Arthur was born in Orangeburg, South Carolina. He attended South Carolina State College and graduated with a liberal arts degree. He was drafted into the U.S. Marines in 1949, while living in Millville, NJ. He was deployed to Korea in 1950.
After the war, Mr. Johnson became the third pastor for St. Paul’s Baptist Church, Philadelphia, on January 30, 1966, where he served for 33 years. He retired in 1998. Arthur’s involvement also extended to other services and institutions including: interim Reverend for the Second Baptist Church of Asbury Park in 1999, President for the Baptist Pastors Conference of Philadelphia and Vicinity, Board of Downingtown Industrial and Agricultural School, and Boards of OIC and Columbia North Branch YMCA. He also chaired the Good Shepherd Ministry of the Philadelphia Baptist Association and served as Treasurer of Tucker House, a nursing home across from St. Paul’s.