October 5th he checked into the hospital and was diagnosed with Adult Respiratory Distress syndrome. Shortly thereafter he was placed on a ventilator. He was taken off the ventilator in recent days, but ultimately suffered setbacks and died today. He was only 37 years old.
Charlie and I met during my tenure at The Vineyard in Cincinnati. He and his wife, Angie, had been youth pastors in California and Indiana before moving to Cincinnati. I remember him telling about their apartment in California, in the direct glide path of an airport, with a long CAT-5 cable running across the alley from the church so they could use the internet at home. Charlie could put a positive spin on anything. He’d laugh and say “Those were great days….” when I knew good and well they were difficult.
I was directing a church planting internship at the Vineyard in those days. Charlie and Angie quickly enrolled. We spent Saturday mornings eating bagels, drinking coffee, and talking about church plants all over the city of Cincinnati. Eventually, we placed him in a small, start up church. He later joined the staff of the Cincy Vineyard and recently had gone on to take the pastorate of the Mason Vineyars.
I can’t seem to recall anyone who didn’t like Charlie. He was a warm hearted guy would would approach every interaction with you as if he was there to learn. He’d ask questions and float theories like everyone else, but he was an exceptional listener. He listened to people because he valued them deeply.
To know Charlie was to know that he loved his family. We didn’t speak as often as either of us would have liked over the past few years, but we still connected a few times each year via email or phone. When we did, I knew we would swap stories about our kids.
Please pray for his family. As I write this, Angie is facing her first day as a young widow. His children will need to learn to process things like “Daddy went to be with Jesus”….and not be mad at Jesus. The strain they will face in coming months will shape who they become. Pray that grace abounds in them…that Angie senses the strong arm of the Lord supporting her and walks this out with wisdom. Finally, pray for their hearts. We have all suffered a terrible loss, but theirs is more terrible than the rest put together.
Charlie, my hunch and my theology say you’re not reading my blog any more, but if you were, I’d tell you one more time how much I admire you and what your friendship meant. It is one of the grand travesties of life that we wait until death to say the things we mean the most.
Filed under: Uncategorized |