ABOVE: Houston Texans YMCA Board Members, Karen Carter Richards, Barbara Roberts, Erika Jones, Michelle Levi McDaniel, Melanie Miles and Artee Jones.
The Houston Texans YMCA recently paid tribute to long-time board member and Pastor of Holman Street Baptist Church, Shepherd Manson B. Johnson. A plaque in remembrance of Shepherd Johnson was unveiled on June 11.
On May 31, 2020, Shepherd Johnson died from complications to COVID-19. He is one of approximately 600,000 Americans who have lost their lives to the Coronavirus disease. (Source: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#cases_deathsper100klast7days)
Shepherd Dr. Manson B. Johnson was a dynamic leader and teacher of Holman Street Baptist Church in Houston’s Third Ward. For more than 40 years, the Shepherd Teacher was instrumental in pastoral ministry and community leadership that elevated Third Ward’s prominence politically and economically. A sharp dresser, distinguished by his handlebar mustache, Shepherd Johnson also increased the church’s growth in membership and community impact.
Houston Texans YMCA Board Members, leadership and staff all joined Mrs. Zelda Johnson, the wife of the late Shepherd Johnson, and Pastor Murray G. Martin, the current pastor of Holman Street Baptist Church, for an intimate unveiling of the newly installed plaque.
Houston Texans YMCA board member Karen Carter Richards, who hosted the unveiling said, “Shepherd Johnson was my friend and pastor for over 35 years. He loved the community and he gave so much to all of us.”
Shepherd Johnson served on the board of the Houston Texans YMCA for over 12 years.
Shepherd Johnson was very engaged in the community and donated his time, talents, and resources to enhance the center. He was one of the first community members to pledge to the capital campaign that led to the construction of the historic Houston Texans YMCA located at 5202 Griggs Road, Houston Texas 77021.
Kelly P. Hodges, Executive Director of the Houston Texans YMCA, said, “Shepherd Johnson was an amazing person, and his spirit will continue to live inside the walls of the Houston Texans YMCA and the Greater Third Ward community.”
Shepherd Johnson completed community projects totaling more than $7.5 million. He was appointed to statewide boards by several Texas governors, including the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Council. He has served on community boards for local organizations, including the Houston Texans YMCA, Crime Stoppers of Houston, Rebuild Together Houston, and the Harris County Houston Sports Authority. He founded the South East Houston Community Development Corporation, Inc. (SEHCDC) to provide affordable housing and other basic needs. In 1998, the SEHCDC opened East Side Village University, a community learning center offering adult education and job skills training for youth, adults, and those returning from incarceration.
Shepherd was known for his words of wisdom. He ended every message, text, and email with the phrase, “Stay on Top!”