|Charlotte was born in Little Rock, Arkansas on August 15, 1937. She was born in a Roman Catholic Hospital on a Sunday and August 15 is the Day of the Blessed Virgin. The nuns in the hospital told Charlotte's mother that she was a blessed child. Charlotte often told that story and expressed her own sense of being blessed. She was raised in Jackson, Mississippi from the age of six weeks to her marriage.
Charlotte married Wilson Brent on September 3, 1955. The next year in September they were blessed with the birth of their only living child, Rebecca. Charlotte put her higher education on hold after four quarters of college in order to give her full attention to raising Rebecca, being a supportive spouse to Wilson, and participating fully in the life of churches that Wilson served as pastor.
She was an accomplished musician who played the piano and sang as well as conducted choirs over the years. She taught, led small groups, directed drama, decorated sanctuaries and fellowship halls, led youth groups and entertained strangers with her warm hospitality. Whatever needed to be done, she did, even if it meant learning something entirely new.
Charlotte started her career of working outside the home in 1978 when she began a job as director of personal services for Robincroft, a home for retired deaconesses and missionaries in Pasadena, California, operated by the Board of Global Ministries. Then she served as administrative assistant to the District Superintendent of the Jackson District and as receptionist for the Mississippi Conference.
It was during this period that Charlotte became a student in an "Adult Degree Program" at Millsaps College, designed for persons returning to college. She completed her bachelor's degree at Centenary College in 1985.
In 1986 Charlotte started work at St. Luke's UMC in Shreveport where she continued her work in Christian Education for seven and one half years. During that time she enrolled in a special program at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois where she earned a Masters in Christian Education in Ministry in 1992. She was consecrated a Diaconal Minister by the Louisiana Conference that year.
In 1993 she felt called by God to become an elder in the church and subsequently enrolled at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. She received her Master of Divinity degree in 1995. She was appointed to Wesley in DeRidder and Merryville where she served very effectively for three years. In 1998 she was appointed to First, Welsh and Hayes where she was serving at the time of her death on November 5, 2000 in Lake Charles.
While her time to serve as pastor was short, it was intense. Charlotte had excelled academically and she brought her learning skills to bear on the local church pastorate where she did an excellent job of preaching and had an unusual ability to relate to persons and inspire them to service in God's kingdom. One of her parishioners said that she was a leader who did not tell you what to do but inspired you to seek your own place of ministry.
She is greatly appreciated and loved and missed by her husband, Wilson, her daughter, Rebecca, her son-in-law, Rich, her mother, Claudia Treadway, her two sisters, Marcia Gainey and husband, Larry, Virginia Campbell and her husband, Greg, nieces and nephews, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and a host of colleagues and friends who experienced her love of them and of life and especially of her Lord.
Just as she began her life on this earth on a Sunday, she began her eternal life on a Sunday. This blessed child blessed us with her presence and her powerful spirit that continues to live on.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, p. 248 By Wilson Brent|