Charlie Bethel grew up in a brand of Christianity which taught that salvation is a result of one’s conduct. He met the Lord in St. Louis at Wayne and Carolyn Carson’s Tuesday night Bible study and left for Canada the next day. When he discovered that he could be certain of his going to heaven because of the finished work of Jesus, he was elated! He could have “heaven” in the Canadian wilderness and assurance of eternal life, too!
After long, cold days and nights in the “North Woods” soaking up God’s word, Charlie realized that God had something for him to do that would require him to interact with people. He came back to St. Louis, becoming one of Clayton Community Church’s first Sunday school teachers. When inner city kids began to populate the Thursday night Kibbutz meeting, Charlie helped bring order to the chaos and became the leader of that ministry. He was ordained as a deacon, then a pastor, and has done the inner city ministry faithfully for over 33 years. He is a carpenter–like Jesus–and speaks in parables (he likes riddles).
Charlie retired as an active pastor as of June 1, 2018 in order to more effectively answer his calling to inner city youth outreach here in St. Louis, while continuing to support the pastoral team with seasoned counsel. He has a wife, Dorothy, two sons, Ben and Nate, and one Grandson, Jimmy.