Remember my Dad on Father’s Day

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  • My Father passed away Father’s Day weekend, 1989 – twenty-one years ago. I was 16-years-old.

    I remember that day like it was just yesterday. I was young. But I think I understood what was going on. I prayed that I would be able to at least say goodbye to my day. That did not happen. But I was not angry with God at all. I did not know what was going to happen next in my life without my father. But I was not really worried.

    I was numb with grief.

    But I was also grateful. Very grateful.

    I was immeasurably blessed to have H.B. Charles to be my father. He was not a perfect man – by no means. He made a lot of decisions that did not understand. Still don’t. But he was a good man. I am still reaping the harvest of the seeds he planted in my life. And I am still benefiting from the things he taught me over two decades ago.

    It’s been a long time since that memorable last conversation with my dad. But I can still hear his voice. I can still see his smile. I smile as I remember his style, mannerisms, and idiosyncrasies. He was truly one of a kind. And I miss him.

    My theology of heaven doesn’t allow me to think that he is looking down on me. I think heaven is too wonderful and Jesus Christ too glorious for him to be paying me any attention. But I hope I have become (and am becoming) the man and preaching he was praying, nurturing, and encouraging me to become.

    I love my dad. I miss him greatly. And I thank God for him on this Father’s Day.


    H.B. Charles Jr.

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