Dr. Johnny Wilson (12-2-14) service 12-5-14


Johnny Ray Wilson was born in Hartford, Alabama, on Jan. 17, 1957, the son of James Wallace and Voncile Dowling Wilson. Much of his life was spent in Alabama, in towns such as Wicksburg and Clayhatchee, before finally moving to Savannah, Tennessee, where he began working with Hopewell Baptist Church.
Education was important to Johnny, a belief that eventually led to him earning his doctorate, but not before marrying Deborah Carol Brown on Nov. 4, 1977. He was an ordained and licensed minister, having been educated at the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where he was a member of their alumni association. And although he did, for a time, serve as a deacon of the Providence Baptist Church in Clayhatchee, his passion was for children’s ministries. Johnny loved working with children, so much so that he wrote children’s literature to help promote the gospel and began Backyard Bible Clubs throughout Savannah. He wore several hats at Hopewell Baptist, serving not only as their children’s minister, but as their associate pastor and director of missions as well. His dedicaton to his work stemmed from his love for everyone. Spending time with his family—especially playing with his grandkids—as well as reading and coaching football, basketball and soccer filled the time not spent at work.
Johnny Ray Wilson left his friends and family on Tuesday, Dec. 2, at the age of 57 years, 10 months and 15 days.
He leaves his wife, Debbie Wilson of Savannah; his two sons, Colby Wilson and his wife, Jennifer, of Daleville, Alabama and Blake Wilson and his wife, Brooke, of Savannah; his sister, Annette Pitts of Newton, Alabama; and his parents, James Wilson and Voncile Wilson of Newton, Alabama. Also surviving are his grandchildren, Jonah, Matthew, Hayden, Alley and Finley, as well as several nieces and nephews and a host of extended family members.
He was preceded in death by his infant brother, Larry Wilson; and his brother-in-law, Brian Pitts.
Memorial donations: Hopewell Baptist Church Children’s Ministry or Hopewell Baptist Church Missions, 9845 Highway 128, Savannah, Tennessee 38372.  
Services were held on Friday, Dec. 5, at 11 a.m., at Hopewell Baptist Church in Savannah with Derek Westmoreland and Rev. Randy Isbell officiating. Burial followed in Providence Baptist Church Cemetery at Clayhatchee, Alabama.