Community reacts to committed church member killed on city bus

69-year-old Sharon Johnson was killed Thursday while she was riding the city bus. Friday, those close to her are remembering her.
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Wholesome, deep and joyful.

Those are some of the words used to describe Sharon Johnson, a committed member of the First United Methodist Church in Lincoln.

“She was very aware that she was part of a family and she produced and contributed to this family and our hearts will be eternally breaking because of her loss,” says Kirstie Engel, the Pastor at First United Methodist. “I’m just thinking this is a tragic way for her life to be taken senselessly.”

Sharon was a member of the First United Methodist Church for decades.

With little to no family in Lincoln, they say her family was the church. She’s described as a vital and faithful piece of the congregation.

“She lived her life with that servant heart leadership that we try to teach and preach every week but she just innately had that gift,” Engel says.

With a welcoming heart and a love of music, they say Sharon was someone who left an impression and made new church members feel welcome.

“Sharon was always there, she was there to give music, to give love, to give life and support,” says John Spilker, a minister of music at the church.

Morgan Cowell has been involved in the church for 9 years and came to know Sharon well.

“This year has taken away so much from all of us, especially here at the church, so to have this other part ripped away so unfairly and untimely. It’s tough,” Cowell says.

Sharon was a member of the church choir and often times played the organ, piano, flute, or bells during services.

Members and leaders all agree that Sunday services won’t be the same without Sharon’s generous touch, but say they know her legacy will live on.

Sharon’s celebration of life when it is safe to do so.