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Charlie the Baptist

Charlie Wingard

Charlie Wingard

Associate Professor of Practical Theology at Reformed Theological Seminary Jackson and Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Yazoo City, Mississippi

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Charlie the Baptist? Hardly. I am a life-long Presbyterian, and for better or worse, remain a convinced paedobaptist.

But I did contribute in a small way to the building of a vibrant Baptist church.

The pictures below are of my first church.  I was fresh out of college, and, at the time, a member of the old Presbyterian Church United States. For years, Wales Presbyterian Church in Giles County (near Pulaski, Tennessee) had struggled to find regular pulpit supply. In 1977 the church shut its doors. They were reopened in 1979, and the following year I was given the opportunity to serve as its student pastor.

Several years after I left, the congregation became a Baptist church, and thrives today. Yesterday I received a most kind e-mail from its pastor, Kevin Wells. The church now has well over 200 in weekly attendance.

I am grateful to God for my very minor role in the history of what is now Wales Baptist Church, and am delighted about its gospel witness.

Sometime ago, in another forum, I published the pictures and reflections below about my time at Wales Presbyterian Church. Sadly, the Wales Station I knew is now mostly gone. The church I served burned to the ground and was rebuilt at another location. The old country store was removed in the early 1980s. Only a few homes remain.

After leaving college in May 1980, I began preaching at Wales Presbyterian Church in Giles County, Tennessee (near Pulaski), and served as its student pastor from September 1980 until May 1981. The church had 10 members.
This is my one and only attempt at signage. Thankfully, I didn’t have to support myself with my artistic gifts. I assisted Pastor Harry Hassall, with three other Middle Tennessee churches. Mr. Hassall was a splendid mentor.
Adjacent to a creek that occasionally overflowed its banks, the church stood on stilts. I saw the church again in 1997 when I went to visit my dear friends, the late William Campbell and Ruth Morris. In 2005, when we moved south, I looked forward to showing Lynne the church. Sadly, it had burned down.

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