Putting the Breaks on my Motor City Trip

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  • Well, I am still in Los Angeles. This morning, I tried again to get to Detroit. And, again, the flights were delayed out of LAX. I was able to get a flight to Chicago. But they would not book me on any flight from Chicago to Detroit. Things were backed up at O’Hare too, so I would have had to get to Chicago and then see what happened from there. It would have been a big gamble for me to try to get to Chicago and then try to get a flight into Detroit in time enough to preach. Most likely, I would have been stuck in O’Hare, trying to get to Detroit. I just couldn’t do it. And I felt that I shouldn’t do it. So I called Pastor Caldwell and told him that I was not going to make this meeting. Of course, he was disappointed. But he was also gracious and understanding. I deeply appreciate that.

    I have preached for the Burnette Baptist Church since 1990 – when I was just 17-years-old. Every year (except just one, I think), Dr. J. Allen Caldwell invited me to preach Burnette’s Holy Week Revival. And that congregation is like family to me. I have a “adopted mother” in Burnette. And have developed many friends from my fellowship with this great congregation. And it was very gracious of Pastor Nathaniel Caldwell to invite me to come again. I was his father’s evangelist. And when Pastor Nathaniel took the reigns, he was under absolutely no obligation to invite me to come again. He had the right to invite any one he chose. So I was grateful for the invitation. And, to a great degree, still feel a strong sense of obligation to go whenever they ask me to come – because of the great kindness Dr. J. Allen Caldwell consistently showed me down through the years.

    I regret that I was not able to make it. And I pray that the Lord’s blessings would continue to be with Pastor Caldwell and the Burnette Church family. And I trust that the Lord will bless us to worship and fellowship together again some time down the road.



    H.B. Charles Jr.

    Pastor-Teacher at the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church of Jacksonville and Orange Park, Florida.