Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Former COG General Overseer Passes Away

Former Church of God General Overseer Dr. Charles Conn, 88, died Tuesday in a Chattanooga hospital.

He served the denomination in several capacities, including pastor, editor in chief of the Church of God Publications, member of the Executive Council and president of Lee College.

A native of Atlanta, Ga., he has lived in Cleveland since 1948. He served the Church of God as general overseer from 1966 to 1970.
For 12 years, Conn served as president of Lee College, now Lee University, from 1970 to 1982. He has been serving as president emeritus of Lee University.

In 1955, Conn published his acclaimed history of the Church of God movement, “Like A Mighty Army.” The book was the first printed by the Church of God’s publishing arm, which emerged as Pathway Press.

He has edited and written 23 books.

Under Conn’s leadership at Lee College, Carroll Courts, a married student apartment complex was constructed and a new auditorium, which later was named the Charles W. Conn Center by the board of directors.

“Dr. Charles W. Conn served as a statesman for the Church of God for many decades. Currently president emeritus at Lee University, he also served as general overseer, president of Lee University, church historian, and in many other leadership positions. Dr. Conn strategically impacted the church and the Pentecostal world. His influence and legacy will endure for generations to come,” noted G. Dennis McGuire, general overseer, this morning.

Raymond F. Culpepper, assistant general overseer, said, “Dr. Charles W. Conn not only touched the minds of hundreds of thousands of people through his writing and historical research, he brought profound influence to me personally. Charles W. Conn has exemplified holiness, dignity, respect and love for his family and church.”

“Dr. Charles W. Conn was a minister of the gospel whose faith was founded in the Word of God and translated into a life of committed discipleship which is reflected in the legacy he leaves to the Church of God,” said Dr. Paul L Walker, secretary general for the Church of God.

“Few times in life do we realize that a giant has come our way. Such a person was Dr. Charles W. Conn. A talented writer and author of Like a Mighty Army, the story of the development of the Church of God, his leadership – including service as general overseer of the denomination and president of Lee University – established significant milestones in the church’s ministry and worldwide growth,” noted Beecher Hunter. “Not only did he write about the history of the church, but he helped make it. While editor of The Cleveland Daily Banner during some of those important years, it was my privilege to help chronicle his decisions and achievements. Despite the important roles that he played, Dr. Conn remained humble, filled with a vibrant faith in his Lord and passionate about the work of the church. I have lost a dear friend.”

Conn was married to Edna Minor Conn. They had 12 children.

Complete survivors and funeral arrangements will be coming from Ralph Buckner Funeral Homes.Church of God officials, members, and friends are mourning the passing of Dr Charles W Conn, who was promoted to glory last night!

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