I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
Dr. Charles Hayes Charlton, 79 years old, entered into the presence of our Holy God on Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at Johnson City Medical Center with his wife Janet by his side. Dr. Charlton was born December 22, 1940 in Radford, Va. To Lawrence Edward, Sr. and Ollie Ruth Charlton. He was the youngest of four sons. He was preceded in death by his parents, Brother Tyron M. Charlton, favorite Aunt Viola M. Charlton, Father-in-law Aldean S. Lewis and Mother-in-law Mildred V. Lewis.
On July 22, 1960, Dr. Charlton married the love of his life, Janet Lewis, who he lovingly referred to as “Honey”. To this union one son was born, Charles Melvin Charlton.
Dr. Charlton leaves to celebrate his life, his loving wife of 59 years, Mrs. Janet Lewis Charlton; son Charles Melvin Charlton of Johnson City, TN, grandchildren, Charles Edward Charlton, Jarred Hayes Charlton, great grandchildren, Tybree Hayes Charlton, Taiylor Crabtree, Brothers Lawrence Edward Charlton, Jr. of Palm Beach, Fl., Byron W. Charlton (Carolyn) of Reston, Va. Sister-in-laws Ellen Brown of Fredericksburg, Va., Rita Lewis of Radford, Va., a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, his Friendship Baptist Church family and many loving friends.
Dr. Charlton attended Christiansburg Institute in Cambria, VA. He graduated from East Tennessee State University with a B.S. in Philosophy and a M.Ed. in Literacy Studies. He also has a Th.D. from Emmaus Bible Institute and Seminary, a Ph.D. in Clinical Christian Counseling from Cornerstone University and a Doctor of Divinity from the Tennessee School of Religion in Memphis, TN.
Dr. Charlton was the first African-American Board of Education member in Radford, VA and the first African-American Mayor in Southwest, VA., serving as Mayor of Radford, VA. He is the former pastor of Big Hill Baptist Church in Salem, VA, First Baptist Church in Elliston, VA and First Baptist Church in Blacksburg, VA. He has been a preacher for 59 years and a pastor for 58 years. He served as the Pastor of Friendship Baptist Church in Johnson City, TN for 42 years. He retired as Pastor in November of 2018 and was named Pastor Emeritus. In addition, he served a 5-year term on the Johnson City Board of Education; six years on the Johnson City Regional Planning Commission with one year as chairman and two years as Vice-Mayor of Johnson City as part of a four-year term on its City Commission. He was also a member of the inaugural admissions committee for the ETSU Pharmacy School.
Dr. Charlton has served his denomination as moderator of two associations: The Schaeffer Memorial Baptist Association in VA and the Bethel District Baptist Missionary and Educational Association in TN. In addition, he served as the Director of the Pastor’s Conference of the Baptist Missionary & Educational Association for the State of Tennessee.
He has served as lecturer on Black Psychology and Marriage and Family Dynamics with the Southern Baptist Convention in Ridgecrest, NC and Glorietta, NM.
Dr. Charlton also was an Associate Professor at Northeast State Technical Community College, Blountville, TN, where he taught Reading, Learning Strategies, Comparative Religions, Humanities, Black Studies and Speed Reading. Dr. Charlton taught at Northeast State Technical Community College for 23 years and was involved in education for 25 years. In the 2006-2007 academic year, he conducted a seminar entitled, “Reaching, Teaching and Retaining Our Students” for the state and national conferences for Developmental Studies instructors.
The Virginia Historical Society also recognized Dr. Charlton as a Virginian who contributed significantly to the history of his state. Consequently, his photograph and biographical information are exhibited in the Virginia Historical Society Museum in Richmond, VA to emphasize his service to the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Dr. Charlton is the author of The Agony and the Ecstasy of the Ministry; The Key to My Heart; God Give Us Some Real Men; Love is the Key (an African-American History Presentation); Making the Fundamentals Fun (A study skills handbook); From "Rev" With Love; As The Twig Is Bent; and Thoughts For Quiet Moments.
Dr. Charlton said “That the most important moment in his life was when he became a Christian. The second was marrying his beautiful wife, Janet, who has walked with him in both challenge and triumph. He believes service to God is the greatest privilege that he has been afforded in his life and being a minister of the Gospel is the most important thing that he has been blessed to do throughout his life.”
Dr. Charlton also said, “He is grateful to God for opportunities to serve; however, his greatest joy is knowing God and serving Him as best he can, while looking with great anticipation to going to Heaven when he leaves this world.”
A “Celebration of Life” service will be held Monday January 27, 2020 at the Friendship Baptist Church – 522 West Main St., Johnson City, TN with the Rev. Lester D. Lattany, Pastor officiating.
The family will receive friends at the church from 5:00pm until 7:00pm. The celebration of Dr. Charlton’s life will begin at 7:00pm. Interment will be held at 11:00am Tuesday January 28, 2020 at Washington County Memory Gardens.
The Charlton family is being served by Birchette Mortuary, Inc., 219 E. Millard St. Johnson City, TN. 423-926-6013 http://www.birchettemortuary.com