February 19, 1926 – March 2, 2021
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15
(Chuck’s favorite scripture)
Charles (Chuck) William Wood was born to Ed and Vione Wood in Dearborn, Michigan on February 19, 1926. He had one sister, Linda and two brothers, Bob and Albert. He had a relatively normal childhood but never did really like school. In fact, he quit high school when he was 16 and joined the Navy. That proved to be a wise decision because he loved his time in the Navy and he learned how to be disciplined and how to manage life. In fact, because his time in the Navy was such a life-changing, positive experience, he attended his annual Navy Reunion for over 30 years.
While traveling with his grandparents in 1946 after his honorable discharge from the Navy, he was encouraged by a friend to go to college on the G.I. Bill. During this trip, his grandparents took him to see Anderson College, now Anderson University. It was love at first sight. He got his GED and entered college in January, 1946. He graduated with a B.A. in Sacred Music in 1951. While attending Anderson College, Chuck was a member of the Echoes of Peace Quartet and The Christian Brotherhood Hour Quartet and a member of the Anderson College Choir directed by Dr. Robert Nicholson, who became a lifelong friend and mentor. In 1948 he met Charlotte Turley, who had been encouraged by her Pastors Dr. and Mrs. Hillary Rice to attend Anderson College. They were married in South Charleston, West Virginia on August 26, 1949 and they were married for 65 years until Charlotte’s death in 2014. Chuck and Charlotte have three children; Risë Singer (husband David) of Frostproof, Florida, Rick Wood of Indianapolis, Indiana and Robin Wood (wife, Julia) of Yorktown, Indiana. They also have nine grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Chuck and Charlotte began their ministry as part-time Minister of Music at the First Church of God in New Albany, Indiana on July 1, 1951 and served for 14 months with Pastor Thurman Hall. On September 2, 1952 they moved to Akron, Ohio and Chuck became full-time Associate Minister of Music, Youth and Christian Education at The McKinley Avenue Church of God with Rev. Elmer Rich, Pastor. There he served for 10-1/2 years. Under Rev. Rich’s strong leadership, Chuck learned how to work hard and develop a good work ethic, how to be an effective youth leader, how to build and direct a choir and how to compassionately care about people. His next ministry assignment was at The Crawford Street Church of God in Middletown, Ohio. He was ordained there in 1963. He served as Associate Minister of Music, Youth and Christian Education with Pastor Rev. Herschel Caudill from January 28, 1963 until September 9, 1968. From there the family moved to Anderson, Indiana. Chuck served as the Associate Minister of Music and Youth at the South Meridian Church of God for two years with Pastor Rev. Charles Tarr. On September 1, 1970 Chuck became the Associate Minister of Music and Youth at the First Church of God in Newton Falls, Ohio where he served for almost 13 years with Pastor Dr. Lillian McCutcheon. His last full-time ministry assignment began May 23, 1983 in Decatur, Illinois with Pastor Dr. Bill Ellis at The People’s Church of God. He and Charlotte retired July 1, 1988 after 37 years of ministry.
During the 29 years of ministry in Ohio, Chuck served as counselor and dean at the State Youth Camp in Marengo, Ohio, was the State Youth Director for several years, served on the Board of Christian Education in N. E. Ohio District and was the State Chairman. He served on the Executive Council in N. E. Ohio and was Chairman of the State Council. During his last three years in Ohio, he was the State Chairman of the Executive Council and the General Assembly of the Church of God, the first Associate Minister to ever hold that position. He championed fellowship times with his peers in ministry and loved (and never missed) The Central States Minister’s Meetings. He became a mentor to many who came to these meetings. He also established the Associate Minister’s Retreat and used these retreat times to encourage young ministers.
Chuck also served as Platform Coordinator in Warner Auditorium at The International Convention of the Church of God for 11 years. He was the convention song leader for at least one service every year for 30 years. He and Charlotte camped on the convention grounds on Lot D25 for 45 years and they only missed two camp meetings in all those years. He was the camp meeting song leader for at least one state camp meeting every year from 1951 until retirement in 1988. His first state campmeeting was in Nebraska with Dr. Dale Oldham as the evangelist in 1951.
He attended every International Youth Convention from 1950 until his retirement and was the song leader for the Youth Convention in 1958 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He served as the Song Leader for State Youth Conventions in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina.
After retirement in 1988, Chuck and Charlotte began traveling and living full-time in their fifth wheel. They continued their ministry singing, playing and visiting the sick and shut-ins. Chuck loved music and always had a song ready wherever he went. His powerful, tenor voice remained strong throughout his lifetime, and he never quit singing!
Chuck and Charlotte served as interim ministers in Ohio, West Virginia and Arizona. In 1991 Chuck and Charlotte received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Anderson University for their many years of faithful service and dedication.
After traveling for 14 years, they parked their fifth wheel home at Camp Inn in Frostproof, Florida in 2001. But ministry did not stop! Chuck and Charlotte served the Camp Inn Church for many years, leading the music, directing the choir and participating in many musical presentations. They also continued their visitation ministry.
In 2014, Chuck and Charlotte moved into The Palms Assisted Living in Sebring, Florida, which was their haven for seven years. The staff and residents of The Palms were a blessing to Chuck and Charlotte and will always be remembered for their many kindnesses to the whole family. Living at The Palms provided Chuck with more opportunities to sing and minister. He was the official pray-er at breakfast. He was an unofficial associate and best friend to Cecil Hess, The Chaplain. Cecil and Chuck were a great team and led Chapel and Hymn Sings at The Palms. Cecil played the piano and preached and Chuck sang! Chuck was in the choir and often sang solos at Buttonwood Bay Church where Cecil pastored. Cecil remains a cherished friend of the family.
Chuck was a good son, a supportive brother, a devoted husband, a loving dad, a fun uncle, a special grandpa, a sweet great-grandpa, a strong mentor, a powerful and beautiful singer, a professional director of music, an enthusiastic and model youth leader, a best friend and a steadfast servant of God. Chuck passed away on March 2, 2021 at the age of 95. He will be remembered for his great sense of humor, his generosity, his loud and hearty laugh, his love of life and the fun he had living and sharing it, his beautiful booming tenor voice, his boots, the special way he tied his ties, his love of ice cream (and chocolate cake and pecan pie), his upbeat and always positive attitude, his devotion to his wife and family, his sacrificial and completely surrendered life of service to His Savior. He outlived many of his peers, but not his wide circle of friends. Some of the young people from the youth groups he led through the years continued to stay in touch with him throughout his lifetime because his influence positively and forever changed their lives! His life was a testimony to God’s love and grace and he leaves behind a great and profound legacy for his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He will be greatly missed. His spirit will live on in the hearts of the host of people he touched! And, as many people at The Palms often said, “He’s the best man we ever knew!”
The family would be honored if you would like to make a contribution in memory of Chuck. He believed strongly in the work of Horizon International, an organization creating hope through African orphans. Please go to “Horizonorphans.com” and you will immediately see the orange rectangle that says “donate.” Click on the heart that says “where most needed.” There’s a simple form to fill out and give credit card information. If you want to write a check instead, please make it out to “Horizon” and in the memo line write “In memory of Charles Wood”. The mailing address is Horizon International, 350 JH Walker Drive, Pendleton, Indiana 46064.