Dr. Charles Kinder, President Emeritus of The Foundation for Evangelism, passed away on July 14, 2022. Dr. Kinder served as a minister in the Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. He accepted the appointment of President of The Foundation for Evangelism in Nashville, Tenn., from 1979-1989. Following how work with the Foundation, he returned to ministry in the Florida Annual Conference until retirement. Even then, he continued to be an advocate for the Foundation’s work, and ministered through leading Sunday School classes, publishing articles, and having conversations with those he met. He also came out of retirement to serve the congregation at Morton Memorial UMC in Monteagle, Tenn. for several years.
Dr. Kinder’s wife and ministry partner, Phyllis, supported his work throughout his ministry. Even after Dr. Kinder was hospitalized, Phyllis was completing edits on their final article together – he dictating and she transcribing. Dr. Kinder, along with Robert “Bob” Miller (Foundation for Evangelism Lifetime Trustee) spearheaded a partnership with Texas artist, Kenneth Wyatt, to develop the Offer Them Christ campaign. This campaign created awareness about the Foundation’s work and helped secure funding to launch and endow the E. Stanley Jones Professors of Evangelism. His visionary leadership ensured that all pastors ordained in The United Methodist Church would have an understanding of and training for a Wesleyan way of evangelism.
As a Methodist minister, Dr. Kinder loved the Church and its people. He shared inspiring writings and articles with the Foundation, even after his retirement, that communicated that love and commitment. He prayed for renewal within the church and celebrated its Wesleyan heritage. One recent article described a dream he had of being at the United Methodist General Conference where John Wesley delivered the message. In the dream, Wesley reminded those present of the importance of making disciples for Jesus Christ by “lift[ing] up Christ in His saving power. The Holy Spirit will do the rest.” He awoke from the dream inspired saying, “I awakened and thanked God that I am a part of ‘the people who call themselves Methodist.’ I pray that we who are spiritual descendants of John Wesley will have warm hearts, divine guidance, wisdom, resources and the determination to keep this movement of the Spirit alive as we OFFER THEM CHRIST.” Sharing Jesus Christ was at the heart of everything that Dr. Kinder did.
Dr. Kinder’s funeral arrangements are being handled by Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home, and a public celebration of life will be held on July 19, at 1:00 pm at Westminster Woods – Julington Creek with a reception following.
The family requests that gifts in memory of Dr. Kinder be made to the following: