Health & Spirit

Light Notes: Film and television actor recalls road to his destiny

Lucy Luginbill, Tri-City Herald on

Published in Religious News

In his free time away from the job, the musical talent performed with a big band, jazz groups and Ringling Brothers Winter Quarter Shows.

But then life took an unfortunate twist. Charles' marriage failed in spite of him eventually leaving the business in an effort to salvage their vows. Nevertheless, it was a downward spiral and the discouraged man left the wreckage behind regretfully.

Still, unknown to Charles, hope and open doors were straight ahead.

"I came out to California in 1973 and that's when I had my 'Damascus Road' experience," Charles recalled with emotion, an experience he said changed him.

Standing side by side with a musician friend in an old converted movie theater one Sunday, Charles listened to the Pentecostal minister.

"It was bizarre to me, but the folks were very basic," Charles said, recalling the moment of decision as if it were yesterday. "I don't remember the service, but the minister said, 'Let it go from your head to your heart.' It was a spiritual experience."

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Little did Charles' realize how a life hand-in-hand with God would ultimately bring him to his true purpose.

After later meeting and marrying a lovely young widow with two small children, Susan encouraged her new husband to follow his dreams. Believing together that God had a plan, the little family moved with a "mustard-seed" of faith to the heart of Nashville, Tenn.

"We were blessed and made contacts right away," said Charles about writing for the Oakridge Boys' publishing company. "I was doing voice work and session music and I wrote the song 'Jesus Knew,' sang it and played the piano. Gary Paxton took the demo to Bill Gaither's studio in Indianapolis and they added strings and recorded it. I had no interest in being a recording artist."

Still there were more blessings to come.


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