Self-taught carpenter celebrates 100th birthday

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 7, 2005

The SELMA TIMES-JOURNAL

On Sunday, Aug. 21, Pleasant Grove Baptist Church celebrated the 100th birthday of Deacon Alfred C. Johnson, who was born Aug. 22, 1905, in Dallas County. He is the last survivor of the 12 children born to Ed and Louvenia Johnson.

In attendance at the celebration were seven of the nine children born to him and Annie Mixon Johnson, whom he married in 1927.

Known affectionately as &8220;Mr. Alf&8221; by his many friends, he is a self-taught carpenter, who built the church where his birthday celebration was held. Recent renovations to the building are the work of his sons, whom he trained in his profession.

Throughout the Pea Ridge Community and Dallas County there are houses, churches and other buildings in evidence of his craftsmanship. Due to his exactness and the quality of his work, the demand for his labor far exceeded his availability. Many customers remained on the waiting list rather than hire another person. It is recognized also that the work of his sons is a testament to his expertise.

In a self-taught trade, Mr. Alf also used his hands as a barber. With the reputation of being the best on Pea Ridge, he gave a professional haircut, not a &8220;round-the-mountain&8221; kind. In addition, he was a farmer, known for raising the best watermelon in the community and other fruits and vegetables.

Through his long years he has lived a life of hard work, service to his fellowman and dedication to God. He attends church regularly, serving as a deacon at his own and also attending neighboring churches.

In his community he is a beacon of inspiration, faith and encouragement, as well as mentor. His legacy to current and successive generations is that of hard work, Christian principles and the simple life.