Tribute to Archbishop Solomon Tilewa Johnson, a long-standing friend of Us, who died on 21 January 2014
The Most Revd Dr Solomon Tilewa Johnson, Primate of the Church of the Province of West Africa, died suddenly on Tuesday 21 January 2014.
It is believed he had a major heart attack after playing a game of tennis in Fajara, in the Gambia. It was one of his favourite recreations. He was 59.
Archbishop Johnson (photo credit: ENS) was a long-standing friend of Us (and USPG, as we were known) during his 23 years as a bishop in West Africa.
He encouraged partnerships between Us and the Church in West Africa, with a focus on programmes in both education and development.
Most recently, he represented West Africa at a major consultation for our world church partners, held last October in Delhi, India. Delegates will long remember him for his lively contributions to discussions, his sense of humour, and his passionate commitment to the life and development of the church.
Trained partly at Durham University, Bishop Tilewa was a man of energy, faith and presence. He had a sharp mind, was a firm disciplinarian, and had a strong commitment to good order and management both in meetings and in his diocese.
Canon Edgar Ruddock, outgoing Us Director for Global Networking, said: 'I am over 6’3” tall, and it wasn’t often I had an African Archbishop to look up to!
'Archbishop Tilewa was a big man, in every sense. He was often challenging in his manner of dealing with people and organisations, but behind this strong exterior was a man of fun, compassion, and dedication to his calling as a priest and servant of the Gospel.
'He will be missed throughout West Africa, and beyond. May he rest in peace and rise in glory!'