Collection Number: 05749

Collection Title: David Frontis Johnson Papers, 1939-1981

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.


expand/collapse Expand/collapse Collection Overview

Size 4 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 1000 items)
Abstract Mid-twentieth-century sermons and addresses delivered in North Carolina Lutheran churches and other venues, including radio, comprise the majority of white minister David Frontis Johnson's papers. Other collection materials include Johnson's curriculum vita, obituaries, writings, clippings, a card index of biblical passages for use in sermons, slight correspondence, and a small number of printed items pertaining to the Lutheran Church or specific churches where Johnson served in Kannapolis, N.C., and Kure Beach, N.C. Among the writings is an essay written in the mid 1950s and titled "Judgement Begins" in which Johnson discusses race relations between African Americans and whites in the American South and describes a lifetime of conditioning from white privilege and supremacy.
Creator Johnson, David Frontis, 1917-1981.
Language English
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Restrictions to Use
No usage restrictions.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the David Frontis Johnson Papers #5749, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Jim Johnson in July 2017 (Acc. 103122).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

1917 Born 25 July in Saluda County, S.C. to George Tolbert Johnson and Lida Mae (Denny) Johnson.
1934 Graduated from high school in Columbia, S.C.
1938 Graduated from the University of South Carolina.
1942 Graduated from Lutheran Theological Seminary in Columbia, S.C.
1942 Ordained to the Gospel Ministry by the South Carolina Synod.
1942 Married Eleanor Louise (Weir) Johnson.
1942-1947 Served Gladesboro Lutheran Church, Carroll County, Va.
1947-1952 Served St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, Rowan County, N.C.
1952-1957 Served Kure Memorial Lutheran Church, Kure Beach, N.C.
1957-1961 Kimball Memorial Lutheran Church, Kannapolis, N.C.
1961-1963 Served as Superintendent of North Carolina Missions of the Synod of North Carolina.
1963-1972 Served as Regional Secretary, Lutheran Church in America Board of American Missions, for North Carolina and Southeast Synods.
1973-1981 Served as Regional Director, North Carolina and South Carolina, Division of Mission in North America of Lutheran Church in America.
1981 Died on August 6.

Chronology adapted from Johnson's biographical note on the website for the North Carolina Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (Accessed August 2017).

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Mid-twentieth-century sermons and addresses delivered in North Carolina Lutheran churches and other venues, including radio, comprise the majority of white minister David Frontis Johnson's papers. Other collection materials include Johnson's curriculum vita, obituaries, writings, clippings, a card index of biblical passages for use in sermons, slight correspondence, and a small number of printed items pertaining to the Lutheran Church and specific churches where Johnson served in Kannapolis, N.C., and Kure Beach, N.C. Among the writings is an essay written in the mid 1950s and titled "Judgement Begins" in which Johnson discusses race relations between African Americans and whites in the American South and describes a lifetime of conditioning from white privilege and supremacy and his conviction to bring about change.

In another essay titled "The Mighty Hand of God," Johnson describes the preparations for and the impact and aftermath of Hurricane Hazel on Kure Beach, N.C., in 1954.

Although Johnson taught American Sign Language and used it in public worship services, the collection does not reflect his work with the deaf community.

Back to Top

Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse David Frontis Johnson Papers, 1939-1981.

Arrangement: Loosely arranged by material type.

Folder 1

Curriculum vitae, "A Biography of the Rev. David F. Johnson," undated #05749, Series: " David Frontis Johnson Papers, 1939-1981." Folder 1

Folder 2

Obituary and memorial service programs, 1981 #05749, Series: " David Frontis Johnson Papers, 1939-1981." Folder 2

Folder 3

Essay titled "Judgement Begins," circa 1955 #05749, Series: " David Frontis Johnson Papers, 1939-1981." Folder 3

Johnson, a white southerner, discusses race relations between African Americans and whites in the American South and describes a lifetime of conditioning from white privilege and supremacy and his conviction to bring about change. "All around me were second generation people of reconstruction....In all things there was a sense of 'paternal love' toward the Negro, but the firm resolve that he had a special place, apart from the white man, and that in this place he must be forced to stay. I did not think it strange: That small white children and small black children should play together as inseparable companions but that there would come a certain age in their life where association and fellowship would cease and the Negro could no longer use the first name of his former playmate."

Folder 4

Essay titled "The Mighty Hand of God," circa 1954 #05749, Series: " David Frontis Johnson Papers, 1939-1981." Folder 4

Hurricane Hazel's impact on Kure Beach, N.C.

Folder 5

"The Development of Catechetical Instruction," 1942 #05749, Series: " David Frontis Johnson Papers, 1939-1981." Folder 5

Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary.

Folder 6

"Wonderings on Worship," 1956 #05749, Series: " David Frontis Johnson Papers, 1939-1981." Folder 6

Folder 7

"Who Walks Alone?," undated #05749, Series: " David Frontis Johnson Papers, 1939-1981." Folder 7

"We live in peculiar times, in which we are bombarded with propaganda, living in a state of unrest and uncertainty."

Folder 8

"Radio Meditation," undated #05749, Series: " David Frontis Johnson Papers, 1939-1981." Folder 8

Folder 9

"The Doctrine of the Trinity,"1941 #05749, Series: " David Frontis Johnson Papers, 1939-1981." Folder 9

Folder 10

"A Comparative Study of the Sacraments, 1942 #05749, Series: " David Frontis Johnson Papers, 1939-1981." Folder 10

Folder 11

"An Ethical Code for Ministers," undated #05749, Series: " David Frontis Johnson Papers, 1939-1981." Folder 11

Folder 12

"Symbolics" and "Dogmatics," undated #05749, Series: " David Frontis Johnson Papers, 1939-1981." Folder 12

Folder 13

"Pastoral Theology," undated #05749, Series: " David Frontis Johnson Papers, 1939-1981." Folder 13

Folder 14

"The Class of '62," circa 1962 #05749, Series: " David Frontis Johnson Papers, 1939-1981." Folder 14

Folder 15-24

Folder 15

Folder 16

Folder 17

Folder 18

Folder 19

Folder 20

Folder 21

Folder 22

Folder 23

Folder 24

Printed and typescript items, circa 1941-1963 #05749, Series: " David Frontis Johnson Papers, 1939-1981." Folder 15-24

Includes ration books from the Second World War, clippings, and items about Kimball Memorial Evangelical Lutheran Church, Kure Memorial Evangelical Memorial Church, and Mount Gilead Lutheran Church.

Folder 25

Appointment book, 1981 #05749, Series: " David Frontis Johnson Papers, 1939-1981." Folder 25

Folder 26

Notes, undated #05749, Series: " David Frontis Johnson Papers, 1939-1981." Folder 26

Folder 27

Correspondence, 1961 #05749, Series: " David Frontis Johnson Papers, 1939-1981." Folder 27

Folder 28

Correspondence, 1980 #05749, Series: " David Frontis Johnson Papers, 1939-1981." Folder 28

Box 2

Sermons, lectures, and address, 1939-July 1956 #05749, Series: " David Frontis Johnson Papers, 1939-1981." Box 2

Box 3

Sermons, lectures, and address, August 1956-March 1958 #05749, Series: " David Frontis Johnson Papers, 1939-1981." Box 3

Box 4

Sermons, lectures, and address, April 1958-August 1959 #05749, Series: " David Frontis Johnson Papers, 1939-1981." Box 4

Box 5

Sermons, lectures, and address, September 1959-December 1960 #05749, Series: " David Frontis Johnson Papers, 1939-1981." Box 5

Box 6

Sermons, lectures, and address, 1961-1969 #05749, Series: " David Frontis Johnson Papers, 1939-1981." Box 6

Box 7

Sermons, lectures, and address, 1971-1980 and undated #05749, Series: " David Frontis Johnson Papers, 1939-1981." Box 7

Card File CF-5749/1

Biblical passages for sermons, undated #05749, Series: " David Frontis Johnson Papers, 1939-1981." CF-5749/1

Image P-5749/1

Kure Memorial Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1950s #05749, Series: " David Frontis Johnson Papers, 1939-1981." P-5749/1

Black and white print.

Kure Beach, N.C.

Back to Top

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

Back to Top

Processing Information

Processed by: Laura Hart and Amy Morgan, August 2017

Encoded by: Laura Hart, August 2017

Back to Top