Honoring a "Legend of Lakewood," the Rev. Dr. John C. Bonner (1924-2019)
On Friday, March 29, at the age of 94, the Rev. Dr. John C. Bonner passed away. Rev. Bonner was one of the longest-serving religious leaders in the city’s history, ministering for many years as the lead pastor for Christ Presbyterian Church in Lakewood.
Playing an important role for the city as a whole, Rev. Bonner was key in bringing together religious leaders and congregation members from Lakewood’s many faiths in 1978 to create the Lakewood Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast. That annual gathering of friendship, solidarity and mutual respect, now sponsored by the Lakewood Family YMCA, continues to this day and celebrated its 42nd anniversary on March 15, 2019.
For 15 years, Rev. Bonner also led the moment of silence and reflection at the candle lighting ceremony which concluded Lakewood’s Patriot Day commemoration for many years after the horrific events of September 11, 2001.
“Rev. Bonner was truly a pillar of our community,” said Lakewood Mayor Todd Rogers. “For that reason, in 2009 on the city’s 55th anniversary, I was pleased to join my City Council colleagues in naming Rev. Bonner as a Legend of Lakewood and placing his name on the Pillars of Community in Lakewood’s civic center plaza.
Click here to see a Lakewood CityTV video about Rev. Bonner that was produced when he was named a Legend of Lakewood.
“Rev. Bonner touched many people’s lives in a positive, profound and friendly way,” said Rogers. “He also had a wonderful way of weaving a funny limerick or bit of humor into his presentations and his daily encounters with people. Lakewood is a better place and a better community because of his longtime presence and affiliation with our city. My City Council colleagues and I will miss him dearly, as I know so many others in Lakewood in will.”
Memorial services for Rev. Dr. John C. Bonner will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 13 at Christ Presbyterian Church at 5225 Hayter Ave. in Lakewood. Mayor Rogers will speak on behalf of the City of Lakewood.