Presiding Elder Charles A. Hawkins


Presiding Elder Charles A. Hawkins was born on January 25, 1967, in Welch, WV, to Deacon Charles L. "Tom" Hawkins, Jr. and Presiding Elder Doretha Scales Hawkins. Charles was the youngest and only son of five children. He answered God's final trumpet call on April 24, 2022, in Lexington. Kentucky.


Charles was educated in the West Virginia Public School System and furthered his education at The Washington Business School for Professional Development. He later studied at the Lomax Bible Institute in Arlington, VA, and completed the course in 2003 with a degree in Biblical Studies. Charles continued his studies yearly through the Leadership Training Institute within the Mid Atlantic Episcopal District.


He always had a love for music and played tuba and bass drums in the high school band. He was gifted with natural musical talent and taught himself to play the keyboard and piano. Charles joined Clinton Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church in Jenkinjones, WV, at an early age and later became the Minister of Music.


After graduating in June of 1985, Elder Hawkins moved to Temple Hills, MD, and continued his musical interest by playing the keyboard for several local R&B bands and performing in several Gospel stage plays. He found employment with Swankin and Turner Law Firm in Washington, DC, until he became a full-time pastor. Elder Hawkins preached his initial sermon on the 3rd Sunday of September 1988 at Foggie A.M.E. Zion Church in Marlow Heights, MD.


On November 27, 1993, he married his soulmate, Mrs. Lydia Ford Hawkins.


Charles worked and served in many capacities of the church, starting in the junior choir, junior usher board, choir director, local preacher, Pastor, and Presiding Elder. At his passing, he was the Presiding Elder of the Bristol District within the East Tennessee and Virginia Conference and Mid-Atlantic Episcopal District and president of the Greater Kingsport Ministerial Alliance.


Elder Hawkins' Ministerial History is as follows:

Served as Pastor at the following churches; Bethel A.M.E. Zion Church - Kingsport, TN (current), Hood Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church - Bristol, VA, Jones Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church - Greenville, TN. As Presiding Elder of the Bristol District, he oversaw the following churches: Bethel A.M.E. Zion, Browns Chapel A.M.E. Zion, Harris Anderson A.M.E. Zion, Hood Memorial A.M.E. Zion, Jones Memorial A.M.E Zion, Robinson Memorial A.M.E. Zion, and Zion Hill A.M.E. Zion Church.


Elder Hawkins preached in many states and churches within various denominations during his ministry, understanding that there is only one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. He conducted several services, workshops, and revivals where lives were changed and souls were blessed. He was a loving and dedicated son, brother, husband, father, musician, preacher, Pastor, mentor, and friend. Many, including other pastors and members outside of his congregation, would say that Elder Hawkins was THEIR Pastor! He had an incredible love for people and ministry with a humble servant's heart and a considerate, approachable, and compassionate demeanor.


Charles was preceded in death by his parents; mother-in-law, Mrs. Ruth Ford; sisters, Bishop Camille (Kay) Williams and Charlene (Candy) Hairston; niece, Tia Hairston; and nephews, Delshone Ross and Kevin Hairston.


In addition to his wife, Presiding Elder Hawkins is survived by his children, Stephanie (Shawn) Banks of NC, Hayden Thompson of MD, Ursula Huff, Quindalyn Perry, Payton Thompson, and Scott Huff, all of TN; grandchildren who were "Pop Pop's sweet babies and big guys," Zay, Jalaunis, Duvale, and Kingzley all of NC, and Ariel, Julian, and Amaya all of TN; sisters, Lynda Walker (Welford, deceased) Johnson and Marilyn (Ronald) Kennedy all of MD; sisters-in-law, Linda (William, deceased) Alvarez, Lera (Fred, deceased) Williams, and Lisa Ford, all of NYC, and Ruth (Mack) Handy of VA; brothers-in-law, Keith Hairston Sr. and Yealdo Ford of NC, Francisco Ford of NYC, Raphael (Brenda) Ford of MD, and Fernando (Sarah) Ford of NYC; and special brother, Bishop Frederick (Aiesha) Brown of NC; along with a host of godchildren, nieces, nephews, other relatives, colleagues, and friends.


Presiding Elder Hawkins truly lived his motto of "I want to do the best I can, to do the best I can for the Master!"


Funeral services will be conducted Saturday, April 30, 2022, at 1 pm from Bethel A.M.E. Zion Church.The family will receive friends from 11 am until the hour of service. Interment will follow at Eastern Heights Cemetery Bristol, TN.

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