Dr. Charles Hendrix Christopher, (known to many as C.H.), age 76, met Jesus face to face Saturday morning. Although his family is heartbroken, they find peace in knowing they will see him again in heaven.
C.H. was always a hard worker whether he was studying to prepare for sermons, visiting people, serving others, working in the garden or anything else he set out to do. He tended to his farm animals, visited with his neighbors, preacher friends, and a host of people in the community and in churches where he has pastored throughout his five plus decades of ministry. His greatest passion was to point people to Jesus.
C.H., though born in Anderson County, spent his early years in Petros, TN, where he later returned for a short while with his wife and children to serve as pastor of the First Baptist Church there. He served in several churches across Tennessee as well as pastored at Mt Freedom Baptist Church in Harrisburg, Kentucky while attending Southern Seminary to earn his Masters of Divinity Degree.
In 1967, while his father was preaching a revival at a church near Crossville, TN, C.H. met his wife, Classie (Davis). They were married the next year and immediately set out to prepare for his call to ministry. C.H. graduated from Harrison Chilhowie Baptist Academy, Carson-Newman College, Southern Seminary, and eventually earned his Doctorate of Ministry from Luther Rice Seminary. Four schools and four children later, C.H. served as a full time pastor for several churches. In 1988, he became the psychiatric chaplain of South East Regional Correctional Facility in Pikeville, where he enjoyed serving both the staff and inmates. While still serving as chaplain, he continued to pastor. C.H. and Classie started a church plant in the mountains of the Cumberland Plateau, where he served as pastor for 18 years until retirement earlier this year.
Having just retired, C.H. had many plans; but he always knew another day was never promised. So, he made each moment count with conversation with people he crossed paths with each day, a big appetite for meals cooked straight out of his garden, and lots of jokes and laughter. He loved fishing, hunting, hiking in the woods for ginseng, playing a competitive game of Rook, and spending time with his family and friends. Most of all, he loved Classie, his wife of 53 years. He is also survived by his children Carla (Eric) Harper; C.H., Jr. (Deborah) Christopher; Cal (Kristi) Christopher; Grandchildren: Chandler, Cole, Noah, Elijah, Laura, Benjamin, Morgan, Cassidy, Chase, Chance, Nicklaus (Gabby); Great-grandchild Adala; Brother Tim (Rebecca) Christopher; Sister Vivian Garrett; Sisters-in-law Carlene Christopher, Gladys Davis and Helen Davis; several nieces and nephews, and a host of other family and friends. He was preceded in death by his son, Carl Christopher; his parents Charles and Retha Christopher; his brother Joe Christopher, and his brothers-in-law Ronnie Garrett and Dallas Davis.
The family will receive friends Tuesday, July 6 at Allen’s Funeral Home in Morristown from 5-8 p.m. with a brief service to follow. Burial will be Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Fairview Baptist Church in Mohawk, TN. Charles Fritts, a friend since seminary, will officiate the service Tuesday. C.H.’s grandson, Elijah Cody, will officiate the graveside service Wednesday. Pallbearers will be: Cole Christopher, Noah Cody, Ben Harper, Chase Christopher, Nicklaus Payne and Seth Davis.
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