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Pastor Returns to Life After Being Pronounced Dead by Paramedic

by Clarence Thomas, Jr.

Like no other date, May 30, 2018 will probably be indelibly marked in the minds of Macon Pastor Edward L. Johnson and his wife Minister Carol B. Johnson. Because on that day, the pastor died and lived again.

Johnson, who heads Grady Missionary Baptist Church on Broadway, passed out at his home in front of his wife that afternoon following on going treatment of a month-long illness resulting from a Brown Recluse spider setting up shop in his right arm below the elbow. In addition to the poisonous arachnid buroughing into Johnson's arm, it also had laid eggs. Coliseum Health System doctors discovered the culprit after the Sparta native fell extremely ill; and after removing it, put him on a regiment of liquid infusions following a few days in intensive care and two weeks in the eastside hospital in early May.

If there's any doubt about whether miracles are real, one would be hard pressed to say they don’t after listening to the couple describe what followed Pastor Johnson losing consciousness. First, his wife calmly performed CPR for fifteen minutes alone until Johnson’s home health physical therapist arrived and assisted his wife with the effort and calling paramedics. But after taking over for Minister Johnson and trying profusely to revive Pastor Johnson, the medical team eventually felt no pulse and saw no other signs of life along with a flatline reading on their machines.

However, The Most High had other plans according to Pastor Johnson. Before he could be transferred and processed for pick up by the morgue, Navicent Health paramedic Tim Cook noticed Johnson's eye and arm twitching. It was then they went to work on him again, this time lending to his miraculous return to life. "God done the impossible," he said. "Miracles are for real." Navicent Director of Emergency Medical Services Jason Brady says their paramedics are highly trained professionals skilled in the areas of resuscitation and stabilization. He's glad his staff had a hand in Johnson’s return from the other side. "We applaud our EMS for their efforts to resuscitate Pastor Johnson and sustain his life," he added.

Two people who agree with Johnson are his spouse and long-time friend in the faith Pastor Bobby Clark. Consider this. After his revival, Pastor Johnson fought to hold on to life for an entire weekend in Navicent’s Intensive Care Unit before regaining consciousness the Tuesday following his being declared dead. During that experience Mrs. Johnson heard from one physician that her husband had half a chance of living. If he did he was likely to be in a vegetative state said another. But she held tightly to her faith, respectfully passed on listening to the doctors and turned Pastor Johnson's recovery room into a spiritual battlefield laced with Bibles, anointed oils and unending prayer. "I was in a spiritual warfare for my husband's life. I never stopped talking to God and believing he would fully recover. And thankfully God heard my cry," she stated during the Middle Georgia Informer's exclusive media conversation with the two.

Clark has known the Johnsons for years. He admits to being shook once he heard the details of Johnson’s near departure from the recovering preacher's wife while visiting his friend in the hospital. He was one of many local spiritual and community leaders to visit Johnson during his hospital stay. Clark recognized the event as a true miracle and contacted the Informer upon seeing paramedic Cook visit Johnson as well. Clark says Cook jokingly said he wanted to shake the hand of a "dead" man. Clark sees the incident as a testament to the power of faith and The Creator’s ability to override man’s declarations. "Death couldn't take this man out because God was not through with him yet. God still performs miracles, because he can do anything but fail. He used this for his glory," Clark said.

Judging by the way Johnson is healing, his wife and friend are right. Since leaving the hospital he's had to learn to walk and use his hands again. His progress is excellent according to Minister Johnson. She envisioned it from the moment Pastor Johnson woke up in ICU the morning of June 5 pulling monitoring wires off his body and speaking following five days of being under. To give him the best chance at having his full faculties if he regained consciousness, Johnson was put on ice. He remembers nothing except gasping for air before passing out, a voice saying, 'it's not your time yet' and the quiet, deep, peaceful sleep following his body and mind’s departure into the darkness.

Pastor Johnson is grateful for another chance. He says his wife's faith and prayer saved him; nullifying attending physicians’ predictions. "She anointed me with her prayers. And God granted her favor. I truly thank him for that," Johnson expressed. Minister Johnson says it was her turn to pay it forward. Sixteen years ago, Pastor Johnson was there for her too following a stroke and an intense recovery fraught with pain and an unpredictable future. "I was fighting for his life. God heard my cry," said his spouse. "This was not for him but for those that witnessed it. I fought harder for him than I would have for my own life. This outcome proves that through prayer, clean hands and a clean heart, you can get just about anything from God."

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Pastor Edward L. Johnson and his wife Minister Carol B. Johnson