North Nashville Congregation Honors Late Reverend with Street Renaming

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - In a heartfelt gathering, congregants at Cowan Street Baptist Church came together on Sunday afternoon, raising their voices in unison as they sang traditional Baptist hymns. This special occasion was dedicated to paying tribute to the memory of the revered Reverend James Houston Johnson, who faithfully led the congregation for an impressive 43 years.

Reverend Johnson, an enduring figure in the North Nashville community, assumed the role of pastor at Cowan Street Missionary Baptist Church on 4th Avenue North back in April 1956. Tragically, in 1997, after a prolonged battle with a chronic illness, Reverend Johnson passed away.

Now, in April 2023, the Nashville Metro Council has granted approval for the renaming of a section of 4th Avenue in honor of Reverend Johnson.

"Dad inspired us. And we have passed that on to our children," shared Arlene Wolfe, one of Johnson's daughters, during the ceremony.

The afternoon service witnessed heartfelt testimonials from many individuals who shared their cherished memories of Reverend Johnson in front of the pulpit. The street surrounding the church was filled with numerous well-wishers, including members of Johnson's family, friends, colleagues, and long-standing church members, all eagerly awaiting the unveiling of the newly christened street sign.

The dedication ceremony drew the presence of several past and current elected officials, including figures like Sharon Hurt, District 19's Jacob Kupin, and Nashville's Mayor-Elect, Freddie O’Connell.

Beside the street sign, Reverend Johnson's daughters, Wolfe and Ruthie Holt, stood in profound appreciation of their late father's lasting legacy, his unwavering dedication to serving both the community and the Lord, and the indelible mark he left during his lifetime.

"Dad's influence reached far and wide within this community, from East Nashville to North Nashville," Wolfe remarked. "Today, we celebrate his enduring legacy."

"I express my gratitude to my brothers and sisters for coming together to commemorate our beloved father in this meaningful way," Holt added.

For over four decades, Reverend Johnson poured his heart into serving and uplifting countless lives, and even in his absence, his profound impact continues to resonate strongly.

"We are here to bear witness to this momentous occasion. That sign holds great significance for me, as it's a tremendous honor and privilege to be present here," Wolfe concluded.