Memorial services have been scheduled for Bettie Clark-Johnson, Wichita’s First Lady of Gospel, who died last week in a house fire.
A wake will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 10, at St. James Missionary Baptist Church, 1350 N. Ash Ave. in Wichita.
A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 11, at Countryside Christian Church, 1919 S. Rock Road in Wichita.
The 83-year-old was known throughout the Gospel-singing world for her talent.
“It's a big loss to the gospel community, she sang with some of the greats," Pastor Carl Kirkendoll told KWCH TV. "She taught me one of my first gospel songs when I was a kid."
Ms. Clark-Johnson had been serving as pianist at Kirkendoll’s church, Missionary Baptist, which is across the street from her home.
Her husband, the late Pastor George Johnson, led the Greater Mount Zion Baptist Church of Wichita for many years before dying in 2013.
Ms. Clark-Johnson led an active social life, attending church, weddings and eating with friends. She checked on people in her community.
She was known for her fashion sense, favoring big glasses and six-inch heels.
She regularly posted on Facebook. Her last post was the night of June 26. “Friends really matter,” she wrote with a video slideshow of her and her many friends.
Ms. Clark-Johnson is survived by: sisters Dorothy Fields, Lorraine Tate, Loretta Anderson, Lydia Anderson; sons Michael ( Laquita) Clark-Williams, Korrye ( Gwen) Edwards, Keith Clark; daughters Rochelle Randal, Michelle K. Clark, Kristi ( Steve ) Price, Kasey Clark; 18 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.