Mrs. Madeline Johnson
Mrs. Madeline Johnson is the daughter of Pioneer Pentecostal pastors. Her father, R.J. White, was given an Honorary Doctorate from Vanguard Bible College in Edmonton where he had served as Dean for many years. Her mother, Ferrol (Crandall), modelled a life of faith and sacrificial caring for others.
After one year of teaching high school she married Melvin Johnson and together they moved to the New Town of Swan Hills, AB, which had popped up 6 months before, around the discovery of OIL. Here they supported themselves in order to start a gospel witness, affiliated with the Church of God. They served the community here for 6 years through a Community Church, Sunday School, Youth Fellowship, Kids' Club, Girls' choir, VBS, Ladies Group, Cubs & Scouts, Brownies & Guides, teaching school, and driving a school bus.
In Churchbridge, SK they pastored 12 years and developed a seed potato business, together with Madeline's father who had retired at 67. Another pastorate in Alberta, and then a move to Calgary where Melvin served for 19 years with World Vision Canada. Following retirement Mel served on the board of the Southern Alberta District of the CBS for over 5 years while Madeline worked full-time at SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) and received her TESOL Diploma from Prairie Graduate School.
In 2012 Madeline received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal for her work on behalf of new immigrants and refugees—through Agapé Language Centre and then the Cooperative ESL Ministries Society. Helping newcomers “find their voice” in a new language was particularly gratifying, having, as an only daughter, vicariously experienced the frustration of a ministry-minded mother who stuttered. She remains convinced of the unique advantage of church-based ESL outreaches.
Realizing there are two things that are eternal—people and God's Word—Madeline is keen to see the life-giving impact of the Bible increase. She is heartened by the translations into native aboriginal languages, and by easy English for nonEnglish-mother-tongue newcomers. It was the new Chinese students who were particularly eager for ESL Bible Studies saying “We know the Bible is a very important book in Western culture and we haven't been able to study it.” Our nation's founders knew its importance, witnessed by the many Bible verses inscribed into the parliament buildings. Our current culture leaders and our newcomers are today's challenge.