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Albert Elijah Johnson

Albert Elijah Johnson

Male 1853 - 1907  (54 years)

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  • Name Albert Elijah Johnson 
    Born 20 Mar 1853  Westergate, Sussex, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 11 Jul 1907  Stevington, Bedford, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I1798  Goring Family Tree
    Last Modified 30 Apr 2006 

    Father William Johnson,   b. 1809, West Dean, Sussex Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 25 Dec 1889, Aldingbourne, Westergate, Sussex, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years) 
    Mother Harriet Trim,   b. 18 May 1815, West Stoke, Sussex Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Feb 1898, Portsmouth, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years) 
    Married 14 Oct 1833  West Stoke, Sussex Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    • Transcribed
      Parish records lookup 27/09/2003
      Marriage by Banns
      William JOHNSON, Bachelor
      Harriet PAIN (transcribed incorrectly)
      Witnesses: Charles JOHNSON and William EWEN
    Family ID F154  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Priscilla Sheriff,   b. 21 Feb 1854, Alford, Lincolnshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Jan 1937, Fishponds, Bristol, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years) 
    Married 6 Apr 1876  Weslyan Chapel, Horncastle, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Marriages Jun 1876
      Surname Given Name District Volume Page Transcriber
      SHERIFF Priscilla Horncastle 7a 1173 ALBrearley
    Children 
     1. Albert Elijah Johnson,   b. 18 Jul 1878, Sutton-In-Ashfield, Notts, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1895, Penknap Chapel, Westbury, Wiltshire Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 16 years)
     2. George "Sheriff" Johnson,   b. 4 May 1880, Hanley, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Jun 1965, North Hertfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years)
     3. Ernest Elisha Johnson,   b. 5 Jun 1882, Hanley, Staffordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Mar 1944, Boscombe, Hartfordshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 61 years)
     4. Priscilla Harriet Johnson,   b. 30 Mar 1884, Swansea, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1972  (Age 87 years)
     5. Benjamin Charles Trim Johnson,   b. 24 Nov 1885, Swansea, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1961, Gisbourne, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years)
     6. Joshua Ambrose Johnson,   b. 5 Apr 1887, Swansea, Wales Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1918, Auckland, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 30 years)
     7. William Penknap Johnson,   b. 7 Apr 1889, Westbury, Wiltshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 14 Jul 1889, Westbury, Wiltshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 0 years)
     8. Lottie Lydia Johnson,   b. 1 Jul 1891, Westbury, Wiltshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1966  (Age 74 years)
     9. Stephen Johnson,   b. 9 Aug 1894, Penknap, Wiltshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Dec 1969, Kawakawa, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years)
     10. Samuel Joseph Johnson,   b. 1 Mar 1896, Ibstock, Leicestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Nov 1977, Kawkawa, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 81 years)
     11. Dorothy Dorcas Johnson,   b. 13 May 1898, Ibstock, Leicestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 4 Sep 1984, Kaeo, New Zealand Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 86 years)
    Last Modified 20 Apr 2006 
    Family ID F645  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Albert Elijah Johnson
    Albert Elijah Johnson
    Albert Elijah Johnson
    Albert Elijah Johnson

  • Notes 
    • Surname First name(s) Age District Vol Page
      Births Jun 1853
      JOHNSON Albert Elijah Havant 2b 327

      Marriages Jun 1876
      Johnson Albert Elijah Horncastle 7a 1173

      Deaths Sep 1907
      Johnson Albert Elijah 54 Bedford 3b 143

      1871 Census
      Lambeth, London
      MASKELL George Head M abt. 1841 Newbury, Berkshire, England Police Constable
      MASKELL Mary A B Wife M abt. 1842 Limerick, Ireland
      MASKELL George A Son abt. 1865 Brixton, Surrey, England
      MASKELL Albert Son abt. 1867 ,, ,, ,,
      MASKELL Alice Dau abt. 1870 ,, ,, ,,
      JOHNSON Albert Boarder U 18 abt 1853 Emsworth, Hampshire, England Nursery Man

      1881 Census
      Household:
      Name Marital Status Gender Age Birthplace Occupation
      Albert E. JOHNSON M Male 28 Emsworth, Hampshire, England Baptist Minister New St Chapel
      Priscilla JOHNSON M Female 27 Alford, Lincoln, England
      Albert E. JOHNSON Male 2 Sutton In Ashfield, Nottingham, England
      George S. JOHNSON Male 10 m Hanley, Stafford, England
      Charles S. MEDHURST U Male 21 Kingston On Thames, Surrey, England Baptist Local Preacher Solicitors Clerk
      Fanny CARR U Female 13 Kingsley, Stafford, England Servant (Dom)
      Source Information:
      Dwelling Bucknall Old Rd 43 Wheatley Place
      Census Place Stoke Upon Trent, Stafford, England
      Family History Library Film 1341652
      Public Records Office Reference RG11
      Piece / Folio 2719 / 62
      Page Number 14


      1891 Census
      Dilton Marsh
      Chapel House
      Westbury
      Wiltshire
      JOHNSON, Albert E Head M M 38 Emsworth, Hampshire, England Baptist Minister
      JOHNSON, Priscilla Wife M F 37 Alford in Ashfield, Lincolnshire, England
      JOHNSON, Albert E Son M 12 Sutton, Nottinghamshire, England
      JOHNSON, George S Son M 10 Hanley, Staffordshire, England
      JOHNSON, Ernest E Son M 8 ,, ,, ,,
      JOHNSON, Priscilla H Dau F 7 Swansea, Glamorgan, Wales
      JOHNSON, Benjamin C T Son M 5 ,, ,, ,,
      JOHNSON, Joshua J Son M 4 ,, ,, ,,
      JOHNSON, Harriet Mother W F 75 Living on her own means
      BAILEY, Eliza Servant U F 17 General serv ( domestic)


      1901 Census
      RG13/2966
      Ibstock, Leicester.
      Albert E Johnson, Head, M. 48 .Baptist Minister, Born Hants. Emsworth
      Priscilla Johnson, wife, M. 47, born Alford Lincolnshire
      George S Johnson, S son, 29, Chemist, worker, born. Hanley, Staffs.
      Ernest E Johnson, S son 18, Assurance Agent, worker, born Hanley, Staffs
      Priscilla H Johnson, dau . S. 17, born Swansea Town, Glam.
      Benjamin C T Johnson, son, S. 15, grocer's apprentice,worker, born Swansea Town,
      Joshua A Johnson, son, S. 13, shoemaker's assistant, worker, born Swansea Town,
      Lottie L Johnson, dau. 9, born Dilton Marsh, Wilts.
      Stephen Johnson, son, 6, born Dilton Marsh, Wilts.
      Samuel J Johnson, son, 5, born Ibstock, Leics.
      Dorothy D Johnson, dau. 2, born Ibstock, Leics.


      Memoir of Rev. A. E. Johnson
      Preached at Stevington, July 21st 1907.
      Together with The Memorial Sermon.
      By Rev. J. R. Godfrey, of Barleston, Leicestershire.

      The Rev. Albert Elijah Johnson, the subject of this brief memoir, was the youngest but one in a family of nine children, and was born at the village of Westergate, in Sussex, on March 20th 1853. His father, William Johnson, occupied a small farm, and was also head gardener to the village squire. Both he and his wife Harriet Trim, knew the grace of God in truth, and earnestly desired that their children should know it too. Albert Elijah was specially dedicated to the Lord at his birth, his parents greatly desiring, even then , that he might be chosen to become a minister of gospel. When in later years an older son, Charles Trim, was called to the Baptist Ministry the mother thought her prayer was answered in him, but she still prayed that Elijah might hear the call of God. He received his early education at the Arundel High School, where by his diligence and application he won the respect of the school authorities. Such excellent progress indeed did he make that when his father called to pay the last term's fee, prior to his son's leaving, the master returned it as a token of esteem for his pupil.

      It was at a service in a room of a corn mill that he was first awakened to concern for salvation. As he was leaving the miller, a godly man , gripped him by the hand and asked "When are you going to give your heart to the Lord?" He replied "I don't know," and hurried off. But from that time, during six weeks, he was under deep conviction of sin, longing, between hope and fear, for the manifestation of the divine favour. It was in this same room, at the end of this period, that he found the savoir. His joy now was in proportion to his former sorrow. His agony of grief had given way to an ecstasy of delight. In the words of Dodridge, slightly altered -
      "His glowing heart rejoiced to tell
      Its rapture all abroad."
      The meetings at the mill were conducted by Wesleyans and he threw in his lot with them, devoting himself to varied Christian work. In this room at the mill he also preached his first sermon, but the effort was so painful to himself that he promised, if the Lord would forgive him, he would never attempt to preach again. His Christian friends, however, saw promise of success in the effort and urged him to persevere in preaching. He could not be indolent, his zeal was too ardent. He therefore bought tracts and distributed them in the villages around. His custom was, as opportunity allowed, to read the tracts to those whom he presented them, giving explantions and making comments upon whathe read, thus at the same time imparting Christian truth to the cottagers, enlarging his own store of knowledge, and cultivating his powers of utterance.

      At this period through reading his New Testament, and conversation with Christian people, his mind became exercised on the subject of Christian baptism. The Wesleyans ministers regularly stayed at his home, and many were the talks he had with them on the question, but gained no satisfaction from them. He at length became fully convinced that believers were the only proper mode, of baptism. When between sixteen and seventeen years of age he left home for London to enter a situation as a florist. He began to attend the Metropoltan Tabernacle, and soon after was baptised by the Rev. James Spurgeon.

      As in the country so now in London he devoted his leisure to Christian work, and did much open air speaking. He thereby tested his power to hold the attention of an audience, and to impress it with the message of the gospel. At the same time he felt drawn to the work of the regular Christian ministry. When he was only nineteen he accepted the call to be a pastor of the Baptist Church at Whitwick, a somewhat romantic village within the ancient confines of Charnwood Forest, in the county of Leicester.

      After labouring there with considerable success for eighteen months he entered the Pastors' College, that he might become still more fitted for the work to which he had been called. As a token of the sincere regard of the church and school he was presented with a handsomely bound edition of Matthew Henry's Commentry. After two years of strenuous study he settled at Mount Zion, Swansea. During his college course he had frequently preached at Horncastle, in Lincolnshire. There he met with Priscilla Sheriff, to whom he became engaged. She was the daughter of Elijah and Elizabeth Sheriff, who were greatly respected in the town for their high Christian character and their gracious influence they exerted. She was the organist at the Baptist Church, and active and prominent in other departments of Christian work, and thus eminently fitted to be true helpmeet to her future husband in his sacred calling. They were married on April 6th, 1876.

      In the second year of Mr. Johnson's ministry at Swansea it became necessary to hold the Sunday services in one of the theatres. It was a very large building, but on Sunday evenings it was crowded, the police having to turn many away for lack of room. Remarkable blessing attended these services, some hundreds of hearers professing conversion.

      In 1878 Mr. Johnson removed to Sutton-in-Ashfield, Notts. Finding, however, the prospect not as bright as he expected, he thought it best to look out for another sphere. It was here that his eldest son Albert Elijah was born.

      In 1879 he accepted the call of the church in Hanley, in Staffordshire, to become its pastor. Gipsy Smith, who was not so well known then as since, was labouring at this place and Mr. Johnson gladly aided him in his evangelistic work. His ministry here was blessed to the conversion of so many. His two sons, George Sheriff and Ernest Elisha, were born here.

      At the repeated request of the Swansea people he returned there in 1880, becoming pastor of the church in Tontine Street. Here he remained some four years during which his three children, Priscilla, Benjamin and Joshua, were born.

      In 1887 he removed to Penknap, Westbury, Wilts, where he spent eight of the happiest years of his life, doing good abiding work for God and His Church. Here were born two sons and a daughter, William Penknap, Lottie Lydia and Stephen.

      He accepted the call to Ibstock, Leicestershire, in 1895. His settlement took place under favourable circumstances, and he soon made his influence felt for good in the church and district. The church grew in numbers and influence. But after a time he began to suffer from diabetes, and, inspite of medical skill, the disease advanced so much that at length in 1904, complete rest and a change became imperatively necessary. Six months' leave of absence was granted by the church, and the time was spent at Herne Bay, Kent. Mrs. Johnson accompanied her husband, and by her constant care and cheerfulness did all that was possible to aid his recovery. The ministers of neighbouring churches deeply sympathised with their brother in his affliction at this time, and, with the consent of their respective churches, did much to supply his lack of service. In the spring of 1905 Mr. Johnson returned to Ibstock, and for some time continued his work with vigour. But later in the year it became evident that his strength was unequal to the strain, and his resignation of the pastorate was therefore tendered. At the time of his leaving he was presented with a purse of gold containing about 70 pounds, the gift of friends of the church and district. He then moved with his family to Croydon, remaining there until the autumn of 1906. As the violent symptoms of his malady abated, and the measure of strength returned, his ardent spirit chafed under his inaction. He longed to be doing some work for the Master. Receiving a unanimous all to the pastorate of the Stevington Church, Bedfordshire, he accepted it. His work there was full of happiness to himself and blessing to the people. For six months he was able to preach regularly, and to visit the homes of the people. By his genuine sympathy and unselfish devotion in seeking to promote their highest welfare, he won their affection and confidence. Unhappily, he caught a chill and was again laid aside by illness. During the weeks he was unable to preach the friends evinced towards him, and often in ways most tender and delicate, a wealth of sympathy and love that was soothing and helpful to him. The disease from which he suffered, like some others, was flattering, and he entertained hopes of recovery until near the end. But he was not anxious about the matter. Perfect peace reigned in his soul, as he sought to be entirely submissive to the will of God. On July 11th he quietly passed away. Yes away from the toil to rest, from weakness to vigour, through death to immortality. His mortal remains were laid to rest in the village Churchyard, on Monday, July 15th, the Chapel graveyard being full and legally closed. The funeral service was conducted by Rev. W. Springthorpe, of Bedford, the Revs. W. Charter Piggott, and Isaac Watts taking part in the proceedings. The respected vicar a large company of villagers and friends gathered sympathetically around the grave, for though Mr. Johnson's residence among them had been short it had not been too short for them to see that he went about among them doing good. The bereaved church at Stevington presented a very beautiful wreath in token of affection for its deceased pastor, as did also a band of young men connected with the Church work under his guidance and direction. The Christian Endeavour Society of the Ibstock Church too sent an "everlasting wreath" bearing the words " In loving memory of our dear friend, the founder of our society." Mr. Joseph Freeman, one of the deacons of the Ibstock Church, was present, and had the distance been less the would have been others in attendance to honour the memory of one who had laboured so long and diligently to promote, their highest good.

      When the disease of Mr. Johnson became known, many were the expressions of sympathy and regret by those who had known hie real worth. The Rev. Charles Baker, of Hugglestone, a near neigbour of his while at Ibstock and Secretary both of the Ministers' Fraternal, and the West Leicestershire Baptist Union writes: " I would like to bear testimony to the deep sense of loss sustained by us in the decease of Rev. A. E. Johnson. As a member of the Frateral he was beloved by us all for his cheery optimism and real brotherliness. As a minister at Ibstock he was equally admired for his untiring evangelistic zeal and his absolute singleness of purpose. His work there is his best monument: and, as a near neighbour and intimately acquainted with both Pastor and church, it was an inspiration to know how sacred a trust the gospel was to him, with what fidelity he preached and practised it, and would brook no modern substitute. In the Union our brother rendered valuable service. His breezy utterances were ever stimulating, and invariably much appreciated." This testimony is in harmony with what other brethren, both ministers and laymen, have uttered. The Church at Ibstock passed a resolution of sincere sympathy and regret: as did also the historic Church at Barton Fabis, to which he was well known a similar resolution being passed also by the local Baptist Union at its gathering at Ashley de la Zouch, And though Mr. Johnsons residence at Stevington had been brief, yet not only by the numbers attending the funeral was sympathy and esteem shown, but written communications also. The following quotations are from a letter addressed to Mr. Johnson's eldest son, now a Baptist minister in Manchester, by Mr. R. S. Prothreo, the Duke of Bedford's agent, and author of a remarkably interesting and able volume, published not very long ago, entitled "The Psalms in Human Life." He writes, "I feel that your father's death is a real loss to Stevington, where his fine example has already borne fruit." "I have the highest regard for your father's life and character. No one could come in contact with him without feeling that he was a good man in the widest sense of the word."

      In various pastorates Mr. Johnson held he took an interest in the young people of the Church and congregation, recognising that they were the hope of the Church for the years to come, and his interest was great in the Christian Endeavour and Band of Hope movements. To the young men who were willing to devote themselves to some department of Christian work, such as lay preaching, he paid special attention, holding a class for their instruction. The subjects generally taken were English grammar and composition, New Testament Greek, Homiletics, and Theology. In that way he helped a large number of local preachers, and a number of these who were thus his students have entered the ministry and the mission field, the Rev. D. J. Llewellyn, of Brighton , and Rev. Spurgeon Medhurst, of China, being among the number. If the compiler of this brief memoir may speak of the decease, from knowledge gained by ten years of neighbourly and brotherly intercourse, he would say that he wasa true man of God, a faithful servant of Jesus Christ. He knew he had a real gospel to preach ,and he preached it. He had a remarkably clear and firm grip of the truth as it is in Jesus. Finer evangelistic sermons than some of those the writer heard him preach he has never listened to. It seemed impossible for the seeking sinner to leave the service without finding the Saviour. He was no cold utter of solemn platitudes. When one listened to him the conviction forced itself upon the mind that here is a man who knows and feels the reality, the beauty, the grandeur of the truths he proclaims. He has tested them in his truest life and deepest experience, and is convinced that these truths are just what his hearers need to know and feel to make them pure, happy and useful.

      Perhaps some would count the range of Mr. Johnson's thoughts narrow. But if he seemed narrow to any bearer it was more because the evangelistic note was dominant in his ministry than any other cause. It did not rule the whole range of his ideas and it gave vivid colour to his pulpit utterances. It is true that he rarely dealt with speculative doubts, and did not discuss theological negations. Yet nothing that tended to the enoblement of character, the enrichment of mind and heart, was foreign to him: nothing indeed that tended to purify and exalt the life of the family, the village, the city, the nation or the world was foreign to him. He hated oppression and injustice of every kind, and pleaded and suffered on behalf of liberty and right. He grieved, sometimes to the point of indignation, over those who were satisfied with a low type of Christian character and conduct, over whom the self sacrifice of the Cross held but feeble sway, but rejoiced when he could see advancement in Christian attainment, the upward march of the soul towards God. He had no greater joy than to know that his spiritual children walked in truth. He, doubtless, had his limitations as a man and a minister. Who in the same calling of life as not? But his aim was towards the highest and best, and in that direction he ever sought to lead others. Many will cherish the memory of our brother as long as they live. Many, doubtless, will be the crown of his rejoicing in the day of the Lord Jesus.



      Baptist Handbook 1908
      Memoirs of Ministers Page 469
      29- JOHNSON, ALBERT ELIJAH, was born at Westergate, Sussex, on 20th
      March, 1853. His parents dedicted him to the Lord at his birth. He received
      his early education at High School, Arundel. It was at a service held in
      a corn mill, near to Westergate, that he was awakened to spiritual concern.
      Six weeks later, in the same room, he found the Saviour, and there he preached
      his first sermon. He strongly doubted his fitness for the work of a preacher,
      but his hearers took a more hopful view and urged him to persevere. Soon
      afterwards the subject of Christian baptism began to occupy and disturb Mr.
      Johnson's mind. He had been associated with the Wesleyan Methodists, and
      the circuit ministers were frequent guests at his father's house. With them he
      held frequent conversatio on the subject, but without gaining satifaction.
      But by devout reading, especially of the New Testament, his views became
      clear and settled. He saw that believers are the only proper subjects, and that
      immersion is the only proper mode, of the ordinance. At the age of sixteen
      he entered upon a situation in London, and confessed Christ at the Metropolitan
      Tabernacle. He was for some time much engaged in open-air preaching, and
      when nineteen years of age he accepted a call to the pastorate at Whitwick,
      Leicestershire. There he toiled diligently and successfully for a year and a-half
      and then entered the Pastors College for a two years' course of training. Mr.
      Johnson then took the oversight of Mount Zion Church, Swansea. As the chapel
      was not large enough, in the second year of his ministry a theatrewas engaged.
      Crowds attended, and a grcious revival took place. In 1878 he removed to
      Sutton-in-Ashfield, and some two years later to Hanley, in both of which places
      his ministry was fruitful. After repeated solicitations he returned to Swansea
      in 1883, as pastor of the Church in Tontine-street, and remained there four
      years. In 1887 he became minister of Providence Chapel, Penknap, Westbury.
      This was, perhaps, the happiest and most useful period of his life. He accepted
      the call of the church at Ibstock in 1895, and held the pastorate until 1905.
      At first his work there prospered, but ill-health limited his power
      and made his effort often difficult and painful. As rest and change of air were
      not permanently beneficial, Mr. Johnson resigned, and went to live at Croydon.
      When he became somewhat better in health, and unemployment felt irksome,
      he accepted a call to Stevington, Bedfordshire, in 1906. In a few months,
      however, he was laid aside again, and on 11th July, 1907, he passed away peace-
      fully. As a true preacher, a faithful pastor, and a warm-hearted friend he will
      be long remembered with affection. - J. R. G.

  • Sources 
    1. [S5] IGI.