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Dr. Deacon Amb. Charles A. Johnson, Jr

A man with people at heart in the hear of the people.

The late Charles A. Johnson, Jr. was born in Monrovia, Liberia on​ August 3rd, 1982. He would go on to do great things in a life that was cut short on January 12, 2019, at the age of 36. Charles A. Johnson, Chucky, as he is affectionately known, dedicated his life to serving God and his family.  

The spirit of love and servant leadership in New York, New Jersey, and Liberia served as the cornerstone of his life. In 1996, when Charles was 14 years old, he struggled through the brutal civil wars in Liberia. Through this struggle, Charles saw a need to protect children - the most vulnerable people in our society.

Charles wanted to help. Consequently, he became the executive director of Voice of the Future. Charles spent many years as the organization’s executive director where he advocated for children afflicted by the horrors of the war.  Charles’ advocacy opened doors with UNICEF where he helped set child rights standards that were adopted by the Government of Liberia.

It was through his work with UNICEF that Charles began to understand the tremendous challenges in Liberia; especially in areas of healthcare, education, and employment. In 2000, Charles accepted a position with the West African Youth Network. His work with the organization took him across West Africa where he promoted improving the lives of young adults. Charles’ big hairy audacious dream was to change the world in a meaningful way.

In 2003, Charles started taking classes at African Methodist Episcopal University (AMEU). During his time at AMEU, he became acutely aware of the growing health challenges facing Liberians and started working with YOSHUDEA and Healthcare Volunteer International to change the system. Charles experiences at UNICEF and other organizations played a pivotal role in his efforts to address challenges facing the youth and at-risk members of Liberian society. Among his many accomplishments, Charles was instrumental in helping to improve Liberia’s support for individuals with disabilities.

Charles came to the United States in 2008 and immediately began serving the marginalized in his new community. By 2009, Charles continued his advocacy through his work at the Salvation Army and the Supportive Children Advocacy Network of New York. Later, Charles enrolled at Capella University where he obtained his Master of Science degree in General Counseling, with a focus on mental health and substance abuse. Later that year, Charles lost his father, Charles J. Johnson, Sr.; fortunately, Chucky had a great support system that comforted and kept him focused on his goals to serve God and his community.

In December of 2008, shortly after arriving in the USA, Chucky met Emerlyn Deline and fell in love. Their passion for service to the community was the foundation that brought them together.  A devout family man and Christian, Chucky built a strong bond with his future in-laws and had a fond admiration for Emerlyn’s father, Bishop Emerson Deline. 

In 2012, Charles became a member of the St. John’s Lodge #744.  At the time of his passing, he was SP. Charles A. Johnson Jr. 32nd Degree, Senior Warden of St. John’s Lodge #744 and Grand Junior Warden of the King Hiram Grand Council-AASR Mason State of New Jersey.

On March 31st, 2013, (Emerlyn’s Birthday) Charles would make his service to God official - he was ordained as Deacon of the United Christian Assembly Church, Inc. He held the title of Chairman of Deacons from 2014 until his untimely passing. Shortly after he made his service to God official, on August 3rd, 2013, Chucky and Emerlyn made their love official in the eyes of God by exchanging marital vows.  The couple focused on bringing their families together as a cornerstone of their relationship. This bonding would be crucial as the couple lost their first child, Charles A. Johnson III in 2015. Their love would bring them through it all, and they soon became the proud parents of two amazing young boys namely Charles Aubrey Ofa Alexander Johnson, and his little brother Chad Caden Chaingar Emerson Johnson.

As of his departure, Charles was serving as Senior Program Supervisor with the Edwin Gould Children and Family Services, where he had been since 2011. At work, Charles touched the lives of thousands of children, advocating for a better life and future for them. He worked with parents to help them break unhealthy cycles and develop healthy environments for their children. The Edwin Gould organization recognized Charles’ efforts and on January 22, the firm made him Program Director. Charles love for his profession took him to post-graduate school where eventually he became a Ph.D. candidate in Social and Community Service. Charles was working on his dissertation – the final hurdle to becoming Dr. Charles A. Johnson, Jr. 

Over the years, Charles made multiple trips to Liberia where he took the knowledge learned in the States to help kids back home. Eventually, he established the Charles A Johnson foundation. A foundation in honor of his late father. The foundation offered scholarships, computers, school supplies and other necessities to young children in Liberia.

Charles passed away in the early hours of January 12, 2019. He is survived by his wife Emerlyn, their two sons, his mother, his siblings, his uncles and aunts, and a host of other relatives and friends around the globe. 

Charles has left a void in several organizations where he served his community, including the US Chapter of AMEU alumni association which he created. He was a pivotal member of his Masonic Lodge, UNICEF, New York and Center for African Services to name a few. He will always be remembered for his positive outlook and belief that the world can be a better place if we start with service to children, family, and God. There has never been a room Charles did not light up, but the light that he gave us will shine for eternity in the lives he has touched.

Dealing with the challenges of today requires problem-solvers who bring different perspectives and are willing to take risks. The Dr. Charles A. Johnson, Jr Foundation emerged out of a pursuit to inspire and support the children of Liberia, and a desire for actions to speak louder than words. Established in 2014, we’re an organization driven by progressive ideas, bold actions, and a strong foundation of support. Contact us to learn more and get involved.

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