Growing up in Liberia, Charles suffered a tragic loss at the young age of six when his father passed away. When Charles was 22, he said goodbye to his grandmother — the woman who took care of him for many years after his father’s death.
A year after his grandmother’s passing, civil war erupted in Liberia, leaving Charles feeling hopeless and alone.
“That in itself was too much for an individual to handle,” Charles says. “I started getting really depressed. I even went as far as attempting suicide multiple times. My heart was broken, and nobody could or would really help me.”
Joined by his two sons, a half-brother and three adopted boys, Charles came to live in the United States in September 2002. He visited Central Church for the first time on December 24, 2015, and became a member in August 2016.
Charles, now 50, is a walking testimony of God’s amazing grace.
“I dedicated 47 years of my life to all these wrong doings — black money scam, drugs, women and alcohol,” he says. “My brokenness caused me at the time to be totally disconnected from my Creator. In January 2013, I knew I couldn’t continue down the path I was on, so I began attending church regularly, but I was still doing drugs, alcohol and committing adultery. There was a growing strong desire in my heart that wanted to establish a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
“Finally, on December 13, 2013, I heard this small and soft voice say, ‘Are you ready now to surrender your life?’ I knew it was the special moment that I had been waiting for all my life. Immediately, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. The Lord accepted me, forgave all my sins and cleaned me, and from that moment, my life has never been the same.”
Charles wants everyone to know how the Lord has radically and supernaturally changed him. Currently enrolled in a local seminary where he is training to be a youth evangelist, Charles gets first-hand experience working with teens by his involvement in the Varsity Ministry of Central Church.
A dedicated volunteer for the past seven months, Charles helps pray over and encourage the high schoolers who gather for their own worship service on Sunday mornings at Central’s Charlotte Campus.
“My love for the youth is so strong that I’m always working hard with the help of the Holy Spirit to encourage them to establish a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” Charles says. “Most especially, it’s about teaching them that it is important to keep their bodies holy, because it is the Temple of the Holy Spirit.
“The volunteering work that I’m doing at Central has further confirmed that this is a true calling from God upon my life.”
When Charles isn’t in a youth service, you can find him serving as a greeter or worshiping in one of the adult services. When Charles thinks about where the Lord has brought him, he can’t help but offer up passionate expressions of praise and thanksgiving.
In fact, there are times during the services at Central when Charles feels completely overcome by the mercies of God.
“It is tremendous and very difficult to express in words,” he says. “My entire life, I had never experienced worship and heard sermons that convicted my soul in such a way. I will cry during almost all the services. The Holy Spirit is here, and His presence is very powerful.”