Charles Shelton Frasier
Charles Frasier is lovingly remembered as a husband to Jane, dad to Joel (fiancée Jamie), and Nathan (wife Lindsey), and grandpa to Trajan and Tareq. His new life in Jesus Christ and desire to serve the Kingdom of God guided him to the ministry of Covenant Point Bible Camp in 1985 in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. There he led a steady, loving, faithful life for 26 years as executive director. It was also there that his “family” was expanded to include hundreds of young people who served as staff members. To us, he was not only a boss, but a mentor, friend, and deep well of stability.
Chuck’s absence has been deeply felt by the many who loved him, as it came far too suddenly, and far too soon on November 18, 2010 while hunting on the camp’s “back 40” wilderness. His presence was uniquely important in our lives: at once intimidating and still deeply encouraging, caring and yet demanding, humble but confident, relationally magnetic and completely selfless, generous in spirit and frugal in all things material. I’ve heard staff members reflect that around Chuck, you always wanted to stand up a little bit straighter and work a lot harder. He had a way of calling out the very best in those around him, without asking for it. And, when we didn’t offer our best, Chuck had an uncanny ability to see that, too. The only thing more incredible was his ability to remain postured toward grace, never keeping a list of wrongs. Year after year, he trusted young and inexperienced staff members to be the hands and feet of Christ by using their gifts and creating a community centered on Jesus. It meant the world to be trusted and affirmed by Chuck – and he did it, over and over again.
As a leader, Chuck did not seek attention, nor was he ever above the most menial task. His deep love and belief in God’s work at Covenant Point was evidenced by the precise care with which he handled every detail of the ministry, every resource given, each conversation with a staff member, and every child entrusted to a week of camp. I will forever sweep small scraps of dropped food off the serving table and onto my own plate because I watched Chuck do the same – lest anything be wasted. Despite the tremendous workload, I’ll always remember that Chuck often chose to walk or ride his bike to and from work, rather than opt for convenience or speed. I can still hear the joy in Chuck’s voice when he would break from work to sit with Jane and friends from the community to cheer on his sons at a football or basketball game. And, I can still remember being delightfully appalled by the gobs of vanilla frosting he enjoyed on his angel food cake, or his quick smirk as he swiped the largest chunk of carmelized brown sugar from the coffee cake – just before someone else did.
We knew what mattered to Chuck by the simplicity with which he lived, the way he talked tenderly to Jane – always calling her “dear” – the pictures of former staff members and their babies adorning his office wall, the early hour at which he began his work days, and the way his eyes would well up with tears anytime he would speak of his prayers for the camp and staff. Chuck led us with integrity, quiet passion, and care that were unmistakably contagious. He was a true “mission friend.” Because Chuck opened his life and gifts to the community that is Covenant Point, innumerable lives have been formed more into the image of his Savior, Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God!