On Sunday, April 30, 2017, the congregation of the First Christian Church of Barnesville dedicated a prayer room just off the church's sanctuary to the memory of the late Charles Wilson, officially naming it the "Charles E. Wilson Prayer Chapel." The recently remodeled and refurbished room, previously used as a pastor's study and Sunday school room, will now be dedicated to providing church members and the community a quiet and comfortable place to pray, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
There is a separate outside entrance to the room, from an alley off West Church Street, directly across the street from the Barnesville Elementary School.
Wilson, who passed away last June at the age of 90, served the congregation as an Elder for over sixty years and was also active over the years as a Board Chairman, Sunday school teacher, and Mission Team member, among many other things. His greatest passion in life was his relationship with Christ.
This relationship led him to become a man of deep spirituality and prayer. He was very active in First Christian's prayer ministry and often attended community prayer services at other area churches and was active in the Barnesville Area Ministerial Association. Wilson's widow, Mary, and five of his six children, plus several of his grandchildren, were on hand to help dedicate the room and celebrate Charles' memory.
"Charles Wilson was a gentle man with a powerful witness for Christ," said Pastor Ed Eberhart, who has served as the church's Senior Minister since 1998. "While many people talk about being a Christian, Charles quietly and sincerely lived out his faith over a lifetime, and in doing so exhibited a genuine love for the Lord in how he loved and served others. We are so pleased to be able to dedicate this room in his memory, and it is our hope and prayer that many people will find this room a sanctified place where they can pray, meditate, and enjoy the Lord's presence in a special way."
As part of the special worship service, Charles' son Don Wilson and son-in-law Dave Crum offered special music, and the First Christian choir sang a song in memory of Charles' first wife, Bonnie. Sharon Gustina and Debbie Maxwell, representing the church's prayer ministry, offered words in memory of Charles, Board Chairman Mike Lucas gave remarks, and the congregation then joined Pastor Eberhart in a prayer of dedication before his message entitled, "The Church at Prayer" and the celebration of the Lord's Supper.
A plaque was then erected on the wall in the prayer chapel, which reads in part, "Charles embodied what it means to be a devoted follower of Jesus. His witness touched the hearts of many generations and his memory will live on for years to come. Charles was a man of prayer.
He spent countless hours on his knees, both alone and with others, in fervent prayer to Almighty God. Many of those hours were spent in this very room. And so, it is fitting that the congregation of the First Christian Church of Barnesville dedicates this Prayer Chapel in loving memory of Charles, this 30th day of April, 2017." Following the service, a reception was held in the church's Great Room.
Organized in 1842, the First Christian Church of Barnesville, is part of the Restoration Movement of the early 19th century. As an independent, non-denominational, and self-governing congregation, the church is part of the brotherhood of independent Christian Churches and churches of Christ (Instrumental). Sunday school and Adult Bible Classes begin each Sunday at 9:15 a.m., followed by the morning worship service at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday night "Family Night at the Church" Bible study begins at 7 p.m. each Wednesday, and a "Sunday Night Praise" contemporary worship service is held on the first Sunday evening of each month at 6 p.m. All are welcome.
The church is located at 219 W. Church St. in Barnesville. For more information about the Charles E. Wilson Prayer Chapel or First Christian Church, feel free to contact the church office weekday mornings from 9 a.m.-noon (740-425-2480), or visit them online at www.fccbarnesville.org.