Charles Matthews: Longtime church leader a credit to the community | Sunday Best

Written by on October 23, 2021

Charles Matthews: Longtime church leader a credit to the community | Sunday Best

Charles Matthews: Longtime church leader a credit to the community | Sunday Best

The Rev. Charles Matthews, as a longtime member of Second Baptist Church of Aiken, is understood to some because the chief of the congregation’s ministry to kids. He is recognized to others as a former Savannah River Web site co-worker, and amongst quite a lot of households, he is the man who retains the garden wanting lush and trim. 

“He is a credit score to the neighborhood, and I am happy that he is on the planning fee,” mentioned retired lawyer Jack Hunter, chairman of the Aiken Planning Fee, acknowledging one other of Matthews’ roles. 

“He is a person of nice character, and a really compassionate and giving man as properly,” mentioned Lessie Worth, an Aiken Metropolis Council member who nominated Matthews for his seat on the fee and likewise helped him come on board at SRS. 

“He is simply such a dedicated church chief,” within the phrases of the Rev. Doug Slaughter, Second Baptist’s senior pastor. He described Matthews as somebody who “has a coronary heart for folk and does so many nice issues for youngsters who want assist in our neighborhood, from Christmas drives to scholarships.”

The best of Charles Matthews

Matthews shares generously at Christmas particularly, bankrolling a program to offer clothes and toys for native youngsters who would possibly in any other case go with out.

Throughout the remainder of the 12 months, he is seeking to maintain weeds at bay and lawns prepared for enjoyment, because the creator and proprietor of Yardpro Service.

“I can do all of it,” he mentioned, acknowledging that groundskeeping work presents loads of selection. 

“Probably the most troublesome factor is discovering staff that can put pleasure into what they’re doing,” mentioned Matthews, in response to his garden efforts, which embody such facets as mowing, fertilizing, repairing sprinkler methods and trimming shrubbery. “The rewarding half, for me, is the interplay with the purchasers that I meet, after which the tip results of what I do.”

The idea of “finish outcomes” weighs closely in his church service, the place he works principally with youngsters within the age vary of three to 12, presumably calling on his personal experiences as a dad, serving to carry up son Bryant Matthews, now a Rock Hill resident; and daughters Temisha Budden, of Sumter; and Robin Fuewell, of North Augusta. 

He famous that he calls repeatedly on a selected Bible idea, as set forth in Proverbs 3:4-6. The passage reads, “So shalt thou discover favour and good understanding within the sight of God and man. Belief within the Lord with all thine coronary heart; and lean not unto thine personal understanding. In all thy methods acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

There may be large satisfaction on these events when he receives constructive suggestions from a toddler whom he served earlier in life, when it comes to educating and steering, Matthews mentioned, noting that the method brings main challenges, particularly with kids who come from abusive environments the place self-discipline could also be considerably “totally different.”

Involvement in Second Baptist’s ministry to kids has helped him admire the influence of poverty, and led him to observe within the footsteps of the Aiken Jaycees’ effort, years in the past, to assist present Christmas goodies for dozens of native impoverished youngsters. 

“I piggyback off what they did,” Matthews mentioned, recalling that his 2020 effort concerned serving to present $75 in garments and $15 in toys or gadgets for a complete of 26 youngsters.

This 12 months’s effort will get a considerable increase from the property of Aiken Commonplace columnist Midge Rothrock, a St. John’s United Methodist Church member who died in March and had Matthews as one of many audio system at her funeral. The 2 have been acquainted by way of his work as her groundskeeper, and her household donated $1,000 to assist Matthews’ 2021 effort. 

“He is such an excellent person who I knew no matter cash I gave him was going for use to assist others,” mentioned Martin Rothrock, one among Midge’s sons, now residing in Alexandria, Virginia. 

“He is an ordained minister, he is a person of God, and I believe he confirmed his character in how he stepped up to discuss my mother on the funeral. He gave a pleasant eulogy of her, and talked about how they have been associates … She simply loved speaking with him and listening to what he thought of issues.”

Matthews, he added, “is absolutely skilled at his job, along with his private character and religion.” 

Worth, who’s employed at SRS, made related feedback. “Charles Matthews … would not even need to say a phrase, however there’s one thing about him that claims integrity and honesty, simply by his mere presence in a room,” she mentioned. 

The minister’s SRS connection dates again to 1985, when he acquired a job as a management room supervisor on the nuclear reservation, with Worth’s endorsement. He was promoted in 1988 and wound up working there for 27 years, retiring in 2012. His report, nonetheless, spoke for itself, and he was introduced again on board in 2017 as a subcontractor within the coaching division.

All through that interval, he wore quite a lot of hats at church. He was the chairman of Second Baptist’s board of deacons for 17 years, and served because the superintendent of Sunday college for “about 9 years,” amongst different roles.

He knew the neighborhood properly, having grown up as a scholar at Pinecrest Elementary, Eustis Park Elementary, Schofield Center and Aiken Excessive (class of 1975), having one youthful brother and an older sister and older brother. Working the family was his mother, Cora Lee, who labored at Aiken’s Owens Corning plant and likewise drove a cab for Efron Taxi.  

The long run youth minister, en path to Second Baptist, left some footprints at different native work websites. He was a manufacturing operator on the textile mill in Vaucluse, working for Graniteville Firm from age 16 to 21, after which labored at Owens Corning for seven years. SRS was his subsequent vacation spot.  

“He is very community-minded,” mentioned Slaughter. “He is simply a type of guys – all fingers on deck – all the time there doing one thing to make our neighborhood higher, however significantly because it pertains to kids who want that additional consideration and care and assist.” 

Worth mentioned Matthews’ humility, compassion, thoughtfulness, enterprise acumen and Christian background have additionally helped him in his position on the Aiken Planning Fee. He “brings a broad vary of experiences to the desk,” she added. 

“He isn’t one that can rapidly soar out and say the primary thought that involves him, however he’s a listener. He’ll hearken to enter after which, on the acceptable time, will share his ideas to the group.”

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