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40-Year-Old Pastor Dies Unexpectedly at Gym, Police Say the Manner of Death Was 'Natural'

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A 40-year-old Montana pastor died suddenly Friday while working out at a gym, according to news reports.

Daniel “Danny” Johnson suffered a coronary event at the Bozeman facility, according to a Facebook post by the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

“Danny’s cause of death was determined to be critical coronary artery atherosclerosis and the manner was natural,” according to that report.

“He collapsed at the gym on Friday 2/24/2023 and could not be resuscitated,” a friend, Jeff Jackson, posted on Facebook. “Please pray for his family.”

Johnson was a pastor and elder of Grace Bible Church of Bozeman, where he “spent much of his time contributing to his community,” the sheriff’s office said.

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A native of Bozeman and graduate of Montant State University, Johnson spent five years traveling the world, teaching English in Italy, Thailand, Japan and Nepal, according to his biography.

According to his obituary, “[O]ne day by the side of a road in Australia, he realized the existence of a God who was even greater than his expectations or imagination.

“He remembered the words of forgiveness spoken in Scripture. Leaving behind the carefree life of his youth, Danny began the pilgrimage that would consume the remainder of his days — pressing to know Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection.”



Johnson returned to Bozeman, studied for the ministry at Montana Bible College, and then joined the staff at Grace Bible Church.

“Danny loved life!” according to the report. “His laugh was contagious and his gorgeous tenor voice unparalleled. He embraced every moment, from food in his travels to singing ‘Country Roads’ with a busload of people trying to learn English.

“Joy seemed his vernacular, and he never met a stranger. His passion overflowed in every endeavor. He never wasted a moment.”

He is survived by his wife and four children as well as many other extended family members.

Jackson provided a link for donations to be made through Grace Bible Church to help Johnson’s family.

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Jackson also posted a link to the last message Johnson gave to the CrossLife college ministry the day before his death.



“His message … was powerful and challenging especially knowing now he’d be in the Lord’s presence the next day,” Jackson wrote.

“Pastor Danny’s impact will be felt for years to come. He will be greatly missed by many. Please take a moment to listen.”

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Lorri Wickenhauser has worked at news organizations in California and Arizona. She joined The Western Journal in 2021.
Lorri Wickenhauser has worked at news organizations in California and Arizona. She joined The Western Journal in 2021.




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