The Family Tribute
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Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning
Rosalie Sharpe Johnson was born on July 22, 1935, the fifth of seven children, to the late Rev. & Mrs. (Mary) Christopher C. Sharpe in Tarboro, NC. She was educated in the public school system of Tarboro, graduating from W.A. Pattillo High School in June 1953.
The day after graduating high school, she moved to New York to live with her older sister, Mary Bernice, with whom she was very close. She enjoyed her time while there and met many wonderful people and celebrities. She even sang with some of them. Lloyd Price was one singer she would often tell her family stories about. At one point she was even a hand model for hand creams, nail polish and the like. Soon after, she moved to Philadelphia, PA. and began her career at Bell Telephone. She was an avid supporter of her father, the late Rev. Christopher C. Sharpe, who accepted a call to pastor the Greater White Rock Baptist Church. When Rosalie was growing up, her dad traveled as an evangelist and when opportunities presented themselves, Rosalie would sing for her dad. Rosalie loved her dad and they had a very special bond. She later developed a similar bond with her big brother, Robert Sharpe. She would recall the gems her dad shared with her as a young child growing up, way into her senior years. She regularly shared those gems with her own children. Rosalie had a very strong and distinct alto voice and for many years she sang with The Gloria Gospel Singers. Her beautiful voice had a way of moving an audience to praise or tears just by sharing her gift of song, especially when she sang her signature song ‘The King Is Coming.’ Her voice will live on in the hearts and minds of many who had the opportunity to hear her sing.
While residing in Philadelphia, she met and married the late, James W. Johnson, a widower with a young son, James L. This blessed union yielded four more children; Christopher Keith (who preceded her in death), Melanie Pearl, Fitzgerald, and Lisa Bernice. Rosalie loved her children and she continued to speak very highly of her love for them even while she struggled with her own health condition.
In 1979, she began supporting her late nephew, Apostle Robert M. Taylor, Sr., in ministry when he began the Fellowship Tabernacle Church. She served in many capacities over the years. Two of the most memorable roles were church clerk and offering her supreme culinary skills in the kitchen by making her famous fried chicken. In 1987, she was blessed to be one of the choir members chosen to travel to Europe to perform in ‘The Gospel at Colonus’ with Morgan Freeman & Robert Earl Jones.
Mother Johnson, as she was affectionately called, was indeed a mother to many. She always had whatever anyone needed in her large purses and they came to her often for needles & thread, mints, lotion, tissues and change for the children to put in the offering. She was known for having many sons and daughters in the Tabernacle. Mother Johnson eventually migrated back to her home state of North Carolina. Upon her return, she continued to support the ministry of Fellowship Tabernacle Church, which had relocated to Statesville, NC. Rosalie was a praying woman. She was very encouraging with a strong love and faith in God. You knew when the spirit had touched her in service, by listening for the heel of her shoe tapping the floor.
On March 5, 2020 God in His infinite wisdom, gave Rosalie her wings. She is now resting and is in no more pain and singing in the heavenly choir. For that, we give God praise! Her cherished memories will reside most preciously, with her children: James (Linda), Melanie (Thomas), Fitzgerald (Kendra), Lisa; her big brother, Robert Sharpe (Jessie), her sisters, Bessie Taylor and Gloria Booth, her special niece, Mary Taylor; her grandchildren: Tameka, Tiffany, Payton, Jordan, Erika, and Gerald; along with three special great-grandchildren, James, Orion and Iyanna, and a host of family and friends.
Poem from Erika Keys, Granddaughter
There never was a moment where I saw you complain
Even when things got rough and you could not stand the pain
The moments we shared, even though they were small
I will always love and cherish them all
Continue to watch over me with the Big Man in the sky
As I continue to remember my loving butterfly
There’s just one last message that will never go away,
It will always be something I will whisper to myself and say....
“I love you a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck”- Gammy
From your Princess
Celebration of Life Services will be conducted Saturday, March 14, 2020, at 11:30 a.m. at Morningstar First Baptist Church. Reverend David E. Roberts, II, Pastor will officiate. Members of the family will receive friends at the church from 11:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m., but will assemble at her residence, 1850 20th Drive, NE, Hickory, at other times.
Visit the Book of Memories for Mrs. Johnson at www.rutledgeandbigham.com. Rutledge and Bigham Funeral Home is serving the family of Mrs. Rosalie Sharpe Johnson.