Tag Archives: sally johnson.

Marriage done right:Jerry and Sally Johnson

I have known Jerry and Sally Johnson since 1983 and they are some great people. Here is an article in today’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette about them.


God, Uncle Sam in sync when plotting their future


LITTLE ROCK — Jerry Johnson joined the Army hoping for a stint in Europe, but he was sent to Fort Sill, Okla.

“I was really disappointed because out of about 400 soldiers everyone went to Europe but nine and I was one of the nine not going,” he says. “And then the Lord showed me why I wasn’t going.”

A couple of months after arriving at Fort Sill in the spring of 1957, he went with his roommate to First Baptist Church in Lawton, Okla. Two rows in front of them sat a young lady in a big straw hat.

His roommate knew that young lady, Sally Sullivan, the church’s singles’ director and pastor’s secretary, and he introduced her to Jerry after the service.

“She’s 5-foot-10 and she had on a black sack dress and a black and white straw hat – I thought she was striking,” says Jerry, who is 6-foot-6. “But it wasn’t like love at first sight.”

Jerry began riding with his friend to church and to the activities Sally scheduled for singles.

“Every Sunday we would have 20 to 25 go to lunch and then on Tuesday night we would get together to visit prospects for the church and Wednesday nights and then Sunday nights we would have fellowships after church where we would have games and desserts and that type of thing.”

“On Saturdays, the group often did something fun, like picnicking in the mountains,” he says.

He and Sally were dating others and weren’t interested in each other then. But by December 1958, Jerry’s feelings had changed.

“I felt like I would really like to date Sally, so I prayed about it and I finally went and asked her if she would be interested in dating. We’d been very close friends and we knew a lot about each other’s families and so forth,” he says. “I felt that she’s such a wonderful young woman – beautiful inside and out – that I would be blessed to date her.”

Sally was surprised. They decided to think and pray about it over Christmas and decide when he was back from visiting his family in Knoxville, Tenn.

They had agreed they could still date other people until they made up their minds about dating each other, but his mind was only on her.

“All I did was talk about her. I was on leave and I was excited about being home, but I couldn’t think about anything else but getting back to her,” he says. “The first thing I did when I got off the bus was walk about three-quarters of a mile to her apartment. I knocked on the door and hopefully she would be glad to see me returning from my leave and it so happened that she had a date that night.”

“I was glad to see you though!” Sally interjects.

Not long after that they had their first date – a picnic in the mountains with friends from the singles group.

“We had a fun day, laughing and joking and kidding with each other,” he recalls “We really realized we were making a connection that day.”

Jerry proposed to Sally at midnight on April 16, after a party with the singles group.

“Being the gentleman I was supposed to be I thought, ‘Well, I better call her dad and ask him first,’” he says. “I called him, I think at midnight, and he said, ‘Yes, you may marry my daughter,’ and I think he never quite forgave me for calling him and waking him up.”

They were married in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church in Lawton on Aug. 28, 1959, before more than 600 guests.

Jerry worked for a while in management at J.C. Penney, but in 1968, he felt called to the ministry. He and Sally worked side by side on the staff at First Baptist in Lawton for eight years. In 1976, they moved to Little Rock, where he became family life minister and youth pastor at First Baptist Church. He developed the recreation program at the church and led the charge to build the family wellness and recreation center there.

The Johnsons have three children, Christie Erwin and Brad Johnson, both of Little Rock, and Jerry Johnson of Rancho Mirage, Calif. They have 15 grandchildren.

Jerry’s disappointment about not being sent to Europe quickly faded after Sally agreed to date him. Years later, he got the chance to lead several mission trips and conference tours to Europe and elsewhere in the world – and Sally got to go with him.

“It was,” he says, “just a blessing delayed.”

After our first date:

She says: “I was convinced that the Lord was in this and that we needed to pursue it and I was very hopeful that it was going to be the right thing.” He says: “I saw the way we interacted in a different realm than we had been that the Lord was working it out that we were going to become a couple.”

The first time I met my future in-laws:

She says: “I was very impressed with their humility and with their love for Jerry. He was their only child and I was one of nine.” He says: “They were just down-to-earth people. They had grown up with not a lot materially, but I was impressed with their family togetherness. And being an only child I was also a little shocked by the number of people.”

On our wedding day:

She says: I was nervous, excited … I’m excited now, just thinking about it. I knew that he was the one and I was just so so happy that we were going to be together for the rest of our lives.” He says: “I felt so blessed to be facing that day and knowing what God had provided for me.”If you have an interesting how-we-met story or know someone who does, please call (501) 378-3496 or e-mail:


This article was published today at 3:12 a.m.


I have been doing a series on advice to Gene Simmons concerning his marriage and here are some links to those posts:

Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed are now married

Some will find this next story hard to believe: Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed have tied the knot in a lavish Beverly Hills ceremony. The wacky KISS rocker and his girlfriend of 28 years, Shannon Tweed, finally said “I do” Saturday night in front of friends and family at the Beverly Hills Hotel. The happy couple – who have their […]

“Tip Tuesday” Advice to Gene Simmons (Part 12)

Gene, 61, and Shannon, 54, have been together for 27 years and have two children, Nicholas, 22, and Sophie, 19. The ‘Rock and Roll All Nite’ hitmaker has previously made his views on marriage very clear, saying in 2007: “I don’t believe man is designed to be married. Marriage means nothing to me. Happiness means […]

“Tip Tuesday” Advice for Gene Simmons (Part 11) Fellowship Bible Church July 24th

Gene Simmons and his son Nick (Refer to end of post for more on Nick and Gene) 28 July 2011 Gene Simmons has proposed to long-term girlfriend Shannon Tweed. The Kiss bassist – who claims to have slept with over 2,000 women and has for a long time vowed never to marry – popped the question […]

“Tip Tuesday” Advice for Gene Simmons (Part 10),

    Nick is Gene and Shannon’s son and he appears often on Gene Simmons Family Jewels show. Gene Simmons has been guilty of having affairs while on tour for years. On July 19th episode of Gene Simmons Family Jewels he told his tour manager that he was not going to the after party. Then […]

“Tip Tuesday,” Advice to Gene Simmons Part 9, Fellowship Bible Church July 24th

Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed John McArthur The Truth About Divorce, #2 (Mark 10:1-12) On the show Gene Simmons has been arguing the point that he admits that he is selfish, but he still feels he has the right to be selfish. In the conclusion of the final episode of the year on July 24th […]

Oct 1 date for Gene Simmons to get married

I thought this day would never arrive. Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed have a date to get married — finally. The KISS singer and the former Playmate have been together for 28 years and have two children. Invitations to the Oct. 1 wedding, sent out under the kids’ names, contain art by Nick, 22, and […]

Advice to Gene Simmons Part 8, (“Tip Tuesday” Part D)

Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed The series I have been doing on “Advice to Gene Simmons” that I am starting what I am calling “Tip Tuesday.” For the next few months we will be looking at the Simmons family. In the July 19th episode  Nick said to his father “You were a great father but […]

Advice to Gene Simmons Part 7, (“Tip Tuesday Part C)jh17a

__________________________________ Gene Simmons Family Jewels The series I have been doing on “Advice to Gene Simmons” that I am starting what I am calling “Tip Tuesday.” For the next few months we will be looking at the Simmons family. In the July 19th episode  Nick said to his father “You were a great father but […]

Advice to Gene Simmons Part 6, (“Tip Tuesday” Part B)jh16a

Gene Simmons Family Jewels, Shannon Tweed, 54 yrs old, has been with Gene Simmons 27 years and raised two children with him. The series I have been doing on “Advice to Gene Simmons” that I am starting what I am calling “Tip Tuesday.” For the next few months we will be looking at the Simmons […]

Advice to Gene Simmons Part 5, (“Tip Tuesday” Part A) jh15a

Gene Simmons Family Jewels Adrian Rogers – [2/3] How to Cultivate a Marriage The series I have been doing on “Advice to Gene Simmons” that I am starting what I am calling “Tip Tuesday.” For the next few months we will be looking at the Simmons family. On July 19th on Gene Simmons Jewels, in a […]