Pastor Chuck Lawrence
Pastor Chuck, born in Grand Rapids and raised in Southern California, moved to Huntington, West Virginia. He knew that God brought him here to minister with Christ Temple Church and there he met his wife, Jamie, at the same altar where they were married three years later in November of 1980. Jamie had just moved back to the USA from Taegu, Korea. They have two children, now both married and five grandchildren (2 in heaven and 3 on earth). Chuck became music minister at Christ Temple in 1982. He and his other 7 family members traveled from coast-to-coast and ministered in their early years.
He wrote the song, made popular by Barbara Mandrell, called, “He Grew the Tree,” as well as many other nationally known songs.
In 1996, he became Senior Pastor at Christ Temple following the death of the founding pastor, Roland Gardner. Since then, the church has steadily grown under his leadership. His positive, faith-filled attitude is contagious. Knowing that nothing is impossible with God, the church embarked upon the construction of a new building in 1999. After miraculously securing property and then area banks turning the church down for a loan, they were able to build the $6.8 million project debt-free. Since then, many other buildings have been completed debt-free as well. Because of that God-granted advantage, the church was then able to build a clinic in the Gwembe Valley of Zambia. Within two years, a church was established in the waiting room at the clinic: replicating the structure, vision, and spirit of accomplishing the impossible that inhabits our church here. This first Christ Temple Church of Zambia began multiplying quickly. There are now 550 Christ Temple churches in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Africa, and Rwanda.
Closer to home, Christ Temple Church continues to be a beacon of hope in the tremendously challenged community of Huntington, West Virginia. Currently, we are the overdose capital of the United States. However, strong families have been (and continue to be) forged, new paradigms are displacing old defeated mindsets, and businesses are consistently being birthed because of the entrepreneurial spirit that resides in Pastor Chuck’s chest. Now, through his ever-increasing vision, along with collaborative efforts with local government and public agencies, from helping the vulnerable with food, birthing dozens of addiction programs, creating an environment to foster/ adopt countless children, providing all levels of support for children to stay in their homes, disaster relief and other spiritual and physical needs continue to come to fruition. There is a driving desire in Chuck, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to bring “God” answers to the desperate challenges facing our community and abroad. A more recent example is the largest square-foot building in Huntington has been secured by Christ Temple Church and its subsidiary, Cornerstone Community Development, to allow seniors to age gracefully through a multi-million-dollar undertaking. This undertaking has been one of our largest leaps of faith ever.
At the same time – because of consistent prayer – revival continues vibrantly in the church. There is a definite move of God witnessed through salvations, baptisms, healings, and the miracles frequenting the congregation weekly. The music ministry here continues to grow in its influence through the choir and band with extraordinary, true authentic worship to God. What Chuck helped plant decades ago is reaching its full potential to reach the harvest. Huntington is better for the Classical Christian Education, Covenant School, with a K-12 school located on the campus of CTC. We also have the most loving daycare and preschool, Discovery Tree Montessori, noted to be the outstanding option for preschoolers for our entire region.
Through Pastor Chuck’s vision and follow-through, and of course the exceptional group that surrounds him, we can’t help but have phenomenal ministry outlook, fully anticipating that so much more is ahead of us.