Another Special Life in Christ
These testimony lives are not stories of "role models". Jesus is the
These are lives wonderfully touched & changed by Jesus!
My guess is that Johnny Gardner was born about
1943. A native of Columbia, S. C., his father ran a little store in a poor section near the
governor's mansion. He remembers that his dad died of the effects of alcohol. In fact Johnny
says that he, himself, was also headed down that same road when, at age 26, "I had a head-on
collision with The Lord."
Columbia's Famous & Courageous
An occasional speaker at my daughter's former church (Joel Baptist) in the 1990s-2010,
you used to see this man of courage in front of the state house at Gervais & Main Street
several days each week. He has a stroller with a baby doll in it and a red and white sign,
"stop abortions now". He looks the oncoming motorists in the face through thick glasses (as I
watched the 1/3/2006 Orange Bowl, I noted that Coach Joe Paterno resembles Johnny). Many
think this man is an "oddball" or a "crazy". I see him protesting sometimes on the westbound
side of highway 378 at I-26 and feel like he is a man of extraordinary
"After I got saved, I thought that maybe The Lord
wanted me to be a preacher. But there were things in my past that seemed against that. For
some reason, about 13 years ago , I felt lead to stand against abortion out in public.
I had no idea how to do it. But I thought, if He wants me to do this, He'll show me how. Most
of the way, I've had to support this effort with secular jobs. The last year or so [since
about late 2002], I've been able to do this full time."
But, my daughter says that his talk in church is
anything but oddball or crazy. You see, Johnny Gardner has made a life commitment to
challenge every-day people in his sphere of influence to think about an awful topic (abortion) by becoming a topic of
In April 2001, an S. C. House of Representatives
subcommittee was considering testimony about a pending "right to life" bill. Among the
observers was Johnny Gardner of West Columbia, who also wore around his neck one of the
plastic fetus models he is often seen wearing to protest abortion when he pickets alone
outside the S. C. Statehouse. "Even if we are overturned by the Supreme Court, our
consciences will be clear,'' he said. "Someday we will all stand before the Supreme Judge,
and our God is higher than the Supreme Court.''
Mr. Gardner is director of Voice of the Unborn (I see an inactive VotU FB page, HERE), a
Columbia, S. C. anti-abortion Christian organization. Psalm 127:3 is lifted up, "Lo:
children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward." Mr. Gardner's
note on a hallway bulletin board posting at Joel Baptist Church says, "Dear brother Wood & church family. Thanks for
agreeing to host the next meeting of Voice of the Unborn, and thanks for your faithful support.
On behalf of the babies, John Gardner." My former Sunday school classmate, George Bower, has had
a number of interesting roadside conversations with Mr. Gardner.
"I only know of 4 or 5 instances where I might
have been used by Him in this to save a life. I remember so well a lady, a few years ago,
came up to me and said, 'This is my 5 year old daughter. You spoke to me through the car
window as I stopped when I was pregnant, and I changed my mind and decided to have the
I hope to learn more of the testimony of this
giant of courage who is willing to set himself so publicly apart...sort of like the street
preachers who challenge citizens in such shocking but memorable ways. Have you got even
1/1000th of the courage of this saint?
For those who'd like to contribute support
or call for ways to be involved:
120 Amsterdam Drive #G
Columbia, S. C. 29210
[On 19 April 2004, it was my great honor to hear
Mr. Gardner speak at Joel Baptist Church and then to shake his hand afterward and talk with
him. He is about 5 feet 10 inches tall and humble about his courageous work. I saw &
spoke with him and his wife again at an office supply store new years eve day
2006. I most recently observed him and his wife at highway #321 across from Maurice Bessingers BBQ on 4/10/2015].
***give me your comments about this
(posted 2002; latest update 7 September 2015)
You have just read a very brief example of the
powerful, supernatural transformation of a person's life which is possible through the
acceptance of Jesus as your savior. Are you tired of life as it now is for you? He will
accept you just as you are right this second! Consider accepting Jesus now