On Tuesday evening I asked the Board of Commissioners to vote to rename the Newton County Judicial Center to the Judge Horace J. Johnson Jr. Judicial Center. I am thrilled to announce that the board approved this action unanimously.
Judge Johnson meant so much to this community – and will continue to have an impact for generations to come – that I felt something needed to be done to honor his incredible legacy.
As many of you know already, Johnson was appointed by Gov. Roy Barnes as a Superior Court Judge in Newton County in 2002. He not only was Newton County’s first African American Superior Court Judge but also a homegrown, Newton County resident who reached the top of his profession.
Johnson was educated right here in Newton County, being among the first students to integrate our schools in elementary school, attended Cousins and then Newton High School before earning degrees at Oxford College and then Emory University. After earning his Juris Doctor from the University of Georgia Law School and working in Atlanta and Decatur, Johnson returned to Covington in 1995.
From that moment Johnson not only made this his home but reshaped it as well. He served on several boards throughout the community, helped countless people in his hometown and became a friend to everyone he met. He received several accolades for his community work, including some of the highest recognitions available in Newton County but the loss this community has felt during the last week really speaks to what he meant to all of us.
We feel such a deep impact by his passing on July 1 because of such a deep impact he made on Newton County.
This community is truly blessed to have Horace Johnson’s fingerprints on it. His contributions will never be forgotten.
Now everyone who enters the building where he served so professionally will continue to feel his presence. Every time someone enters the courts here in Newton County they will be entering a place forever touched by the Honorable Judge Horace James Johnson, Jr.