November 5, 1990.
This is a date indelibly sketched in my heart and mind.
It was a Monday evening. The congregation at Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles gathered to select a new pastor.
My father, H.B. Charles, Sr., served the church for four decades. Eighteen months later, the church was ready to call a new pastor.
I had no plans of attending this meeting. I thought it would be too difficult to sit through a meeting where a new man would be called to the church my father served for so long. But I changed my mind the day of the meeting.
In a strange providence, the church selected me as its new pastor that night. I was seventeen-years-old. Of course, I do not recommend that churches call a high school senior as pastor. But this is my testimony.
For eighteen years, I had the joy of serving Mt. Sinai, until I heeded a call to Jacksonville five years ago. This week, we celebrate five years of service together as pastor and people at the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church.
I turned forty this past February. And it was a shock to my system! But that I have been a pastor for more twenty years is even more shocking.
It has been a long journey filled with difficult paths, steep climbs, and unexpected turns. But I am grateful for the journey. And I pray this excellent adventure will continue to the glory of God!