michael Daniels Journal Staff Writer
On Thursday, June 9, 2022, a beloved Mother of the Church, Doris Williams-Johnson from River of Life Church celebrated her 85th year of living for the Lord. On the next evening, Friday, June 10, 2022, more than 200 church members and guests gathered at the church to honor the life of one of the church’s most esteemed members, Mother Doris Williams-Johnson.
It was an impressive crowd that was in attendance, at the service, and they represented a wide age range from incredibly young children to senior citizens and everybody in between.
Even though it may have been Friday night, the River of Life Church had service just like it was Sunday morning. This goes to show you can praise the Lord any and every day of the week. A philosophy Mother Williams-Johnson has obviously practiced all the days of her life, so it was said by some of her 11 children. Mark Williams, one of Mother Johnson’s sons, said. “Tonight, we celebrate Evangelist, Mother Doris Williams-Johnson’s 85 years of life, ministry, and the things she has done in the community and in her church for over 70 years. She was a Missionary President, Choir Director, and the Women’s Department President ,as well. Eighty five years is a long time to live and an accomplishment, we always take care of her, but tonight is special. We do this every five years, the last time we celebrated with her was on her 80th birthday. She has been a part of this church since it began. She is a phenomenal woman, and I am so happy that so many people came out tonight to celebrate her with us.”
The service that night was overflowing with the spirit of the Lord, worship, and praise. When the church sang the old standard ‘We Come This Far by Faith’, it was symbolic of the church’s iron-clad strong faith and the 85 years of life the Lord has given to Mother Johnson. It was very appropriate for the occasion, and it fit in quite well.
The service began with the Prayer and Scripture delivered by Elder Devoleon Waller. Hallel handled Praise and Worship, And Antonio Winfree performed a Praise Dance. Toya Williams recited a poem for Mother Johnson, and there was a presentation by the River of Life Intercessors Women of Destiny. This was followed by a powerful musical performance by Detroit vocalist Mary Coston who had a gigantic voice. Next, Bishop John Williams, took up a special offering that was given to Mother Johnson as a gift from the church.
Following this, Elder LaJoyce Gullatt, Minister Yuseff Woods, Evangelist Mary Montgomery, and Minister Mark Williams and family offered Special Words to Mother Johnson.
Then Gospel Recording Artist Lisa Paige Brooks tore the house down with her musical performance.
The last speaker of the evening was Guest Speaker Bishop Pat McKinstry from The Worship Center, Toledo, Ohio, who gave Mother Johnson a beautiful church hat as a birthday gift. She said, “Mother Johnson, you are a mother to all, and you are the masterpiece and the greatness of God. You show the love, the compassion, you understand, you are trustworthy, and you correct us with love. My mother told me before she passed that if I find another mother like her, I would have it made. Mother Johnson, ever since I meet you, I have had it made. I love you with my heart and all the life that is within me, and I pray blessings upon you.”
Bishop John Williams, her youngest son, and pastor of the church also said, “I am so grateful to be able to celebrate her 85 years, and it’s been a joy and a privilege to be her son, as well as, her pastor. It is my honor and I thank the Lord for giving it to me. All of us, her children, were raised in the church. Our father died, when I was young, but our mother raised us with the ammunition of the Lord. Meaning, that she raised us to have a true walk with God. Today was amazing, and we wanted to give her, her flowers while she could smell them. We wanted to honor and celebrate her while she is alive and well, and we pray God will continue to bless her life.”
This year’s service was put together by Mother Johnson’s children.