Dr. Charles Kirby

Blog # 63  JUNE 16, 2018


Reviewing the blessings of a wonderful father makes me realize how rich I have been all my life. The benefits have been more than I can count. I am so grateful to my Lord for giving to me such a priceless gift.

Lee Olin Kirby was raised on a farm in the Bear Creek community near Pinson, Tn. He was blessed with godly parents who taught him Godly principles that were passed down to Diane, my sister, and me. My dad had a heart for God that influenced everything he did. This made a great impact on my life. He had a kind and tender spirit that guided his life. I never once saw him mad or lose his temper when I may have thought he had a reason. This really became a great example for me.

My dad loved to sing. He was an excellent bass singer, and sang in the Compton Quartet’s weekly Sunday morning broadcast  on WTJS radio out of Jackson. As a young man he was in great demand singing and playing his guitar in concerts around the area. His friend, Eddy Arnold, begged him to teach him how to play the guitar, and the rest is history. Without a doubt in my mind, Dad could have been a Grand Ole Opry star like Eddy, because he had the talent and personality. He could make the guitar talk with his picking, and had no time for those that drummed the instrument. I have often thought what my life would be like if dad had chosen the Grand Ole Opry route.

At this special time of the year to honor fathers, I challenge every dad to be a man and father after the heart of our heavenly Father.

It is an honor to be a father!

Charles Kirby


Blog # 62  JUNE 9, 2018



Thursday, June 7, was a day I had to fight temptation as a powerful foe. I had placed myself in that position many other times through the years. Every other time I had given in and yielded. However, on this day I had told Bess I was not going to yield, but resist the strong urge to give in. It all happened once again in Ashville, North Carolina.

It was a magnificent day when Bess and I had decided to drive the one- hour trip through the beautiful peaks and valleys of the Smokeys. We planned to head to one of our favorite restaurants (Harbor Inn, Ashville) in the mountains to enjoy the best catfish found anywhere at an amazing price, along with the best sweet tea in America, that is, next to Bess’s. After we finished eating, we drove over to the Ashville Outlet Mall close by, where I was attacked with another powerful force of temptation just like all the others that had happened to me through the years. As a matter of fact, it started when I walked through the door of Dilliards Department Store.

Through the 15 or more years I have gone to this Dilliards, which stocks inventories from Dilliard's stores across the southeast, I have found the most incredible deals in shoes and clothing I have found anywhere. Once again I started reading the signs from the huge stock of men’s clothing. They read, 65% off of the original price, along with another 40% off. Just like before, I saw expensive shirts marked down to $4.95 and expensive pants priced at an amazing price of $10.00. The urge and the attack were very strong once again, but I did not yield to the temptation! On our journey back to our cabin I was rejoicing because this time I had defeated the powerful force of temptation.

Let me set the record strait, buying expensive shirts, pants, suits and sport coats at an unbelievable price is not a sin. However, yielding to a temptation of Satan to disobey God’s Holy Word absolutely is. The Bible says, “Yield not to temptation.” Just think what would happen in our world today if everyone attacked with the powerful force of temptations from Satan would refuse to yield. It really would be world-changing!

Determined to resist temptations!

Charles Kirby

Blog # 61 JUNE 2, 2018


Last Sunday Bess and I went to First Baptist Church in Morristown, one of our favorite churches here in the mountains. Sometimes when we are there, we see Gerald Wolf of Greater Vision and his family. It really was an exciting and victorious worship on a Memorial Day Sunday. The beautiful worship center was filled with a great crowd giving praise to our Lord, inspired by a full choir and orchestra, leading with wonderful blended music. It lifted me “out of my seat,” as I thought, this is real worship! Pastor Haun followed with a powerful message from his series in Revelation 19 on the Four Hallelujahs. As Bess and I were leaving, with our souls fed on the Word of God, we both said, “This really is the way church should be!”

The Sunday before on May 20, Bess and I worshipped for the first time at Restoration Fellowship Church in Lakeland. It was a thrill to see so many of our friends and to sit under the ministry of our favorite worship leader, Darrel Gash, once again. No music leader can do it like Darrel. He prepared the congregation for me to open God’s Word just like he always did when we were together at Lake Gibson. It was easy to preach with such a beautiful, sweet and unified spirit to people that love Bess and me. The climax to the service was thrilling with several people responding to the invitation.

Bess and I were amazed with the beautiful Kathleen High School auditorium. It really makes a beautiful worship center with 500 theater seats. Andrew Gash is a teacher at this school. Because of his respect from the principal, administration and county school board, Andrew was able to secure the auditorim for the very first worship service on May 6, and to use it as a church worship center in a last minute decision. Approval for this to happen usually takes several weeks, following application and county procedures. It is obvious it all happened through the providence of God!

On Mother’s Day Bess and I enjoyed a revival service at Newport Nazarene Church. Our friend, J.D. Bailey, was the evangelist, with a song evangelist couple from North Carolina we had never heard. It was an outstanding service with wonderful worship!

This Sunday, June 3rd, Bess and I plan to worship at First Baptist Church in Sevierville. Pastor Dan Spencer, worship leader Scott, along with the choir, do a great job in ministry. We just might see some of the Triumphant Quartet gang like we have done from time to time. That is always fun!

Church really is fun!

Charles Kirby

Blog # 60 May 26, 2018


When Bess and I arrived at our Tennessee mountain home we were shocked to discover they had taken the cross down. This cross had been there for a long time, and had greeted thousands of travelers as they traveled toward Gatlinburg, with the words “Risen Savior.” It was no easy task to remove the cross. It was made of concrete and rested on a concrete base, the last remains of the cross. We passed back by later and watched them bulldoze the base and move it away. It was a sad sight for Bess and me.

In blog 22 Bess wrote about three crosses, that included this cross, that led to our cabins. Just like she wrote in her blog, the way of the cross really does lead home! The song writer was inspired to write these words.

“I must needs go home by the way of the cross; there’s no other way but this. I shall never get sight
of the gates of light if the way of the cross I miss.”

Ladies and gentlemen, it is a fact. The only way for all of us to get to heaven is by way of the cross. I am positive the day will come when the people responsible for removing the cross on U.S. Highway 321 in Cosby, Tennessee, will one day run to the cross of Jesus, if they haven’t already, and plead for the mercy of almighty God. I really do hope they will not be to late to make it to heaven.

On Sunday morning May 20, Bess and I had an incredible experience. I was invited to preach at the new Restoration Fellowship Church of Lakeland. I was amazed with the outstanding crowd, on the third Sunday of the existence of this brand new church, in a beautiful 500 seat high school auditorium. There were 1,100 views of the video on Facebook in the week following the service.  I will write more about it in my blog next week.

God is still on the throne!

Charles Kirby


Blog # 59 May 19, 2018



I just had a great work out in my fitness center here in the mountains. On a clear crisp morning I have been reviewing my work facing the incredible majestic mountains. Mowing grass on three sloping hills is not an easy task, but it sure makes a difference. I must say my inspection tells me I did a good job. Everything is beautiful, but it will not last long. The process will have to be repeated soon because this red clay mountain soil is a fast producer. It really is helping me to be physically fit, so I am not complaining.

The second division in my fitness center is the challenge to be spiritually fit. Since I do not have to prepare sermons every week after retiring, it is easy to let spiritual cobwebs entangle my life. The schedule and demands of the pastoral life are behind me. My mind is now clear to focus more on being spiritually fit. Prayer is my avenue to a deeper spiritual life. I am trying to discipline myself to communicate more with my Lord in my surroundings here in these mountains...walking down the lane, cutting limbs (not climbing trees),  mowing grass, pulling weeds and sitting on the deck enjoying the fabulous view. “Pray without ceasing” is a practice from God’s Word I am using now more than ever. I know it is the key to keeping spiritually fit.

What about your fitness center? I challenge you to make sure you are spiritually fit in these last days.  Remember our Lord’s command to “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all other things will be added.” I still believe I will be alive when my Lord returns for His Church! It remains a fact, the best is yet to come!


Charles Kirby

Blog # 58 May 12, 2018



I am looking out the window of motherhood as we honor all mothers at this time of year. My mind has stored up within it the sweetest memories of a Christian mother; Her kiss soothed away more pain than all the soothing syrup she ever administered; Her smile had the sparkle of a thousand dew drops; her face the radiance of hundreds of orchestras; her apron string was a golden cord flung out from the throne of God to anchor my sister, Diane and me to lives of truth and virtue.

As I am looking out the window of motherhood I see a sanctuary of memories. My mother believed in me and prayed that God would heal me of a stuttering stammering tongue. She told me that God would heal me at His appointed time. At 18 God answered her prayer.

Looking out the window of motherhood I see a repository of conscience. It is very true, mothers are the conscience of the world for good or for evil. To be a real mother is to achieve the highest degree. More worthwhile is the love-lighted home than the fickle of floodlights with the vanity and empty praise of the world.

My mother’s lap was a throne of power. I am reminded of a statue in Venice of a young mother with her child on her knee and the inscription, “A woman is a queen when her realm is her lap.” We have heard it said, “The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world; the hand that wrecks the cradle, rocks the world.” As I am remembering my mother, her knee was my first sanctuary where my soul was set in the mold of a blessed destiny. Her godly influence lives on in my daily life.  What a heritage I have as I review the anchor of Christian motherhood!

In Ponca City, Oklahoma is the artist’s conception of the Pioneer Woman of the West. A Bible is firmly held to her breast with her right hand, and with her left hand she holds the hand of a boy, while she gazes steadfastly into the future, a symbol of the motherhood that makes men, safeguards the home, builds the Church and makes secure Christian civilization.

I wish for every mother God’s very best. Just remember this, you are very special!

Charles Kirby

BLOG 57 .  MAY 5, 2018


It really is great to be at our wonderful Smoky Mountain cabins! Twelve years ago our Lord gave us a great blessing by making it possible for us to purchase our two cabins in a fabulous location up Majestic View Way. What an incredible private setting with majestic mountain views surrounded by a quiet peaceful atmosphere that is almost impossible to beat.

One of the first things we did after our arrival was to help our ministerial friend, Gene King, celebrate his 80th birthday at the Chop House. We studied  together at the same college and pastored together in Virginia. He and his wife, Peggy, live close by in the ancient town of Dandridge. We often meet them for the best catfish in the area at the Taste of Dandridge restaurant.

As we look at our cabin rental books we are so blessed. We are ahead of last year at this same time in bookings. However, we do have some choice dates open. Now is the time to lock in dates. It is always great to have friends to book the Snuggled-in cabin next door to our Stargazer cabin. We really enjoy good times of fellowship together in the mountains.

It was a delight to preach this past Sunday at the Nazarene Church in Newport, 10 miles from our cabins. It is a church on the rebound from a major decline. The pastor and wife are about 40 and working to resurrect the church. The pastor wants to meet with me to talk about the future. I am praying about where I might be involved to help the church experience a new day. They have a nice building that is well kept with an impressive worship center. Please help me in praying about my involvement with the church.

Enjoying the blessings of my Lord!

Charles Kirby

Blog # 56 APRIL 28, 2018


I ended my last blog telling about the tobacco  chewing new pastor of Pleasant Springs Methodist Church. When my mother came to see what was happening with her own eyes, that began the search for a new church by my parents. Someone told them about the Nazarene Church in Jackson with the same doctrine as the Methodist church. I was seven when we became Nazarenes.

After my dad sold the old Kirby farm place on Bear Creek to the Cherry family in Henderson, my parents had a short-term rental in the small town of Pinson. It was just across a little lane from the Pinson Elementary School where I went to the first grade.

The school didn’t have public rest rooms, only a path to outhouses. I refused to use them because older boys would stick the heads of smaller boys down the holes in the outhouse. I would go home with my pants loaded. Of course this made my mother very unhappy.

My folks bought a wonderful place with 10 beautiful acres with a producing orchard, barn and pasture in Malesus, about 10 miles from Jackson. It was one of my favorite places. I went to the 3rd through 5th grades here. This is where I began to preach in the barn to the horses and cows in make-believe church services with my cousin, Nona Faye, playing a make-believe piano. I was heart sick what has happened to that property after 71 years. The house looks terrible. The barn and orchard are gone, along with the garage and a huge oak tree under which I played. Nona Faye, my cousin, said she cried when she went by and saw it. The area is totally run down.

We drove by the brick house my dad built on a large lot at the edge of Malesus on Highway 18. I was shocked to see that it looked much smaller now than it did when we lived there in the 1940s. While we lived there my dad built a business center with four buildings in Jackson. That center included a laundry with twenty-five washing machines with dryers, the first in Jackson. It was the vision and dream of my mother. Only two of those buildings remain today, and the area is in great decline.

I was shocked to see what our home on Wisteria Drive, at the edge of Jackson, looked like. We lived there when I was in Jackson High School and first two years of college. It was the best looking home on the street when we lived there. Dad always had a wonderful big garden in the back. It was hard for me to locate the street and recognize the house with so much growth and decline of the area. I tried to control my emotions as we turned around in the driveway and drove away. I have so many wonderful memories of that place.

Winding up our tour of my roots, we went by the location of the Nazarene Church in Jackson. My dad laid all the blocks in a beautiful building that is no more. Road, street widening and expansion took the building a few years ago. We drove through the downtown area that has totally changed, on our way to the north side of Jackson to Highland Memorial Gardens, where my parents are buried. We had a time of prayer with some friends, standing around the graves of my parents, rejoicing over the upcoming rapture of the Church, when those graves will burst open and give up my parents to join the heavenly bound throng of God’s family.

Our day and tour came to a climax at Catfish Cabin at 4:00 p.m. as we joined several of my cousins and friends for a wonderful southern meal and great fellowship. It really was a happy time of reunion!

Time really has made a change!

Charles Kirby

Blog # 55 APRIL 21, 2018



Last week was a very exciting and memorable time for me. I went back to my roots.

  • Back to the old home place on Bear Creek where I discovered America


    in our old farm house. Even though the house is gone and the area has totally changed with the heels of progress all around, the waters of Bear Creek are still flowing as they did when I was a boy playing in the clean, clear water and crossing the bridge in our old Model A Ford. Back then the road leading to our place was red clay where we would get stuck after a big rain.

  • I was very disappointed to find the old spring where I drank the cool clear water flowing from the hillside above as a boy was gone. It was an amazing spring that had been flowing for many years. My dad said he started drinking from that spring when he was a little boy. My heart


    sank when I saw it had been filled in. However, I was thrilled and excited to find the old artesian well near by that dates back to my great, great grandparents, was still flowing with four fountains. I first drank from those fountains over 75 years ago.


  • I went back to the two Methodist churches of my childhood, Pleasant Springs and Bear Creek. Precious memories flooded my soul as I remembered my two saintly grandmothers shouting in the center aisle during the August big meeting time as people came forward to kneel at the big c-shaped altar seeking the Lord God.

  • I strolled through the two cemeteries where my grandparents are buried.  I was thrilled to discover that both cemeteries are being well cared for, and really looked great. My dad would always make sure all four graves of my grandparents were free from weeds and growth.

We tried to cross Bear Creek to the north of the Kirby home place to the home place of my mother.  It was sad to discover that the road crossing Bear Creek was closed because the bridge was out and became a dead end. The house of my childhood set on a hill overlooking Bear Creek. It really was a beautiful setting for a productive farming family. As a kid I loved the place and had fun playing in the barn with the horses and cows. I thought of the Sunday the new young pastor of Pleasant Springs came to our house for Sunday dinner. While he and my dad and I were waiting on the front porch for mother to finish preparing the meal, I got madder than a hornet when that “preacher” took a plug of tobacco out of his pocket and began to chew, spitting in our yard. I ran into the house and told my mother what was happening. I will tell you all about it in the next blog.

It really is fun to chase your roots!

Charles Kirby

Blog # 54 APRIL 14, 2018


I have never seen a black preacher preaching with their shirt tail hanging out. It is ingrained in them to honor the Lord’s Day and His Church by dressing in their Sunday best. The pulpit area is treated as holy ground to them, and they refuse to desecrate it with their clothing.

You will never see an attorney going to a trial, standing before a judge and grand jury, in blue jeans. Every one of them will always be dressed in a coat and tie that honors the dignity of the United States court system. Furthermore, local, state and national judges always wear a robe.

The ministry is the highest profession in the land, when, hopefully, a God- called minister of the Gospel proclaims the Word of God. It is my firm conviction that the sacred presentation of God’s Word from the pulpit area of a church should be presented with holy reverence and respect with the proper attire. If a court of law with attorneys and judges wears clothing that magnifies their office, how much more should preachers become good representatives of their calling and position. It is very difficult for me to hear what a preacher is saying when he is dressed in blue jeans with his shirt tail hanging out. I think they show a lack of wisdom and respect for the Gospel and their ministry. I know one young preacher in his 30s that made this statement to the church board that was interviewing him, “I will always wear a coat and tie here because I want all the people to know who the pastor is.” I say a big “Amen” to that preacher. Wouldn’t it be great if other preachers would show the same wisdom and respect for their calling and ministry as this young pastor?

Respecting the God-called ministry and the Gospel,

Charles Kirby

Blog # 53 APRIL 7, 2018


About 22 years ago Bess and I took a tour of the great American west. With the exception of the tour of the Holy Land, including Rome and Athens, it has been the most outstanding and enjoyable tour we have ever taken. I am thrilled to announce we are in the beginning stages of planning


another tour of the historical great American West for August 2019. We have two tour groups, Educational Opportunities and Templeton Tours, working for us on this tour. We can promise it will be first class with deluxe motor coaches, first class hotels and top tour guides. The tour will begin with a tour of Salt Lake City, which is tremendous! After spending the night, we will continue on to the Grand Tetons, spending the night in Jackson Hole,


Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park, with two nights at the famous quaint Old Faithful Inn, on to Buffalo Bill country at Cody, Wyoming, Fort Laramie, the Oregon Trail, Mount Rushmore, Wild Bill Hickok country, Custer’s Last stand, the Black Hills and much more. I am getting excited just writing about it because I remember how great it was on our first tour!


We already have a good group expressing their interest in this tour. We sure would like to have you join us for an unforgettable experience! We want to keep the number joining us around 25 or 30. We are trying to keep the cost at an affordable price to make it more enjoyable for all of us. We have already been quoted a possible cost under $3,000 per person for 10 nights, and that is our goal, which would be tremendous for this amazing tour! Bess and I will do everything we can to make the tour one you will never forget. There is one thing we know for sure, you will be inspired by the great American heritage that laid the foundation for our great nation! Please let us know if you do have an interest in joining us us for this tour of the Great American West. You can get your name on our list by calling us at 1 800 519-3342 or sending an email at www.ckirby3@tampabay.rr.com  Please know there will be no obligation for your expression of interest.

We can’t wait!

Charles and Bess Kirby

Blog # 52 March 28, 2018

Easter Sunday is the greatest day in the calendar and church year. It is the day we celebrate life over death. Jesus Christ is the central and main personality on this glorious day! He is the One that transformed death by leaving His burial place empty on the third day after His crucifixion. He did it just like He promised in Luke 24:7. “The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful  men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”

It is an unforgettable experience to walk into that tomb that the owner, Joseph of Arimathea, had provided for the burial of Jesus. Every time I have been in there has been overwhelming! Two of those times were extra special for me when two of my friends asked me to go in the tomb with them individually. Both of these men were overcome with the presence of the Risen Christ through the Holy Spirit, when we were in the tomb, and began to weep. Bob and Smitty both asked me to pray with them. I had prayed for Bob to become a Christian for some time when he would come to church, but he would never respond to the invitation. However, through his tears, he came to Christ in the empty tomb! Smitty, in his tears, re-dedicated his life to the risen Christ as I prayed with him. Without a doubt, these two experiences are leaping from my heart as I recall their wonderful memories many years ago!

Some of my greatest Sundays as a pastor, happened on Easter. I am thinking of the record crowds in Virginia Beach and people coming to Christ, three rows deep on this glorious day! There were 125 people, by actual count of the ushers, as the Downings kept singing, “I will meet you in the morning, just inside  the Eastern Gate over there.” In Lubbock, Texas, at Texas Tech Coliseum, over 3,400 people witnessed over 50 people coming forward to receive the resurrected Christ.

Precious memories flood my soul from all the 56 Easters Bess and I have celebrated with tremendous laymen in wonderful churches! It is very true...We Wouldn’t Take Nothing For Our Journey Now! May the resurrected Christ be your strength and power until He comes for all of us that have chosen Him as Lord and Savior!

He Really Has Risen!

Charles Kirby

Blog # 51 MARCH 24, 2018



Palm Sunday took on a totally different meaning for me after I experienced the first Palm Sunday walk back in 1969. Since then, I have taken nine more of those incredible walks. It really is a transforming journey if you treat it as a personal worship ministry. It becomes a sacred time of meditation and reflection with our Lord, recalling the time when He took that walk 2,000 years ago.


Zechariah, the prophet, announced the Palm Sunday event in Zechariah 9:9 when he prophesied, “Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly, and riding on a donkey.” Matthew, the disciple of our Lord, describes the Palm Sunday triumphal entry of our Lord into Jerusalem in Matthew 21. It all began at the Mount of Olives, and continued to the Holy City, passing the garden of Gethsemane and the Kedron Valley. Ten times I have tried to imagine the incredible scene as I have taken the Palm Sunday walk. Matthew draws an amazing picture of this triumphant event in his New Testament book. He tells us that multitudes went before Jesus, and multitudes followed Him down the narrow pathway into Jerusalem. The people cried out, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of our Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” Matthew 21:9


Jesus had a major decision to make at this triumphant event in world history. Two roads were before Him, a high road and a low road. The high road led to an earthly throne and kingdom, while the low road led to a cross and a cruel death. His decision would impact all humanity, including you and me. On Palm Sunday our Lord chose the way of the cross, that would bring eternal salvation to everyone that would receive His sacrifice for sin through His death, burial and resurrection. No wonder Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week!


Please join me by taking the Palm Sunday walk with our Lord.


Blog # 50 MARCH 17, 2018


I have taken what they have said to me with “a grain of salt.” However, I have come to the point of agreeing with a multitude of people. While I was pastoring Lake Gibson Church these people would make their comments to me in notes, usually with an offering, and with e-mails. These came from people that worshipped with us through the internet. Until I started experiencing what they described to me in their communication, I did not understand, nor could I identify with them. It has taken me almost a year to completely understand what they were trying to tell me. I am very sorry that I have come to the place that I now have to agree with them.

Real worship should give everyone present in the service the opportunity to be involved in the congregational singing. I have come to discover that is not so in the majority of churches today. As a matter of fact, Bess and I have found that most people attending church today are spectators and not worshippers. Since our retirement, we have attended a great number of churches from all denominations, usually a different one every Sunday, and they are all the same. We can count on one hand, probably three fingers, the exception to our discovery.

In our church shopping, or you might want to say, church hopping, only three of these have a choir. Praise teams are now taking the place of choirs. Former choir members tell me, “Since they have disbanded the choir, I have no place to use my God-given talent.” Many of these people are no longer attending church.

It has been my sincere belief and ministry philosophy, THE MORE PEOPLE THAT ARE ON THE CHURCH PLATFORM, THE MORE PEOPLE WILL BE IN THE PEWS. Through the years, with few exceptions, I have proven this philosophy to be absolutely true over and over again.

Every Sunday I am discovering the only people in worship centers that are really singing and worshipping are the members of the praise teams. Congregations as a whole, just stand without participating, while others just remain seated. The only people that appear to be enjoying worship are members of the praise team. Most all of them sing chorouses I have never heard and repeat them over and over again. It is very rare if a hymn is ever sung. If it does happen, it is amazing how the atmosphere of the service changes as people start singing. Every time this happens, I ask myself and Bess, “Why can’t these people wake up and see what is happening, and the difference in the worship?"

I admire Gerald Wolf of the group Greater Vision for his Hymn Sings he is hosting across America. It really is a great experience to attend these events! The place is alive as the big crowds participate with grateful praise to the Lord God! It reminds me that the words of these great songs were inspired by the Holy Spirit  just like the Word of God. It saddens me to admit it, but it is so true, the younger generation of today is really missing out. Most all of them will never learn and know the words of these great hymns of the faith.

Dear Lord, please have mercy on your Church in these last days!

Charles Kirby

Blog # 49 MARCH 10, 2018



When I retired as a pastor at the end of May 2017 that did not mean that I retired as a preacher of the Gospel. My public preaching journey began on March 31, 1957, more than 60 years ago. As I have stated before, I actually began preaching

Young Charles

to the cows, horses and chickens, playing church with my cousin Nona Faye, in the barn at our Tennessee country home as a kid in the 3rd grade.

Since I retired from the pastoral pulpit, where I preached every Sunday, I have had the opportunity to preach several times. It really has been a joy and a delight to expositionally open the Scriptures, expounding God’s holy Word! My latest preaching opportunity was on February 28 when I preached at the Florida Holiness campground here in Lakeland that dates back to 1923. It was in a chapel service in the big tabernacle on the heels of the 11 day annual camp meeting. The crowd was thrilling, as many of Bess and my friends came to hear me preach again.  “How To Have Peace In Your Storm” from Matthew 14 was the title of my message. The response at the end was tremendous as I challenged people to bring their storm or storms, to the altar and leave them there. It really was a heart-warming experience for me!

Charles Kirby as Student at Trevecca Nazarene College

Charles Kirby receiving his first Ministers License

Dr. Charles and Bess Kirby when arriving at Lake Gibson Nazarene Church

​A large number of people from the north spend their winters on the Floridas Holiness Campgrounds. Many of these have attended Lake Gibson Church during my time as pastor. They have become wonderful friends to Bess and me through the years. Their expression of love and appreciation to us is always very encouraging and overwhelming. We love all of them!

A preacher friend of mine, a few days ago, said he wanted to talk to me about a special ministry opportunity that might be of interest to me. It is a ministry that ministers to preachers. Since I have preached at preachers conventions through the years, it really caught my attention. There has never been a time when this type of ministry is more important and needed. Hundreds of preachers in these last days are discouraged, depressed and disillusioned. A great number of these are dropping out every day. Please pray that my Lord will give me Divine direction where He may want to use me in this particular time of my ministry.

Preaching Really Is A Delight!

Charles Kirby

Blog # 48 MARCH 3, 2018


There have been some great preachers that have made a mark on our world and nation. There was Moody, Finney, Wesley, Calvin, Knox, Whitfield and Spurgeon. All of these made a huge impact on their time and culture. However, Billy Graham has left his mark on the society of our nation and world like no other. Preaching to  over 215 million people worldwide through over 250 crusades, he led more people to Christ than any other person in world history. By the way, did you see the hugh number of people lining the roadways and streets as Billy made his final journey from the beautiful Billy Graham Cove outside Ashville on his way to his library in Charlotte? What an incredible sight! No one can begin to imagine what heaven was like on Wednesday, February 21, when Billy arrived to be home at last. No doubt he was greeted by the multitudes that came to Christ through his preaching. What about the grand welcome he surely received from his Lord? Can you imagine what it was like when his beloved wife, Ruth, met him just inside the gate? It must have been an amazing sight to behold! It had to be a beautiful illustration of the  heaven he and I have preached about all of our ministries.

While Bess and I were pastoring the wonderful, historic First Nazarene Church in Lubbock, Texas, I was chosen to serve on the executive committee of the Lubbock Billy Graham Crusade in 1975. It really was one of the highlights of my pastoral ministry. Both Bess and I had the opportunity to meet and talk to Billy and Ruth at a reception given to them by our executive committee. I still cherish those moments we had with those two Godly people. It was an honor to sit on the crusade platform twice during the crusade in the Texas Tech University Jones Stadium with 52,000 in attendance. Some people have told me they have seen me when the Billy Graham crusade classics have aired on televison. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association gave each executive committee member a beautiful Billy Graham autographed full color 20X16 inch picture of the 52,000 crowd. I have moved it across America, where we have pastored, for it to hang in all of my church offices and study. I am so grateful for this priceless gift, now more then ever with the passing of Billy!

Billy Graham was a man and preacher without  reproach...a person of unblemished character and integrity. I witnessed it with a personal experience. The members of the Billy Graham Evangelistic team that served the Lubbock crusade, told us our committee was in charge of all the finances.  They told us “Mr. Graham does not want any of us on the team to touch one cent of the offerings that are received.” They said to us, “It is your total responsibility.”

During the Lubbock crusade it was my delight to become friends and acquainted with Franklin Graham. He was assigned by the Graham team, in charge of the crusade, to assist me in the pre-crusade prayer support meetings in various local churches and Bible studies in preparation for the crusade. Franklin was just coming through his period of rebellion and striving to get his spiritual life in order. I will never forget what the crusade director, Mr Huston, said to us about Franklin. He said, “Mr Graham asked that all of you working with Franklin to be as kind and patient with Franklin as you can. He has recently renewed his faith in Christ, and is making wonderful progress. I will really appreciate your understanding and expressions of love to him.” As a loving dad with a son in Monteray High School in Lubbock, trying to find his way, that really made a tremendous impression on me. When I see Franklin today on televison, speaking as the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, those wonderful memories flood my soul. I am so proud of Franklin, and am very grateful to my Lord for His providence that brought the two of us together in Lubbock. He has picked up the mantle from his father, and is continuing the wonderful heritage passed down to him.

Friday, March 2, our nation and our world honored Evangelist Billy Graham at his celebration of eternal life service at his beautiful library in Charlotte. May the gospel that he proclaimed impact all of us until we see him at our glorious entrance into God’s eternal city!

Charles Kirby


Blog # 47 February 24, 2018





Those that are close to me, as well as many of my friends, know that I am having a challenging time adjusting to retiring from pastoral ministry after 56 years. While it is very true I will always be a preacher of the gospel of my Lord, and will cherish every opportunity I have to preach, I have no plans to be a pastor again. Of course my Lord could change that if He so chooses, and I would obey His call.

Coming next week:
My Meeting with Billy and Franklin Graham

My pastoral ministry has been a romance for Bess and me as we have pastored across America. Bess gave up her career as a public school teacher early in our ministry to become a full time pastor’s wife. I am sure you can understand what I am about to say. Our retirement would be much more comfortable had she continued teaching English in high school. However, we have no regrets, because our Lord is supplying all our needs. Everyone that knows Bess will agree that she gave her all to every congregation we have served. As a matter of fact, all of them have said, “Bess is the best pastor’s wife they have known.” Without reservation I have always agreed. As for me, it has always been a thrill to be called “Pastor,” much more than “brother,” or “reverend,” or “doctor” since 1978. I have said all of this to lead up to the main message of this blog.


Since our retirement from Lake Gibson Church last spring, last Sunday, February 18 was the most therapeutic Sunday we have experienced. Two wonderful things happened that really encouraged and inspired us. I will try to explain the best I can.


Bess and I attended the first of two Sunday morning worship services of the Florida Holiness Camp Meeting here in Lakeland that dates back to 1923. It really was a beautiful experience for both of us. The large crowd in the big tabernacle greeted, received and welcomed us royally. Of course we did not count, but it seemed like dozens, thanking us for our presence there, and our ministry at Lake Gibson through the years. Many of them have attended our services, and graciously let me know how much they miss us and my preaching.When hundreds of them have returned to their homes up north they watch the Lake Gibson services through the internet by live streaming television. Many of them have been regular worshipers at Lake Gibson through this amazing outreach ministry, thanks to Duane Kendall, our webmaster from California. When the president of the camp meeting, Rev. Allison, began the service, he introduced us and had us to stand, calling me a legend in Lakeland. Of course we were overwhelmed with this warm and kind recognition.


Sunday evening Bess and I went to see and hear our dear friends, the Collingsworth family at Victory Church here in Lakeland. As we were walking from our car to enter the building, people we did not know started coming to greet us. They told us how much we are missed at Lake Gibson and on the internet live streaming the services Saturdays and Sundays. Even after we entered the building people continued to greet us, expressing their appreciation for our ministry. The trend continued after we entered the worship center waiting for the service to begin. Once again most of these were people we did not know, but knew us from the Lake Gibson services and through the internet.


Since there were around 2,000 people in attendance, we had to sit in the balcony, One lady came over to greet us and kissed me on the check. As we were coming down the steps to the big lobby after the service, people saw us and started coming to where we were. A big number of these people were Canadians that watch Lake Gibson services when they are back home. My heart was tremendously warmed as I heard their expressions of love and appreciation for my ministry. Story after story made me very grateful once again for Lake Gibson’s internet ministry and for our webmaster Duane Kendall. One man told me how he was healed when he came to a service with a major back problem. He came to me after the service to ask for my prayers, When I said, “Let me pray for you here,” I placed my thumb on the spot on his back giving him trouble. He said he felt a warm sensation flowing through him and later discovered he was totally healed. He said he was so excited to see me and give his testimony that the back pain has never returned. We rejoiced together. I soon discovered we were fast becoming the only ones left in the building and left rejoicing over an evening to remember. By the way, we never did get to visit with the Collingsworth family. They had already left the building.


Friends are wonderful!  

Charles Kirby

Blog # 46 February 16, 2018



Judges chapter 6 records one of the most amazing happenings in the history of mankind. It is the story of Gideon. He is one of my favorite personalities in all of God’s Word. The author of Judges, who is unknown, tells us Gideon was the least in his father’s house. As the incredible story in Judges unfolds, God is calling Gideon to save Israel from the oppression of the Midianites. God is saying to Gideon, “I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man.”

Nowhere in the Word of God can we find a better basis to prove the value of one plus God. Gideon’s sword plus the sword of God...Gideon plus God...one plus God. What an army! It is just another way of saying, if God be for us, who can be against us! One plus God makes the difference in any situation or circumstance!

The value of one is illustrated in the Bible. Noah was just one, but his life was an unmuddied stream in an ocean of iniquity. Joseph was just one, but he brought deliverance to a world in a great famine. Moses was just one, but with his rod seas divided and a nation was born in one night. Paul was just one, but he rocked the old world with the message of Jesus Christ.  It is a fact, one plus God has always made the difference through the centuries of time! Gideon plus God...You plus God. What a team!

As an old man walked the beach at dawn, he noticed a young man ahead of him picking up starfish and flinging them into the sea. Finally catching up with the youth, he asked why he was doing this. The answer was that the stranded starfish would die if left until the morning sun. “But the beach goes on for miles and there are millions of starfish,” the old man countered. “How can your effort make any difference?” The young man looked at the starfish in his hand and then threw it to safety in the waves.  “It makes a difference to this one,” he said.

You plus God will always make a difference in your life! You have the opportunity to prove it.

Charles Kirby

Blog # 45 February 9, 2018


The Lake Gibson story

In September of 1998 my wonderful friend and favorite district superintendent, Dr. Gene Fuller, called me to consider and pray about taking the pastorate at Lakeland Lake Gibson Church. After a special meeting with the church board, the Holy Spirit gave me a clear signal to be receptive to a call to become the pastor should the board and congregational vote be acceptable. The vote was very positive and overwhelming. It left me with a major decision. In my time of prayer and struggle to find God’s will for Bess and me, and for the church, the human element entered. I had to face the facts of a church in decline; a major financial challenge; a smaller congregation and a cut in salary. During the decision process, God really impacted me with an unmistakable, powerful mandate to accept the call to become the pastor of Lake Gibson.

The first Sunday for Bess and me at Lake Gibson was November 15, 1998. Prior to that beginning Sunday, I had challenged the board and congregation to reach out to former members, former attendees and friends, inviting them to be present for this special event. Bess and I had a lot of friends in the area since we had had a 10 year miracle pastorate in Winter Haven. With my daily weekday radio ministry of “Exciting Life” on WTWB in Auburndale, and the one hour “Sunday Song Time” on WPCV in Lakeland, I was well known.

We invited a great number to be present for our first Sunday. As I am now having a “flashback” on that day, I am seeing in my mind’s eye the people coming. It really was a sight to behold! The people came, and kept coming! Bess and I, standing at the East outside entrance to the church, kept greeting. We had over 50 people we had invited to attend this event, and we were off and running!

I began preparing for our first Sunday before we moved to Lakeland from Melbourne. Lake Gibson didn’t have a pianist, organist or a worship leader, so I had to recruit. My friend, Bill Hall, along with his pianist, Marlin Nichols, and organist Evelyn Fuller, wife of the district superintendent, came to help us have a good beginning. After that first Sunday, Bill Hall commited to be the worship leader for one year and Marlin is in his 20th year on the piano. Sharon Beeman became the organist on our second Sunday. Recently she has had to give up her ministry due to health challenges. Bess became the leader of a small choir of 10 to 12 since Bill Hall was not a choir person, I have always believed you can’t build a great church without excellent music, and we really did have wonderful music, but a new day was coming when Lake Gibson would become known as Lakeland’s singing church.

Three big events happened that inspired a growth explosion:

  • An annual Winter Crusade of Music and the Word

  • The beginning of “Saturday Nights In Lakeland” with the Florida Boys in January of 1999  brought in a great number of people

  • Darrel and Diane Gash coming as music and worship leaders the last of October 1999, and the birth of the LGC  Singers.

The worship center had to be expanded with 400 more seats to accomodate the large crowds.

More exciting growth happened as dropouts returned, and people started coming from all denominational backgrounds. The religion editor of the Lakeland Ledger newspaper became a good friend. He featured the church in a tremendous story entitled, “A Healing Church,” with colored pictures of people interviewed, a large worship center crowd, and me greeting people at the door. As a result, larger numbers of people started attending.

A major key to Lake Gibson is  dedicated, loving, caring and compassionate laymen. In my 19 years as pastor the spirit of unity and harmony has  prevailed. In the very beginning days of my pastorate at Lake Gibson, I was forced to take action against an ungodly spirit of a small group, the power structure of the church at that time. It involved two leaders and the biggest giver in the church that protested by walking out of a Sunday morning service when a special singer came to the platform to sing. When the singer finished, the group came back in. After the service, I told them their spirit was ungodly, and I could not tolerate it. As a result, all of them left the church along with their finances. My Lord and Dr. Fuller, the district superintendent, honored my stand, and the church rolled on with a wonderful unifying spirit. Every church board meeting through the years has been characterized with a sweet harmonious spirit of unity. Therefore, this blog is featuring and honoring all the great laymen that kept the spirit of unity, love and harmony alive in my 19 years. All of you are wonderful! You made it a joy and delight to be called your pastor. I will always love you!

Remembering the romance of being a pastor!


BLOG # 44 . February 3, 2018




(A detour from my series on great laymen in my churches)

Twenty years ago, after arriving as the new pastor of Lake Gibson Church in November of 1998, I began the revival crusade series. I did the preaching and my friends, the Envoys from Charlotte, did the singing. We had ministered together in other places. It was a great way to begin my ministry in Lakeland. The response was tremendous, with good crowds and a large number of people seeking God at the altars. The revival fires from that first crusade gave us a wonderful foundation for our ministry at Lake Gibson.

Bess and I have been privileged to attend the 20th crusade as church members and not pastors. I must admit it was a major adjustment for us. However, the revival experience was wonderful! We still believe in revivals! The ministry of Dr. Jim Diehl and Triumphant Quartet was anointed by the Holy Spirit. This was the second time this team has ministered together in the crusade series.

Looking back on 20 years of crusades, I am remembering the preachers and the singers that have ministered at Lake Gibson. The preachers include Crawford Howe, Ted Lee, Jack Eyestone, Stan Tolor, Kip Laxson, serveral times and Jim Diehl several times. The Envoys, the Pfeifers, Wally and Ginger Laxson, the Browns, the Collingsworth family several times and Triumphant Quartet four times, make up the singers through the years. A wonderful crusade choir has been a feature since Darrel Gash arrived 19 years ago as music and worship leader. The crowds have been outstanding, and the victories without number!

It is with sadness that I am forced to admit that time has really made a change. It is a fact, very few churches have revivals in these last days. I cannot name another one in Lakeland or in Florida. I wonder what would happen if churches would schedule revival meetings once again and pray heaven and earth together. I really do know the answer.

Send a great revival in my soul!

Charles Kirby

Blog # 43 .  January 26, 2018


One of the coldest days I can remember was in March of 1994. At zero degrees and the wind chill at 20 below,  It was a brutal time helping to load our furniture in the truck in the move to Melbourne, Florida. As snow and ice covered the ground, we were able to survive by thinking about the warm sunshine of Florida. The big negative about living in the midwest was the endless days from November to May without very much sunshine. We had never lived in that climate, so it was a major adjustment for us.


Melbourne First Church offered another opportunity for the ministry of restoration. Jody and Jane Poston and their two boys moved with us to become ministers of music and worship. The church is located on Babcock, a major 4 lane avenue through the city, next to Florida Tech University. The church has very good facilities with a beautiful worship center. Some wonderful laymen were in leadership roles with a vision for growth. Mike Spencer was a very good Sunday school superintendent, and Marsha, his wife was tremendous with the children. Sue Price was an outstanding world missions director. Jessie Propst and Bob Shoff were key leaders in the ministries of the church.


A major outreach of the church was the Parade of Pianos, a brain child of Jody Postin. 10 pianos with musicians were the feature in an exciting God and Country concert unlike anything we had ever attempted. There were two levels of pianos with five on a second level and five on a lower level. It became the talk of the area and drew record breaking crowds.


After almost five years in Melbourne, I was asked by my district superintendent friend, Gene Fuller, to consider the challenge of restoration at Lake Gibson Church in Lakeland. I was given the strongest mandate by the Holy Spirit to accept the challenge. Bess and I began our ministry in Lakeland on November 15, 1998, and the rest is history.


I really wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now!



Blog # 42 .  January 19, 2018


This is a detour from my series on great laymen.




Our son Chuck, Charles Jr., and my former secretary, Kaye Simpson, are being married Friday January 19. It is my honor to lead them through the marriage ceremony. It really is a happy time!


Through God’s providence He has led them to this exciting time in their lives. Kaye was my secretary for over 16 years at Lake Gibson Church. I have had wonderful secretarys through the years, but none like Kaye. It didn’t take her long to learn how I wanted things done in the office and church. She ran the church administrative offices with a very professional and effective ministry. As I have said before, she learned to think like I thought, and could make decisions like I would make. After the passing of Tom, her husband over a year ago, I never dreamed there would be a possibility of Kaye becoming my daughter in law. However, it is happening, and I could not be any happier! I really do believe it is a providential act of God in bringing Chuck and Kaye together and to the marriage altar.


The spiritual growth of Chuck is making me a proud and grateful dad. Bess and I have prayed for God to give him a wonderful Christian wife, and our prayers are being answered. We have never seen him as happy as he is presently. I can say the same for Kaye. Both of them are being transformed together, and it is a beautiful sight!


In grateful praise and thanksgiving,

Charles Kirby

Blog # 41 .  January 12, 2018





Indianapolis First Church story

After 10 glorious years at Winter Haven, the First Nazarene Church at Indianapolis gave me a call to be their pastor. It offered a great challenge of stopping a slow decline and leading the church in relocating the congregation to 25 acres of property on Interstate 70 at the edge of the city of Indianapolis. As I have looked back on this period of time in my ministry, I have concluded several times what I really needed was not a new challenge but a sabbatical. The challenge continued to be tremendous for me in Winter Haven. However, after 10 years of a non-stop ministry of dynamic growth, buying properties, building buildings and two years dealing with the attempted murder of my secretary in the church equipment room, I was totally “wiped out” mentally, emotionally and physically. My dear friend and district superintendent, Gene Fuller, told me later he should have insisted that the congregation give me a lengthy sabbatical to rest and recover. However, that did not happen, so I accepted the call and tremendous challenge of Indy First Church at the crossroads of America.

Bess and I began our ministry at Indy on the second Sunday of September 1990. We followed a wonderful pastoral couple, Pastor and Mrs. Bill Griffin, who had had an outstanding 28 year ministry at the church. The  congregation gave us the most incredible welcome we received in all of our pastoral journeys, with several receptions in the homes of church members, in different sections of the city. It goes without saying, we really were received very well! The spirit of the people, and the atmosphere of the church services, were tremendous! It was exciting to watch the worship crowds swell every week, filling the sanctuary. The Sunday night crowds were amazing and thrilling for me to witness! The Sunday services ended with people seeking God at the altars. It was wonderful to be a part of all that our Lord was doing in a historic church! As a matter of fact, as I write these lines, I have had to stop and give my Lord praise for all He was doing back then!

The church was filled with outstanding and very talented laymen. The average age of the congregation back then was in the mid 30s. We had wonderful ministries for children, youth and music, with a fabulous choir, featured in a Singing Christmas Tree for many years. God helped me assemble a very good staff to minister to all ages. Ted and Patty Cox, Don and Arveda Brown, Gary and Linda Heller and Larry and Linda Spaulding were some of the key laymen that became some of my greatest supporters. Bess and I continue to cherish rich friendships with a number of other people in the church to this present time.

As I mentioned earlier, my big challenge was in the relocation process of the church to the 25 acres on Interstate 70. When I discovered that the congregation had never voted to relocate, I was amazed. It became one of the greatest challenges in all of my pastoral journey. A small group of people did not want to leave the beautiful church facility on Shortridge Road for the new location, while a large majority did. It became a big assignment for me to endeavor to bring the two groups together. God really had to help us and He did. Ground breaking day for the new church complex was an exciting event! It marked the beginning of the site work for the construction of the new building. That became my final assignment as the pastor of the First Nazarene Church of Indianapolis. Today a beautiful church complex sits on the 25 acres facing Interstate 70. When Bess and I have been back to preach at the church, the people have been very kind and gracious to us. Many of them have said, “We have this building because of your ministry here.”  Bess and I give our Lord praise and thanks for all the ways He helped us during our time at Indy. As the Happy Goodmans made famous their most popular song, “I Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now!”

It is a fact, the past journey for Bess and me has been tremendous, but the best is yet to come!

Charles Kirby


Blog # 40   JANUARY 5, 2018



Part two about 


The growth of the Winter Haven church was an incredible experience to witness! As a matter of fact, it was beyond my expectation.  Through God’s providence, the Winter Haven News Chief, the local daily newspaper, became a great friend to me. They wrote about our growth, and named us the fastest growing church in the Winter Haven area. People were coming from all denominational backgrounds. We not only were known as the First Nazarene Church, but the Holy Spirit inspired me to expand the name to Winter Haven’s Inspiration Center. This really helped to attract more people to the church.

God had blessed me greatly with church growth in my other pastorates prior to Winter Haven, but none like I was now experiencing. It was an exciting, challenging, and also very overwhelming time for me. In my times of study, preparation, and planning, one day the Holy Spirit reminded me that Jesus had an inner circle with Peter, James and John. He inspired me to use this example and to choose three dedicated and committed laymen to help me dream and plan the future for the church. By the way, this was the first and only time I had an “inner circle” in all of my pastoral journey. I never made the names of these laymen known to the congregation. As a matter of fact, this is the first time they have ever been published.





With the help of my Lord, I chose Claude Ray, Hank Shell and Charles Davis, and they responded to my challenge.

The dreams and plans of these three dedicated laymen inspired the formation of the “Overstreet Six” group of six men. Since the church had outgrown the land and space it owned, more land was needed for expansion and growth. However, the church did not have the money to make it happen. “Overstreet Six” came to our rescue, and bought Riddle Printing building, Winter Haven Taxi building, Winter Haven Transmission building, Winter Haven Storage building and several houses. Earlier another miracle helped the church to purchase the Winter Haven Arts building for parking for the second worship center building. Now the church was primed and ready for another great miracle.

The tremendous growth that continued inspired my inner circle of three men to really think big and take a hugh leap of faith. We presented the challenge of a 2,000 seat worship center to the congregation, and they responded with a tremendous unified vote. In March of 1986 we celebrated crossing over from the second center worship to the third. The first Sunday with 2,000 seats was an exciting day! Dignitaries from the city and district joined the great crowd in celebration. At that service Judge Charles David announced that the church board had met secretly , unknown to me, and voted to name worship center number two Kirby Family Life Center. What an honor it was for Bess and me!

Since I am looking back with this blog, I am reminded of an outstanding, unified and dedicated body of wonderful people. I could name them all, and not just a few. Bess and I cherish these 10 wonderful years of precious memories. On our last Sunday in August of 1980, the editor of the Winter Haven News Chief paper named the day, “Charles Kirby Day In Winter Haven.” All I can say is to "God be the glory, great things He has done"!

I wish for all of you a wonderful 2018, This just could be the year our Lord returns! Are you ready?


Charles Kirby

Blog # 39 .  December 29, 2017





Part one about Winter Haven, FL


August 15, 1980, began 10 of the most incredible years in Bess's and my pastoral journey. These years were characterized with amazing miracles over and over again. After pastoring some large and fast growing churches, many of my friends were shocked when I accepted the call of the First Nazarene Church in Winter Haven, Florida, with an average attendance of less than 100 and a huge cut in salary. The only way to explain it is the fact that God gave to me one of the strongest mandates He has ever given to me to accept the call of the church.


When I had met with the church board in June of 1980 I did everything I could to test their faith. I told them what I would do if I came as their pastor. They were excited, and accepted all I had outlined to them. And then the last big thing I told them I would want to do was to have a “Get Acquainted Extravaganza” soon after my arrival under a tent on the vacant lot the church owned. I told them I would preach and have the Speer Family as singers, and the cost would be at least $5,000 {that was 37 years ago}. It really blew me away when they said in one unified, excited voice, “We will do it!”


Prior to our move to Winter Haven, the church had a pre-service prayer meeting every Sunday evening. It was led by a very dedicated layman, Claude Ray, who had a tremendous burden for the church. The main focus of this prayer meeting was for God to send the right pastor to the church. After my interview and meeting with the church board, this prayer meeting centered on Bess and me. Members of the board and prayer group kept the phone lines hot, urging me to accept the call of the church to be their pastor. That is the only time that has ever happened in my ministry. As a result, the Holy Spirit made it clear to me that Winter Haven was God’s will for Bess and me.


After our arrival we did have a 3 night, Monday through Wednesday, “Get Acquainted Extravaganza” with the Speer Family the first of December 1980. It was a major “attention getter” to the community. Many new people were attracted to the church. It was during this time that famous gospel singing song evangelist, Gene Braun, became a part of the music ministry. Wally Varner, outstanding southern gospel pianist, who had played for the Blackwood Brothers Quartet, had retired to his home in Winter Haven and started attending the church. We featured the two of them every Sunday as Mr. Gospel Singer and Mr. Piano. It really became a tremendous outreach to many people, and was the dawning of a brand new day for the church.


It wasn’t long until the small sanctuary, that would hold no more than 250, was filled and overflowing with people. It was obvious that God was up to something! People started talking about a new building on the vacant lot next to the church, that the church owned, on the corner of Avenue F Southwest and U.S. Highway 17. However, it was not a good time to build, with interest rates at an all-time high, and inflation rampant.

One of the greatest steps of faith I have witnessed in all of my ministry happened when the congregation voted to build. We sold church bonds with interest rates as high as thirteen and a half percent. Vernon Blackburn, Wally’s dad, was used by God to promote the sale of the bonds. Every week just enough bonds had sold for the church to be able to pay the draw the building contractor had submitted. When the final draw was submitted, all of the bonds had just sold for the church to be able to pay the contractor in full. It was a fact, all the congregation new they had just witnessed another miracle! On September 12, 1982, we moved into a beautiful 800 seat worship center filled with people. We had a 10 week grand opening celebration of the new worship center, featuring some of the biggest names in gospel music, including Norma Zimmer, the Hawaiians, the original Talleys and several more. A growth explosion happened until the 2nd worship center was filled and overflowing into the large glass-walled lobby. Now what will we do? I will continue this amazing miracle journey next week, featuring 3 great laymen.  


Have a great 2018. I still believe the best is yet to come!


Charles Kirby

Blog # 38   December 22, 2017

SPECIAL NOTE: I am departing from my series on great laymen in the churches I have pastored in honor of Christmas 2017


Christmas is the day when the world looks to the birth of Jesus. We celebrate Christmas by remembering the past of His coming into our world. Here is the big question before us once again: Why did His coming make this Baby different from all the rest? For what kind of people did Christ come? I can give you three answers to that question.

1. Christ Came For The LOWLY PEOPLE. He came for those who may live by this world’s standard...the oppressed, the despised, the rejected. He came to elevate everyone to a higher level of living. He came as a suffering servant for all mankind. He did not identify Himself with the religious or social crowd of His day, but with the common people. To the lowly, Jesus came to be their friend.

2. Christ Came For The LONELY PEOPLE.  Who are the lonely people? The answer is easy. I have witnessed the condition of these people through the years, and have noticed those that refuse to include Christ in their daily affairs are lonely people. Christ came to be “Emmanuel, God With Us” as Matthew 1:23 announces. What an event! God with us in human form to understand the human element in all of us! He is the only one that can fill the void, emptiness, despair and loneliness in all of us.

3. Christ Came For The LOST PEOPLE. He came to give direction and purpose to everyone. When the angel was announcing His birth to Joseph in Matthew 1:21, He said, “He will save His people from their sin.” He will always and forever be the only hope for the spiritually lost! This baby Jesus with His very first breath began His walk to the cross. On His way, He touched the hearts of the lowly, the lonely and the lost. To the lost, Jesus came to be our Savior.

Let the celebration begin...It is Christmas time 2017!

Charles Kirby

COMING NEXT FRIDAY... 10 of the most incredible years in my pastoral journey!


Charles Kirby


Blog # 37 . December 15, 2017



This is part 2 of the Bresee Avenue story


My challenge in leaving the wonderful and dynamic Lubbock, Texas First Nazarene was to help resurrect the historic and declining Pasadena, California Bresee Avenue Church. The District Superintendent of the Los Angeles District, Dr. Paul Benefiel, pleaded with me to accept the call to be the pastor. I remember him saying to me several times as I was wrestling with the call, “Charles, your type of preaching and evangelistic outreach is exactly what Bresee Avenue needs.” He became my great supporter, encourager and wonderful friend. I can still see him my first Sunday morning at Bresee, standing at the church altars, flooded with people responding to the invitation, with tears flowing from his eyes, rejoicing over the tremendous sight! As I write these lines, remembering that glorious morning, tears are now flowing from my eyes! By the way, those church altars, years before, had been removed and stored in the church basement. When I asked the church maintenance man to bring them up for my first service and put them back in their place, he was shocked, and asked, “Are you sure?”


The great majority of the people had been longing and praying for a mighty visitation of God’s Holy Spirit to move upon the church once again. I will never forget that incredible service, and the beginning of my ministry at Bresee. Without a doubt, it was one of the greatest services in all of my 56 years as a pastor. There were 35 retired pastors, missionaries and college professors as members of the church. All of them, but one, were rejoicing and praising God. They had prayed earnestly for a new day to come to Bresee.

Two associate pastors Bill Abbott, music and worship, and Tony Sorenson, minister of youth, along with their families, had moved with my family from Lubbock. All of us had prayed and believed for a new day to come to Bresee, and we were on our way! I sought the counsel of Dr. Corlett, retired president of Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City. He knew that church very well. He advised me to use the theme, “It Is A New Day At Bresee!” He said, “Make signs, and put them everywhere throughout the building.” We did, and can you believe some did not like it? By now you are beginning to see a battle with Satan was raging, and he never stopped.


Two Great laymen, TROY POTTER and RALPH DAVIS, were my strong supporters, encouragers and inspiration.Troy was a great Sunday School superintendent. Ralph was the director of advertising and information. We spent a lot of time together dreaming and planning. Their positive and challenging words of wisdom to me continued to be a tremendous blessing. I remember when the worship attendance leaped to over 800 for the first time in years, and the excitement those two men demonstrated to the congregation. It really was a happy day!


When my ministry was coming to an end, Dr. Louise Chapman, retired Nazarene World Missions Director and widow of Nazarene General Superintendent, Dr. J.B. Chapman, was one of my great supporters. She pleaded with me not to leave. I remember her words to this day. “Pastor, your ministry is exactly what Bresee Avenue needs. What is going to happen if you leave?” She was one of the greatest saints I have ever known! I can still see her sitting on the end of the second row to my left rejoicing, worshipping and encouraging me.


My mind is racing and rejoicing with precious memories now flooding my soul!

Charles Kirby


BLOG #  36: DECEMBER 8, 2017




Bresee Avenue Nazarene Church in Pasadena, California, is a  historic Nazarene Church. It was named after the founder of the Church of the Nazarene, Phineas F. Bresee. Several famous Nazarene pastors have filled the prestigious pulpit through the years. During the “glory days” of this church, Dr. D.I. Vanderpool was the pastor. Reading the history of the church, I discovered that the big sanctuary was packed most of the time with people standing listening to the anointed preaching of Dr. Vanderpool. Some people that attended back then told me it was a tremendous thing to attend those services, as God’s glory came upon the great crowds again and again, as people sought God at the long altars. I took great joy and pleasure in hearing about Dr. Vanderpool’s ministry, because he was the General Superintendent that ordained Bess and me in Little Rock First Church in 1963.

For years Bresee Avenue was the college church for Pasadena Nazarene College, located across Washington Blvd. from the church before it was relocated to San Diego and named Point Loma Nazarene University. The imposing church facility sits on the corner of busy Washington Blvd. and Bresee Avenue. The building has a large sanctuary that seats over 1,500, a beautiful chapel that seats over 250, an office complex with a fellowship hall area and two floors of educational space. While I was the senior pastor, 2 million people could be at the church in 20 minutes. This massive harvest field was a tremendous challenge for me, and I continually tried to motivate the people to reach the golden harvest!

The third house behind the church was the former home of Nazarene evangelist Uncle Buddy Robinson, recognized as the most sought after not only by Nazarenes, but by other denominations in the late 1800s and early 1900s. He led thousands to Christ, traveling over 2 million miles preaching the Gospel of his Lord. While I never heard him preach, I have been inspired by his writings and recordings. When my load got almost too heavy to carry, I would walk to Uncle Buddy's house, and standing by myself on the sidewalk in front of his house, I would ask Uncle Buddy’s God to let the spirit of Uncle Buddy, and the Holy Spirit that lived in him, to fall fresh on me. To this day, I cherish those incredible moments! (Click HERE for a biography of Uncle Buddy.)

I will continue this blog next week, telling you about my challenge to leave the great Lubbock, Texas First Nazarene, and 2 outstanding laymen, TROY POTTER and RALPH DAVIS.

It is an inspiring fact as I look back, God has led me all the way!

Be sure to keep Christ in your Christmas!

Charles Kirby

BLOG #  35: DECEMBER 1, 2017



In September of 1970 God moved Bess and me to Virginia Beach, Virginia, to become pastor of Tidewater Central Church. I wrote about the ministry here in my first blog in this series of outstanding laymen in the churches we have served. While we were here I was a featured pastor at the 1972 Nazarene General Assembly in Miami Beach and led a packed workshop on outreach ministry. As a result of this denominational-wide exposure, I became a featured speaker in conferences across America and Canada.

In February of 1974 my family, joined by my staff, the Wayne Byrums and Ernie Lewis's, made the long move from Virginia Beach to Lubbock, Texas,  to become the pastor and staff of the historic Lubbock First Nazarene Church. We made the long journey at the height of the gasoline crises, but we made it.

Lubbock First had been the strongest Nazarene church in the state of Texas for years, but had been on the decline. The people were ready for us when we arrived, and let us know how excited they were to have us there. They had bought my staff two brand new homes in a new development, and my family moved into a large beautiful parsonage. We were ready to lead the church to a new day of exciting growth, and it started happening fast!

Some of the strongest and dedicated laymen I have known were members of the church. I am thinking of the Don Paxtons, the Roy Walls, the Wendel Gaileys, the Dean Newsomes, the Vaughn Bates, the John Hawkins and many more. The church soon increased by 100 in average attendance, and then by 200, and then on to 300, breaking all attendance records.

One of my dreams was for a family life center to attract youth and young adults. I challenged VAUGHN BATES to leave a legacy  and to help me make it happen. He responded in ways that amazed me and all the congregation! He became the supervisor of the building construction, and paid for the total cost that left no debt. The building included a full-size gymnasium with dressing rooms, and a large beautiful parlor with a kitchen. It became a great center of activity.

The church had a great location on Avenue Q {U.S. Highway 84}. It had an outstanding name with the city and with Texas Tech University that often used me for various events. Our television ministry of the Hour of Triumph, the telecast of the morning worship, covered the high plains area of the West Texas area and eastern New Mexico. It was a joy and delight to be the pastor of this wonderful church! The congregation loved us and expressed it continually. As a matter of fact, Bess and I had firmly planted our feet with plans for a long-time pastorate, not accepting any calls from other churches, but then we were faced with a most difficult decision concerning a major challenge, unlike all others I had faced. California was calling. What should we do?

It is a fact. God has led us all the way!

Charles Kirby

BLOG #  34: NOVEMBER 24, 2017


In July of 1967 Bess and I moved to Little Rock to become pastors of Cedar Lane Nazarene Church. The church had built a beautiful new worship center and lovely parsonage and was ready for dynamic growth from an average attendance of 110. The congregation had elected a tremendous Sunday school superintendent, a great leader with a vision for growth. RAY GABBARD stands out as one of the most outstanding lay leaders in all of my pastoral ministry. We became great friends and worked together to cast an exciting vision for the church. He was vice president of Orbit Valve in Little Rock and a tremendous motivator of other laymen. He was dearly loved and greatly appreciated by the entire church family. When I needed someone to help me to motivate and inspire the church body, I always turned to Ray.

The Holy Spirit helped me to inspire the congregation for a bus ministry outreach. Ray became my right hand to make it become a fabulous outreach. At the height of the ministry we had 5 buses bringing people to church on Sundays. Ray motivated people to become involved in reaching others for Christ. As a result we had a great team of dedicated and committed workers. Ray and I set the example for others to follow. He and I devoted Saturdays to the bus ministry. We walked the streets together enlisting  riders to ride the buses on Sundays.

The growth of the church demanded more room to accommodate the increase in attendance. Ray became a key leader in the renovation of the old sanctuary building into a chapel and Sunday school rooms. In a little over three years the average attendance increased from 110 to near 350. Without a doubt it was one of the most exciting places I have pastored. I did not know it then, but it was preparing me for a much larger ministry that was ahead for me in another church, and speaking across America and Canada.

It really is fun pastoring an exciting and growing church!

Charles Kirby

BLOG #  33: NOVEMBER 17, 2017

In September of 1965 Bess and I accepted a call to pastor the First Nazarene Church at Abernathy, Texas. It was a major move for us, moving from the mid-south and away from families to the high plains of west Texas, and to a small town of 2,500 near Lubbock. The church was the most beautiful in town, and filled with tremendous dedicated laymen including the Spruills, Halfords, Patersons, Ingrams and many more. They had worked hard to pay off the debt of the beautiful church building and the lovely parsonage. They really loved our family, and spoiled our young children, Chuck at 3 and Micki at 13 months. They told me something no other church has ever told me. They said if I saw a financial need or challenge to just let them know and they would take care of it. Several times I put those big cotton and grain farmers to a test, and they always responded to the challenge I presented.


The big challenge of my ministry there was was to reach the younger generation. I knocked on almost every door in town to reach new people. Instead of a bus ministry I challenged the congregation to have a car parade to Sunday School every Sunday morning. It was an exciting time for all the people to see many brand new people coming on Sundays for the first time in years. It was a challenge every Saturday morning to be out knocking on doors to line up people to fill the cars for the Sunday School parade the next morning. Some dedicated ladies would decorate the cars early on Sunday mornings with bright colored streamers for the parade. It really was a sight to see!


After two years in Abernathy, Dr. A. Milton Smith, District Superintendent of the South Arkansas District, called me to consider a call to pastor the Little Rock Cedar Lane Church. In my blog next week I will tell you about my response.


God is continuing to lead Bess and me all the way!

Charles Kirby

BLOG #  32: NOVEMBER 11, 2017


God led Bess and me from Greenwood, Mississippi, to West Memphis, Arkansas. When we arrived in September of 1962 there were seven people in the church, five Mousers and two Spears. The church building was a gothic brick building in design that seated around 200. At one time the church had averaged around 150 in attendance, but had fallen on hard times. The district superintendent and advisory board decided it looked like a hopeless situation, and would probably need to close the church and put it up for sale. Through God’s providence Bess and I met the District
Superintendent, Dr. A. Milton Smith, at a meeting arranged by God in Little Rock. Dr. Smith talked to me about the church, and challenged me to consider becoming the pastor.  I could not escape the impression of the Holy Spirit concerning the church and relocating. He made it very clear it was His will for me to accept the challenge and become the pastor. It was the beginning of three years of amazing miracles!

There are many highlights of our ministry in West Memphis. It was the beginning of my bus outreach ministry. I heard about a bus for sale at a Memphis Baptist church for $250.00. The church didn’t have $250.00. To this day, I have no idea how I got the money to buy that bus. Two things I know for sure, I did not steal it, and God provided the money for the purchase. It was a happy day when I drove that bus across the Mississippi river to the church. Now I really had a problem. There was no one to drive the bus and be a bus pastor, so I knew it all depended on me.

I spent Saturdays knocking on doors rounding up people to ride the bus on Sunday. It was exciting to see the results of my labors with a bus load every Sunday! God taught me many things about this ministry that I would use years later to build a very large bus ministry at Little Rock and Virginia Beach.

The Holy Spirit started sending people to attend the church, and there was an exciting growth explosion! Out of that dynamic growth God sent  a former Nazarene song evangelist to help me. ORLANDO “TUT” RUSSELL, with a booming voice, became a great friend and supporter. I used him every Sunday to lead the singing and sing before I preached. He really inspired a lot of growth! One Sunday in 1964 I received 44 brand new members into the church. They reached out to others, and here is where Frangelism began for me, even though I did not know what to call it then. The church was awarded the Small Church Achievement Award from Nazarene headquarters in Kansas City.

The most exciting Sunday in my time at West Memphis happened on a fall rally day that featured Tut Russell and the Ozark Harmony Boys. I convinced Harold Penn, manager and owner of KSUD Radio Station, to broadcast the service live. Two Hundred sixty two people packed the worship center with standing room only.

The tremendous growth inspired us to look for another location in a more visual location. God opened the door for us to purchase three acres from a Baptist church on a busy boulevard for relocation. The pastor that followed me relocated the church and built a new building. He had a short-term ministry, and my friend Jay Ahlemann became the pastor, and took the church to another record height that has never been surpassed.

It really has been fun to be the pastor of growing churches!



Charles Kirby

BLOG #  31: NOVEMBER 03, 2017



She was inspired by the Holy Spirit to leave her familiar surroundings in Jackson, Mississippi to help plant a church in Greenwood, Mississippi. It happened at a Nazarene District Assembly Home Missions rally. She was a Stanley home products dealer with an established business route in Jackson. She was willing to leave that, and the fellowship of her home church and friends to move to the beautiful city of Greenwood with 25,000 people that did not have a Nazarene church to help plant one.


EUNICE PHILLIPS was one of the most amazing layman I have ever known. Her faith and sacrificial spirit was a tremendous inspiration to all that knew her. When Bess and I, along with 6 week old Charles Jr., arrived as the first pastor of the Greenwood Nazarene Church in August of 1961, she greeted us with enthusiasm and expectation. She told us about  God’s call for her to move to Greenwood, and about the dreams she had for the church. She let us know she was totally committed to help establish and grow the church. I have never seen a layman work like she did to invite and reach people for the church.


When we arrived to begin our pastoral ministry, there were 3 people in the church. Eunice Phillips, Beverly, her adopted daughter, and Cecil, Beverly’s boyfriend. The Mississippi District had built a beautiful small church building in a good location on a corner lot across the street from the Yazoo River. My salary was $25.00 dollars a week paid by the district. Bess got a job teaching English at Greenwood High School for $2,300 a year. In many ways that year, August 1961 to September 1962 was a blur. I went all out to grow the church, walking the streets going door to door, inviting people to attend the church. Eunice Phillips had many contacts through her Stanley products job, and worked continuously inviting people to church. The church started to grow from 3 to 20 and on up to 30. Eunice was thrilled to see the results of reaching out to brand new people, and it inspired her to give it all she had! I purchased a duplicating machine and started mailing church news to a mailing list of contacts and attenders, promoting the services. I can still see the beaming face of Eunice with the growth. Her efforts and sacrifice was paying off! On up to 50 the attendance climbed, and to a rally day crowd of just under 100 that filled the small worship center.


The church averaged 67 in attendance that one and only year we were in Greenwood. In September of that year God moved us to West Memphis, Arkansas to resurrect the First Nazarene Church that had only 7 people left after a continuous decline of several years. The Greenwood church went through several pastoral changes and didn’t survive. There is no church there today. I am sure heaven will reveal the results of the seeds sowed by a dedicated, sacrificial and obedient lady by the name of Eunice.


On Sunday May 22, after church, Bess and I went to Dollywood to hear Karen Peck and New River in concert at 3 p.m. They honored us with front row middle seats. Karen told the huge crowd that we were there and then dedicated the song, “My God Will Always Be Enough” to us. A number of people that have been to Lake Gibson came down after the closing to speak to us. It was a wonderful way to close out another Lord,s Day!


It really is true, “My God Will Always Be Enough!”

Charles Kirby

BLOG #  30:  OCTOBER 27, 2017



Great laymen are keys to a great church. In my 56 year pastoral journey across America I have had many who have stood by me through thick and thin to help me  accomplish what I thought God had called me to do in each church. This blog is the beginning of a series on wonderful laymen that have served with dedication and faithfulness in my churches, and I am honoring with love and gratitude.

LEROY COX in Virginia Beach, Virginia, went home to be with his Lord a few days ago on October 15 at the age of 96. Leroy was an outstanding layman in Tidewater Central Church in Virginia Beach. He was the owner of a large television and appliance center that served the Tidewater area. He was a great inspiration to me and a faithful supporter during my three-and-a-half-year ministry that saw the church grow from 213 to 719 in average attendance. He encouraged and supported me with a great outreach ministry of 15 buses, and was thrilled with the exciting growth! Leroy stood by me in a challenging time with a staff member that had family in the congregation. When the ministry of the staff member continued to decline, I had to make the most difficult decision in my pastoral ministry at that time, to dismiss that staff person. Leroy’s support of my decision and action never wavered, and with his help and encouragement I survived, and the church rolled on!


Before I announced my retirement to the church in February, Leroy telephoned me in my office to thank me for my ministry on the internet. He let me know that he and Maxine, his wife, went to church with us every Sunday on the internet since they were not able to attend the Tidewater Central services. At Leroy’s passing Bess and I had the opportunity to minister to Maxine and other family members several times before the celebration service on October 19. Maxine told us how they would move their chairs close to the television to not miss a service on the internet on Sundays.

One of the family members was grandson Frank Davenport who, at 53, expressed his love and appreciation for me and my ministry. While I pastored Tidewater Central church Frank was stricken with acute leukemia and was given no hope to survive. The church rose up to pray and fast for a miracle from God. Leroy’s faith was an incredible inspiration to me.

I flew to New York city to be with the family at the hospital and to pray and anoint Frank for God’s healing. One of the greatest miracles in all of my ministry happened when God healed Frank! While we were talking on the phone together, we rejoiced again over the tremendous miracle! Frank told me about his job with the FBI. He reminded me how he wanted to make his hair look like mine when he was young. We laughed about the time I went to his house to style his hair like mine. I still remember how excited he was. His parents, Bill and Linda, along with Leroy and Maxine would tell me that Frank would ask them, “Does my hair look like Pastor Kirby's?"

Bess and I continue to rejoice over how our Lord, in the beginning time of our retirement, continues to give us the opportunities to minister to others, especially like the Cox family in Virginia Beach!

God is so good!


Charles Kirby

Coming next week: One amazing lady who was a layman and a special honor from KAREN PECK at Dollywood on Sunday October 22

BLOG #  29:  OCTOBER 20, 2017


I ended my blog last week describing how my cousin, Nona Faye, and I played church in the barn after school and on Saturdays. Even though I has a stuttering and stammering tongue until God healed me at 18, I never stuttered and stammered while preaching in the barn.

A horrible inferiority complex began to dominate my life. I refused to look people in the eye and sucked my thumb through the 3rd grade. In school I refused to speak publicly or give a speech because I would stutter. Fellow students would laugh at me until I would take an F rather than speak publicly. I lived in fear that I would be called by the teachers to answer questions, so I would try to block their view of me by trying to hide behind the heads of students sitting in front of me. I lived this way all through elementary, middle school and high school. It was a miserable existence for me. More times than I can count, I would come home from school to cry at my mother’s knee, asking “Why does God put me through this?” My dear mother would often say, “Charles Lee, God is going to Heal you in His time.” I would respond by asking, “When!” I am ashamed to say this, but I really did hate God. I knew there was no way I could be a preacher with my speech impediment that was dominating my life. The truth about this major hurdle in my life is that I did not stutter talking to friends, it only raised its ugly head when I tried to speak publicly before people. Satan really had me in his grip and under incredible bondage.


The shock of my life came when I entered college at Trevecca in Nashville. All freshmen were required to take a class called Written And Oral Communication. I was petrified my first day in the class to hear the professor outline the requirements of the class included included giving oral reports. It goes without saying, I did not do well in that class, because I only did the written phase and not the oral. It was during this time I continued to rebel against God, and run from His plan for my life. There never was a doubt in my mind concerning God’s call to be a preacher of the gospel.

An amazing thing happened to me on a Sunday morning in Nashville while I was in college. I went to church at College Hill Church to hear pastor Claude Galloway, whom I really liked and respected, preach. As I sat on the back row, the Holy Spirit really spoke to me and said, “It is time to stop running.” He overpowered me with strong conviction until I found myself leaving my seat during the invitation to take the long walk down the center aisle to the altar. I was overcome by God’s presence, and told Him as I wept and prayed, that I would surrender to His call to preach if He would heal my stuttering, stammering tongue. I have no idea how my pastor of my home church, Phil Storey, whom I really loved, heard about what happened that Sunday morning so quickly. He called me and said, “Charles, I know you are coming home next week-end, So I want you to preach Sunday night.” Fear swept through my spirit, and I tried to speak, but could not say a word. He hung up the phone and all I heard was a buzz.


That was the fastest week in my life! There I stood 60 years ago this past March in 1957, to preach my very first sermon to a real live audience of people, and not cows and horses. “The Tears And Torments Of The Finally Lost” was the title of that message. I can still see my friends that had come to see “the show,” because I had never spoken in public without stuttering and stammering. The miracle of miracles really happened that Sunday night! As I stepped to the pulpit and open my mouth to speak, for the first time in my life I never stuttered and stammered! My friends were in shock. Two dear lady saints that had prayed for me, who always sat on the second row, and were old time shouting saints, stood to their feet raising their hands and shouting praise to their Lord! Everyone who really knew me, and my struggle to speak without stuttering, knew they were witnessing a miracle!

Almost immediately I started receiving invitations to preach across the southeast. I would leave the college campus in my 1954 green and white Ford on Fridays or Saturdays to preach on Sundays and in week-end revivals, returning to the campus late Sunday nights or early Monday mornings. Other preacher boys on campus, studying for the ministry, who did not have many invitations to preach, were amazed how busy I was, and seemed not to understand. The truth is, neither did I. All I knew it had to be God!

To God be glory and honor now and forever!

Charles Kirby


BLOG #  28:  OCTOBER13, 2017


I was born on October 13, 1937 to Lee Olen and Dorothy Pauline Kirby. My birth took place in their country farmhouse home in the Bear Creek community near Pinson, Tennessee. It was a beautiful setting overlooking the clear waters, at that time, of Bear Creek. There was a wonderful spring nearby that never ran dry. I was thrilled a few years ago, when I visited our old home place community, to discover the spring is still flowing to this day. I drank from that spring many times as a boy lying on my belly to lap at those cool waters. I took advantage of the opportunity to drink from that spring one more time, perhaps the last. As I was drinking, I thanked my Lord for the day  I discovered springs of living water that flow through my soul this day!

From my earliest recollection I knew I would be a preacher. I thought of it as my dream job. When people would say to me, “You will be a carpenter just like your dad,” I knew that would never happen. Even though I did help my dad from time to time in his carpentry work, my mind was focused on being a preacher. I actually started preaching at 3 years of age, according to my parents, by using as a pulpit the square platform hand rail at the bottom of the staircase. That was my favorite thing to do, so I would preach every day. A renter that helped my dad with the farming, lived upstairs. He really loved me, but my preaching made him nervous. My dad, recounting that period of time, said my preaching put him under conviction. The renter never would go to church with us, and told my dad, “If you don’t stop Charles Lee from his preaching, he is going to lose his mind.”  He really must have been convicted by the Holy Spirit.

When I was in the first grade my parents sold the old home place and bought one of my favorite places to live, growing up, about 10 miles from Jackson, Tn. It was a wonderful truck farm with an orchard with delicious apples and peaches; a very good barn for two cows and Patsy, our beautiful horse, I loved to ride; a large pasture for the cows to graze, Patsy to roam and where I could ride, and wonderful land for farming.

Our house was large enough for my mother’s sister, aunt Lockey, uncle Dewey and cousin Nona Faye to live in one side. When I was in the 3rd grade, my cousin Nona Faye and I had our own church and worship center in the barn. She played a make-believe piano from a bale of hay, and my dad built me a pulpit. It became our favorite thing to do after school and on Saturdays. We really had church! I dressed up in Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes, and preached up a storm. It was in the barn and in this setting that I developed the dynamics and excitement of expression in preaching. It was in the barn that I discovered the Kirby kick that has been known and witnessed by many people through the years. It really did give me a great background and head start for my homiletical and preaching training when I went to college and majored in religion.

As I am celebrating 80 years, looking back on my life, it really has been an exciting journey! The longer I have lived the more I have witnessed the providence of God in my life. This blog is only the beginning of

“A Boyhood Preacher Turns 80.”  I will continue with my life’s journey in my blog next week.

Thank you, Lord, for guiding me all the way!

Charles Kirby

BLOG # 27:  OCTOBER 6, 2017

TIME: A Powerful Force In All Our Lives


Since I began my retirement in May, I have been thinking more and more about TIME. You and I have said it over and over again: “Where has the TIME gone? The year is passing so fast; I can’t believe it is almost Christmas again; The older I get, the faster TIME flies.” It really is a fact of life, TIME is a powerful force in all our lives!


It is very difficult for me to believe, but it is absolutely true. Bess and I have been retired and at our cabins in the Smokies 41/2 months. It has been a wonderful TIME for us! We have spent this TIME getting adjusted to a totally different lifestyle without the stress and pressure of schedules and assignments. One reason 41/2 months of TIME have passed so fast is because we have been very busy upgrading our cabins, traveling, ministering and meeting with friends.

As we are winding down our Spring, Summer and Fall TIME here in the mountains, we are planning our TIME for the Winter and Spring in Lakeland. We are excited about a new door of ministry opportunity that is opening! TIME will reveal the results and benefits that are ahead. Our dear Lord is directing our paths!


The Holy Spirit inspired me early Thursday morning, while I was still in bed, about the powerful force of TIME.  As I meditated in the holy presence of our Lord, He spoke to me through Scripture.

“See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the TIME, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16


The powerful force of TIME has brought us to this incredible place in world history. It goes without saying, our day is a TIME of evil. The tragedy in Las Vegas dominates the TIME on television  and radio stations. The darkness of sin continues to darken our world while the bright light of the Gospel is trying to dispel the darkness in the hearts of mankind. Guns have never caused the darkness. The powerful force of sin is the root cause of the evil that covers our world. There is only onE cure. It is redemption through the blood of Jesus!


I have been thinking, what would happen if every born again, Spirit-filled Christian would take advantage of the powerful force of TIME to let the light of our Lord shine through us. Without one doubt, we would make a difference! ladies and gentlemen, TIME is running out. World conditions and the Word of God is pointing to the TIME of our Lord’s return. Dear Lord, please save us from slumber and sleep! TIME is continuing to make a change in you and me!


                            Time has made a change

                            On each smiling face.

                            Time has made a change

                             In the old home place.

                             All the world can plainly

                             See time has made a change

                             In you and me.


God bless each one of you!

BLOG #  26:  September 29, 2017

It has been a joy this last week in September for Bess and me to host two wonderful couples.   Dick and Carole Noble, Dan and Jean Oliveira have rented our Snuggled-In cabin for the week to attend the National Quartet Convention in Pigeon Forge.  Both of them are members of Lake Gibson church in Lakeland, where we served as their pastors.   It has been fun doing so many things together...eating and fellowshipping together at some great restaurants, like The Old Mill, experiencing Billy Graham’s Cove in Asheville, going to Dollywood, and of course traveling back and forth to the convention on three special evenings.   We certainly have made some great memories.  Isn’t that what friendships do?


The quartet convention was outstanding once again.  This is the 3rd year it has been held at the beautiful LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge after moving from Louisville.   This was the 60th anniversary for the National Quartet Convention that began in 1957 at the Ellis Auditorium in Memphis.  Over 12,000 have attended this year.   Thursday night was incredible, with a turn-away crowd that completely packed the auditorium.  One of the big highlights in attending the NQC is seeing so many people that have attended Lake Gibson Church through the 19 years Bess and I served as pastors.  And then there is that large number that have watched the services on the internet that have never had the opportunity to attend.   We talked with so many of them from across the country and Canada.   One was the Fenn family from Harrogate, Tn that stopped us in the huge lobby.  Rebecca and her four children, Christina, Daniel, Josh and Hannah warmed our hearts.  Rebecca told us they worshipped with us every weekend, and the children would wait for the services to begin.  And when they did begin, they would call their mother and say, “Mother, Pastor Kirby is on!”  These were four siblings, two teens and two younger children, with such an interest in our services.  Once again, as Bess and I walked away, we were rejoicing over the impact of the internet ministry!


To God be the Glory!

Charles Kirby


BLOG #  25:  September 22, 2017

Friends are priceless! Since Bess and I retired, we are now able to spend more time with our friends. Many of them come and go to the mountains. Several of them have places here in the Smokies. It is great meeting them at some of our favorite restaurants for a meal and wonderful fellowship. It is fun running into people we have known through the years but haven’t seen them in a long time. We see them at Dollywood, the Old Mill, our favorite restaurant, at the outlet shops  and other places Bess likes to shop. I usually find a bench while I am waiting, and catch up on the news. It always amazes me at the people I meet that know me. Many of these have seen me on the internet while watching the Lake Gibson Church services. We have a pleasant chat and get acquainting during these times.

Next week, September 24-30, is the 60th National Quartet Convention in Pigeon Forge. Some 12,000 people will attend. We will see many of our friends and others that have watched Lake Gibson services through the years. Bess and I will visit with all the groups that are featured singers at Saturday and Sunday nights in Lakeland. I will have the opportunity to spend time with the agents I have worked with for 19 years that books the music groups. We have become wonderful friends. Bess and I will be attending three nights, Tuesday, Wednesday and  Thursday. We usually arrive at 4:00 p.m. and stay through most of the evenings. We try to catch all our favorite groups when they are featured. Some really are anointed by the Holy Spirit. Those are our favorites.

For several years I served as chaplain for the Southern Gospel Promoters Association, and had some responsibilities at the convention. Since I gave  up that position a few years ago, it is more relaxing for me to attend.

Since I am thinking about friends, let me introduce you to my greatest friend that sticks closer than a brother.

                 “Friendship with Jesus, fellowship divine.

                 Oh what blessed sweet communion, Jesus

                 Is a friend of mine!”

Cherish your friends!

Charles Kirby

BLOG # 24 . SEPTEMBER 15, 2017


A few Sundays ago Bess and I joined our friends, retired Nazarene pastors, to attend a home mission church worship service. A tenor singer that has sung at Lake Gibson Church in several Saturday Nights In Lakeland concerts was the featured singer. He sang with the Dixie Echoes and Florida Boys back then, but now has his own concert ministry.  He had a wonderful ministry to all of us that attended.


After our friend completed his music ministry, the 40 year old pastor of the church gave a mini message from Exodus on Moses, the Israelites and Pharaoh on following God’s leadership. In the message the pastor told the congregation he had been a bi-vocational pastor all of his ministry. He told us two weeks before, the Holy Spirit impressed on him to take a step of faith, and resign his job as circulation manager at the Newport Plain Talk newspaper and become a full time pastor. He stated how the past week had been a very difficult time for him as he had battled Satan over his step of faith. I was really moved by his faith and his trust in God to provide for him, his wife and his son.


To say the least, the Holy Spirit moved on my spirit to help him. The Holy Spirit clearly spoke to me to write a check for $100.00 to give the pastor as I was leaving the service. As I put the check in his hand I blessed him for his step of faith, and told him I would keep him in my thoughts and prayers. I cannot begin to describe the joy I felt in my spirit as Bess and I got in our car.


Through the years Bess and I have really been blessed as we have honored and obeyed the words of our Lord in Luke 6:38, “Give, and it shall be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For the same measure that you use, it shall be measured back to you,” I need to tell you that $100.00 has already returned to me many fold in so many ways! I do not have the space to name all the ways because they are legion. It is a fact, Luke 6:38 is really true! I encourage all of you that are reading these lines in this blog to let God guide you in the days ahead in all the ways you can give, and they are so many. It really is fun to prove our Lord, and to enjoy His abundant blessings!


Don’t forget, our Lord gave His all for us!


Charles Kirby

BLOG # 23 . SEPTEMBER 15, 2017


Recently it finally hit me...I have lived a sheltered life! Since Bess and I retired we have continued to visit a new church every Sunday from all denominations. As soon as we got in our car this past Sunday, I said to Bess, “I can’t take it anymore. I must have my soul fed from God’s Word. Next Sunday I want to hear an exposition of the Scriptures from Pastor Dean Haun.”

I have discovered what I had thought was normal in churches in these last days really is normal. It can actually be summarized two ways:

  1. A lack of Biblical exposition of God’s Word directly from the Scriptures that feeds the soul. We need more than story-telling preaching that develops shallow Christians.

  2. Music that appeals only to those on the platform in a praise team. Choirs are almost non-existant. Most of the congregation just stands without participating in music they do not know. No familiar hymns are ever sung. The atmosphere and the volume of singing totally changes if a hymn is at last chosen.

The Holy Spirit convicted me years ago from being a topical story teller to an expositor of the Scripture. The effectiveness of my ministry totally changed, and miracles of grace happened with exciting growth! The Holy Spirit also taught me that music that appeals to and inspires the soul rather than inspiring the head is a wonderful prelude to a Spirit-anointed service. As a result, God gave me wonderful music ministers and worship leaders that helped to prepare the people for God’s Word. Darrel Gash at Lake Gibson Church in Lakeland is the best example I know. Anymore, they are few and far between and very hard to find.

This Sunday Bess and I are planning to worship in a wonderful church with inspiring music by the congregation, orchestra and choir. By the way, it will be a blended worship that will include hymns. It will prepare the way for Dr. Haun’s dynamic exposition of God’s Word followed by an invitation. As we leave I know what we will say. It is the same we say every time we have worshipped there. “This is a worship service that has fed our souls, and one like it should be.”

Dear Lord, may our worship honor You and feed our soul!

Charles Kirby

BLOG #  22:  September 1, 2017



The bones of Phineas F. Bresee, founder of the Church of the Nazarene in 1908, are rattling in his grave in Los Angeles. The doctrine of Scriptural holiness he had preached as the pastor of the First Methodist Church of Los Angeles he was inspired by the Holy Spirit to bring to the new church. The doctrine and the new church spread like wild-fire across America. Scriptural holiness has been the distinguishing doctrine of the Nazarene Church from the very beginning until now. However, compromisers and liberal preachers are doing all they can to destroy the foundational roots that have guided the church through the years. It guided my parents into the church in 1944 during a revival with the silver-tongued orator, Dr. L.B. Hicks as the evangelist in what became our home church, the First Nazarene Church in Jackson, Tennessee. I preached my first sermon from that pulpit on March 28, 1957, 60 years ago this past March. I have been a career Nazarene pastor for 56 years, pastoring churches across America, the last 19 years at Lake Gibson Nazarene in Lakeland, Florida. It has been an incredible journey for Bess and me!

During this journey of a lifetime, I have been faithful to proclaim God’s Word without fear or favor, and remain true to the doctrines of the Church, including the fullness of the Holy Spirit in every believer’s life through the experience of entire sanctification and Scriptural holiness.

Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky, states, “For some time now, it has been increasingly clear that every congregation in the nation will be forced to declare itself openingly on the issue of same- sex marriage. That moment of decision and public declaration will come to every Christian believer, individually. There will be no place to hide, and no place safe from eventful interrogation. The question will be asked, and invitation will be extended, a matter of policy must be decided, and there will be no refuge.”

Ladies and gentleman, I never dreamed the day would come when I would be forced and directed by the Holy Spirit to write these lines about my denomination. But that time has come and I cannot be silent! An indication that our moral resolve is weakening, and we are questioning our moral responsibility and leadership as Nazarenes occurred on the floor of the Nazarene General Assembly this past June when 97% of the delegates voted to remove the word “Perversion” from the Nazarene Manual statement on human sexuality as related to homosexuality. Since when did this behavior cease to be a perversion? Our overwhelming action on this appears to be indicative that we have lost our moral courage as a church, and are now more concerned about not offending someone.

Perhaps the most alarming and disturbing action associated with all of this also occurred during the past General Assembly when leadership of the Nazarene Church permitted for the very first time an exhibition of the rainbow flag and the LGBT letters...worldwide symbols of the homosexual movement.   Click HERE to see the Nazarene Church web site that is sponsoring the booth.  Allowing for the appearance of the rainbow flag and the LGBT letters in full display at an exhibition booth at a Nazarene General Assembly may have seemed innocuous, but it is not. If anything it was naive and foolish, and a betrayal of trust, and I cannot be silent!

I have told general church leaders the past few years that the Nazarene Church was in serious trouble and in a state of decline, but to no avail. I have based the fact of that statement on the response I have received from viewers to my messages from the worldwide web aired from the pulpit of Lake Gibson Church. It has been overwhelming when I have preached against the culture changing the Church rather than the Church changing the culture, and being Biblically correct rather than politically correct.

The only thing that can save us is a mighty move of the Holy Spirit to fill every pulpit in the church until preachers will experience the powerful anointing of God’s Spirit, to be bold in proclaiming the truth found in the Word of God without compromise...a modern day Great Awakening!

Dear God, please revive Your Church!

Charles Kirby

BLOG #  21:  August 25, 2017

BLOG #  20:  August 18, 2017


I am sitting at the bar in Stargazer cabin looking out the window to the majestic mountains. What an inspiring sight! Bess and I just replaced the double window with an outstanding picture window. It has opened up an incredible expanded view of the mountains, far more than we had envisioned. We are continually finding ourselves overwhelmed with the wonderful expansion. It has opened up a new world!  The Holy Spirit has reminded me of a phrase in an old song…”through the upper window, you will see me standing by.”


In one of my favorite campmeeting messages I close with the story of two brothers. The younger brother had made wrong choices and was a total failure, while his older brother had become a successful executive as the president of a railroad. He decided he would try to help his brother by giving him a job as a ticket taker at the gate of the train depot. His brother told him it would not be an easy job because some people would be rude, abusive and impatient, in a hurry to board the train. The assignment was to keep smiling with every passenger, even with all of the abuse, and say, “ticket please.” The older brother had his office up above the passenger boarding gate and told his brother he would be watching him to make sure he succeeded.

The older brother was right. He watched people as they were abusive and rude to his brother. However, the younger brother would just smile and say, “ticket please,” and look up to his brother at the window. It prompted a passenger to speak to him about what he had been witnessing as people were rushing to board the train. He said, “I have been watching the abuse you are receiving from some people boarding. How do you do it ?” The younger brother said. “See that window up there? That is my older brother’s office. He is the president of this railroad. I have been a total failure with my life, but my brother decided to try to help me to succeed, so he gave me this ticket taker job. He said all I want you to do is keep smiling, and say, ‘ticket please,’ even when people are abusive and rude. I know he is watching me from that window up there. I can not fail to do what he has asked of me because he has rescued my life."

Ladies and gentlemen, there is a window up there. The President of life’s railway to heaven is watching from the upper window to make sure we succeed as we board and ride the Gospel train to Heaven’s railway station. We must keep “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”

 Don’t forget who is looking out the window up there!

BLOG # 19:  August 11, 2017


On April 22 in blog 3 I wrote about the DOUBLE RAINBOWS Bess and I followed to our cabins as we were returning from Pigeon Forge. To understand the message in this blog, you will need to go back and read blog number 3[CLICK HERE].


Since the incredible experience we had on the deck of our cabin, God has been blessing us tremendously! There has hardly been a day without a wonderful very special blessing. Many times the blessings have been double just like the rainbows.


Our Lord has given us many opportunities to minister since we began our summer journey on May 22. God has helped me in my two preaching assignments. We have made three major trips to minister. Our Lord has kept us safe as we have traveled the many miles. Next week we have another trip scheduled, and are trusting God’s provision.


Bess and I are enjoying our special devotional time every morning after breakfast. We pray for so many of our friends that are in need. We give God praise for the many double blessings in the growth of our cabin rentals to close out 2017. We declare God’s kingdom to come and His will to be done as our Lord’s prayer instructs us. One of our major prayers has been for God to give Lake Gibson Church the pastor He knows it needs. We will continue to prevail in prayer for our Lord to supply this great need.


I still believe the best is yet to come!

Charles Kirby

Blog # 18, August 4, 2017


“Send Another Bus!” has been my most popular and most requested message through the years. I have preached it all across America and Canada in church growth conferences and camp meetings. Hundreds have sought God at altars of prayer, accepting the challenge to “stand in the gap” according to Ezekiel 22. On Sunday July 30, I preached it again by request of my dear friend, pastor Jay Ahlemann, at his church, Restoration Fellowship in Strasburg, Virginia. Once again, a thrilling number of people responded to the invitation! 


An amazing thing happened on Tuesday, August 2, on Facebook. My ministry friend, Lowell Clyburn, described a convention service in 1987 in Georgia where I preached that message. I will never forget what happened as he described it. It was held in a large Baptist church

Rev. Lowell & Pam Clyburn

auditorium. I remember the church was filled with people, and they responded to the invitation, filling the entire front of the auditorium. It was on a Saturday, and on Sunday, a mighty move of God swept through the local churches, including his, that were represented at the convention. As Lowell went on the describe the move of the Holy Spirit on the Georgia District, it carried over to the next week in the District Assembly.

Precious memories, how they linger!

Come Holy Spirit, we really need You!

Charles Kirby

BLOG # 17:  July 27, 2017


Directions are very important. The right directions will be the key to make it to the desired destination. The Word of God is a book of directions. It outlines the route to make it to the most wonderful destination known to mankind...the Eternal City of God...Heaven!


This week I gave directions to people to take the best route from our cabins to Pigeon Forge. My directions were clear and simple. However, they were not followed, and as a result they got lost on a narrow curvy road that went from pavement to dirt. Through God’s providence, a sheriff was in the back country, and came to their rescue. Two and a half hours later they finally made it to their destination. When we met them at an agreed place, they told us about their incredible experience. I know the wrong road they had taken because Bess and I have taken that road before. I marvel that a sheriff was parked in the remote area and led them out.


I was reminded that our Heavenly Sheriff, the Lord Jesus, will lead us out when we take the wrong road and do not follow the directions that are clearly marked in God’s Word. By the way, what route are you on? Are you following the directions our Lord has given to you? He has said, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.”


Let’s stay on the right road!

Charles Kirby

BLOG # 16:  July 21, 2017


Since Bess and I arrived here at our cabins on May 22nd it has been non-stop for us. That means 2 months have already passed. People told me that would happen...time zipping by quickly, but I didn’t believe it. I thought time can’t pass any faster than it is for me as a pastor. Guess what? Now I am a believer, because it is happening! I guess the main reason is because we have been working continuously at our cabins, inside and out, and they look great! We are having a great time!


Can you believe Charles and Bess Kirby have become gardeners? Our knock out rose bushes look great! Just yesterday a tragedy happened. We lost connection to the outside world through television  (Fox News) and I am to blame. Planting 10 beautiful yellow plants, I cut the Direct television communication line, and our television went blank, along with the Snuggled-In renter's TV. I did it with my shovel digging a hole for another plant. Last night and today the television remains black, and will be until the man from Direct TV comes to repair the mess I created...and it is such a beautiful yellow plant!


Guess what the Holy Spirit has said to me through it all? It is so easy to lose connection with home and with our dear Lord. The Holy Spirit is our connector, but the communication line must never be cut in two. It is a fact, so many people have no communication with home because the line directly to the Heavenly Father has become occupied with other things of lesser importance. But it is such a beautiful yellow plant! Let me appeal to you NOW to check your communication line. If there is something in your life that is blocking the flow of the Holy Spirit, repent and let Him repair and open the line directly to the Father. He is waiting on you!


Holy Spirit, we really do need You!

Charles Kirby


BLOG # 15:  July 14, 2017

Not very far from our cabins, just on the edge of Ashville, is an incredible place. When I am there I feel like I am standing on holy ground.  This tremendous place is THE COVE, part of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Bess and I have been there twice. It is a very beautiful place, and a dream of Ruth Graham to honor her husband.  It traces his life and ministry from the beginning. There is no charge for taking the tour and visiting the museum. The Lord willing, we are planning to go back again to hear the Collingsworth family on August 19.


Bess and I are continuing to beautify and upgrade our cabins. You can see some of the upgrades by going to our cabin website at www.themajesticview.com and taking a tour. New pictures of both cabins have been posted. Bess has done a good job taking new pictures, and Duane Kendall, our webmaster has included them. We appreciate all of our friends that are telling others about our cabins and the rental possibilities. More and more people are discovering the beauty of our location. Driving up Majestic View Way to the cabins is a heart-warming experience for me every time I make that drive. We are grateful for all of the wonderful comments of the glorious majesty that surrounds us in these fabulous mountains!


Rejoicing always!

 Charles Kirby

BLOG # 14:  July 7, 2017

This past Lord’s Day was the best spiritual Sunday I have experienced since making our cabins our summer home in retirement on May 22. One reason it was so wonderful is that it was just like Lake Gibson when I was the pastor. It reminded me of home. The music by the choir, orchestra and congregation was tremendous! The inspiring and anointed exposition on Gideon and his small army of men reminded me of a message I have preached. Pastor Haun, Sr. pastor of First Baptist Morristown did a fabulous job feeding my soul! The music was the best we have experienced in all of our visits to a variety of churches in the area. As we waded through the crowd of people leaving the worship center, Bess said to me, “This was our best worship experience!” I agreed with her.  


On our way to the car I was talking to myself. It went something like this. “Why can’t churches today understand what true worship really is? People need a variety of music that is blended to include hymns that are filled with Bible doctrine and the exposition of God’s Word directly from the Scriptures.” That is exactly what we experienced!


It was a God and Country morning with the worship center ablaze with red, white and blue. As a matter of fact, Bess and I looked at one another when pastor Haun said, “I know some churches don’t have God and Country day any more, but as long as I am the pastor here we will continue to celebrate America on this day.” It reminded us of someone else that has said the same thing.


God Bless America and President Trump!

 Charles Kirby

BLOG # 13:  JUNE 30, 2017









 Charles Kirby



BLOG # 12:  JUNE 23, 2017

Lake Gibson Church outreach continues to amaze me! I am continuing to be confronted by people who have seen me on the internet through Lake Gibson church services. A few days ago in two different restaurants, two couples told Bess and me they have heard me preach on the internet and really enjoyed the church services. Several people from Ohio and North Carolina introduced themselves to Bess and me at Dollywood and said they really love our services and ministry. On top of all this, two couples from the Newport area that have been watching the services from Lake Gibson, invited us to join them for dinner last night (Thursday) at Carver’s Apple House, one of our favorite restaurants in the Smokies, just ten minutes from our cabins. It was a very delightful evening! They were so gracious and kind to us in their expressions. In the past, I have told you about a lady (Anita) that told me in Wal Mart that she watched our services.


All of this is incredible! Our dear Lord has certainly blessed this tremendous ministry that reaches across America and to other countries of our world. I am reminded it takes preparation in music and preaching to make this ministry effective. A faithful and dedicated media team sends the services out every week so people can view and worship. Without them, this ministry would not be possible. Also, people sending financial support really does help. My heart has been warmed many times when I have opened envelopes containing checks and very gracious notes.


Our cabin website at www.themajesticview.com is being updated by Duane Kendall, our wonderful webmaster. If you go there, you will see some of the upgrades, new pictures, etc, in both cabins since May 22nd. Bess and I really have been busy. Yes, I have cut down four more trees this past Wednesday and it looks great! Those of you that have stayed at our cabins in the past will see the difference we are making. We urge you to book a date and come back. It is our life-blood in these retirement days. For others of you that have not been to our area here in the Smokies, we urge you to check it out. There is so much to see and to do. Please call us at 1 800  519-3342 to book a date.


May our dear Lord bless all of you!

 Charles Kirby

BLOG # 11:  JUNE 16, 2017

As I sit on the deck of Stargazer cabin looking at the glorious mountain peaks, I am reminded of the peaks in all of our lives…some high and some low. Our up and down emotions describes all of us. At times we are on the mountain peak, and perhaps soon thereafter we are on the valley floor. Bess and I just completed our morning devotional time with our Lord, and these moments with Him assures us His love, mercy and grace is never up and down, but is consistent and faithful to all of us through every situation we may face. “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith,” He always must be high and lifted up in our lives every day.

I have been talking to you the last few weeks about our four grandsons, Chase, Cody, and Michael. Today I am featuring Kyle, our fourth and oldest at 23. He lives in Tallahassee where he obtained an AS degree. He has been certified by the State of Florida in Leon County as a paramedic. He really loves it. When he found out I was on an emotional journey after my retirement, he called me here at our cabins to encourage me, and lift me up from the valley floor to the mountain  peak. His wisdom amazed me and really made me proud! We are planning to play golf at the beautiful Smokey Mountain Country Club near by when he comes to our cabins. It is an incredible golf course, and you guessed it, with high peaks and low valleys. I was there a few days ago and tried to conquer the peaks. I really enjoyed the  challenge and did not do bad. I really love that place!

Enjoy the peaks and learn from the BLOG # 11:  JUNE 16, 2017

 Charles Kirby

BLOG # 10:  JUNE 8, 2017
The 3rd grandson I will recognize in this blog is Michael.   He is in the Navy and stationed in Hawaii.   He got a good start on a Navy career by spending four years in R.O.T.C. in high school in Lakeland.   Since joining the Navy he has already visited several countries in our world.  He calls us every time khe is in a new port.   He is advancing in rank and loves the promotions, especially the increase in pay.   He is thinking about making the Navy a career at this present time.   Kyle, our 4th and oldest, is next up.   You will hear about him next week.

Next Monday, June 12, Bess and I will be here in the mountains at our cabins three weeks.   We have done a lot of work and upgrades. People that have stayed in our cabins in the past will see the changes.They will be impressed! During this time here we have only taken one play day, spending time at Dollywood on a glorious, beautiful day,  
We have worshipped in three different churches during this time here.  Sunday will be another one.  I will be writing later what we are experiencing.  It is exactly what I had expected.  It really is a sad day for the Church in general with so many many people searching.   The harvest is ripe!  We are seeing people up here that have watched me on the internet, and some that have attended the services at Lake Gibson.   It is very heartwarming to hear their comments.
Enjoying these mountains!!

Charles Kirby

BLOG # 9:  JUNE 2, 2017

In blog 7 I started telling you about my 4 grandsons. I began with Chase who just graduated from Wade Christian High School in Melbourne with a 4.0 grade point average. Cody is the brother of Chase. He is on the staff at Calvary Chapel, a mega-church in Melbourne. He works as a computer specialist, and really loves his ministry.  Cody maintained a 4.0 grade point average through high school at Wade Christian and in collage at East Coast University in Melbourne. He played basketball at Wade Christian for four years and has served as an assistant coach for the Junior Varsity at Wade. He is an outstanding young man with a heart for God. 

My first mowing and weed eating challenge was completed on Wednesday, May 31. It is a fact, I really don’t need a fitness center to work out. I will get all of the exercise I need with my mowing and weed eating on the slopes of Majestic  View.  By the way, it really does look good!  I guess I should be proud of myself, and I am!

In blog #3 I wrote about the amazing double rainbows Bess and I followed for 15 minutes to our cabins. As we watched the incredible sight from our Stargazer cabin deck, we claimed the rainbows as a promise of double blessings from our Lord. Since then we have experienced many wonderful blessings. On May 30 a thrilling blessing, hard to describe, happened to us. Immediately Bess and I said, “It all goes back to the double rainbows!”

A fabulous  happening just occurred as I started this blog on Friday, June 2. My secretary for 16 years, Kaye Simpson, has encouraged me for some time to write a book about my life and ministry. I did talk to a publisher, but was too involved to pursue the possibility. However, the phone call that came about two hours ago was thrilling and encouraging about the book.   In the mid 70’s Bob Harrington, the Chaplain of Bourbon Street, told me I should write a book about my life experiences. Since then I have had two miracle healings of cancer.   So a book just might be in the making. 

Having a great time in the beautiful smokies. Bess and I just saw a deer in front of our Stargazer cabin.  Bess took the picture of the deer.


Charles Kirby

BLOG # 8: MAY 26, 2017
Who said retirement is boring?
Since Bess and I arrived at our cabins on May 22, we have been as busy as bees.  When our friends stay in our cabins, they will see the fruits of our labors.  Stargazer and Snuggled-in cabins are being upgraded to the delight of Bess.  As her friends know, she is very good at decorating.   I get to enjoy the fruits of her labors.  
We have been working hard setting up our lap-top and printer.  Just today, Friday, we made two trips to Staples in Sevierville.  Duane Kendall has been a great “geek”, along with Josh at Staples.
Phone calls, emails, notes and letters are a delight.  I found a quiet place in a busy store to respond to a phone call from a dear friend, and to pray for his healing through a medical procedure.   Another dear ministry friend called to report on his heart procedure and we both rejoiced together.   Ministry is always a delight for Bess and me.
Now it is all coming back to me.  So many people told me when you retire you will be very busy and never bored.  How can anyone be bored here in these beautiful Smokies and these glorious mountain views?

Charles Kirby


BLOG #7   May 19, 2017

Grandsons are very special! Bess and I have 4 young men that really bless us and make us proud! Chase is the youngest, and the son of Micki and Bob. He is graduating from high school in Melbourne. After church on Sunday, the 21st, Bess and I will attend his graduation party. He is graduating with a 4.0 grade average. He was just recently voted the MVP on his school soccer team. He is also finishing his second year of college, making the President’s List with a 4.0 grade average. I must admit, he did not get his smarts from me.
Bess and I will arrive at our cabins on Monday the 22nd. Our work is already cut out for us, beginning on Tuesday. Lowe’s will install new carpet in our Stargazer cabin on Wednesday and in the Snuggle In cabin on Tuesday the 30th. I will take over the grass cutting responsibilities from Steve, our neighbor, that has been helpful to us since our Lord gave us the cabins 12 years ago. He is a lay preacher, and really loves the Lord. He and his wife, Jana, live above us where Majestic View Way ends. That means I will need to buy a lawn mower from Lowe’s in Newport and be ready to tackle the grass on three slopes. As I am thinking about the new assignment, I really am grateful that most of our nearly two acres is woods. During our two week vacation time in April, I purchased a new weed eater and blower so I would be equipped and ready. 
Next week I will tell you about Cody, the older brother of Chase. He is in a staff position at the large Calvary Chapel Church in Melbourne. Also, I will update you on the happenings at Majestic View cabins on Majestic View Way in Cosby, Tennessee. 
I love the Smokey Mountains!

Charles Kirby

BLOG #6   May 12, 2017

As I remember my mother, I rejoice over the firm foundation she laid for my sister Diane and me. It reached all the way to our grandchildren. The power of influence is a priceless treasure. It endures through the years. The godly heritage my mother left all of us is greater than earthly wealth and possessions. We are so blessed!
In a few days Bess and I will head for the mountains, where we plan to spend the first summer in retirement. Fourteen years ago our Lord blessed us with two very nice cabins in a gorgeous area of the Smokey Mountains. It is peaceful and beautiful, beyond description, as we drive Majestic View Way, and are inspired by the incredible view of the mountains. It really is a fabulous sight! We are looking forward to our friends coming to see us and booking the Snuggled In cabin. It sure will help us in retirement. The Stargazer cabin will be our home for the summer and fall.
Living with anticipation!

Charles Kirby

BLOG #5   May 5, 2017

What does a high energy person do with retirement? That is the question that is uppermost in my mind during the first full week of a new journey I had never taken before. I guess I just didn’t think very far ahead. I have preached through the years that 95% of life is adjusting to change. It is a fact, our Lord is the great adjuster!
Much of my first full week has been helping Bess in her shoulder challenge with doctor’s appointments and therapy. She received a great report today, May 4, from her surgeon. The therapist are really helping her tremendously. Her pain has almost been non-existent. Thanks so much for so many of you who have prayed for her. I am so grateful. Prayer has been the key!
Once a preacher, always a preacher. I am communicating with district superintendents and local church leaders in speaking assignments across the country. I will let my Lord lead me where He wants to use me, and where He wants me to go.  Once we get back to our cabins around June 1, I will have much to do. Physical labors will be great for me.
Now it is time to open your Bible and turn to my favorite Scripture from God’s Word in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
The Lord is my strength!

Charles Kirby

BLOG #4    April 29, 2017

Bess and I have been having a wonderful time of vacation and restoration at our cabins. We have avoided working around the cabins, like we usually do, when we spend vacation time at the cabins. For those of you that are interested, I haven’t cut any trees or trimmed any limbs. I didn’t want Bess to fall again, just in case she decided she wanted to help me. {I think she has learned her lesson}Those acorns she stepped on October 19, and dislocated her shoulder, are still there. We decided we would just spend time relaxing and having fun this trip up and save the work for later. Oh yes, there will be trimming and staining the two decks and much more. By the way, it is a different day. I am trying my best to adjust to retirement. 

After church tomorrow morning we will head back to Lakeland so Bess can have her shoulder manipulation on May 2. After the procedure, she will go immediately to therapy. People have been telling us it will be very painful, but we are not accepting that. So many have been praying for God’s healing provision that will make the recovery a miracle time. That is what we are believing! Thank you so much for your prayers and agreeing with us. Bess is scheduled for therapy five days a week until Dr. Volpe says it is enough and she is healed. That will sure be a happy day!

Expecting God’s healing blessing!

Charles Kirby


BLOG #3    April 22, 2017


I’ve always been fascinated my rainbows, but none like happened a few days ago.  Bess and I were returning from a meal with friends at the Old Mill Restaurant in Pigeon Forge when it happened.  We ran into a heavy rain storm about 15 minutes  from our cabins that only lasted a few minutes. A very brilliant rainbow appeared, along with a second one, not as brilliant.  (Bess took the picture you see) As we marveled at the sight, I said to Bess, “wouldn’t it be wonderful if they were at our cabins.”

As we talked about Noah and the meaning of rainbows, we agreed rainbows were a sign of blessing and favor from God. As we continued on our journey, the two rainbows did not fade away and disappear, but remained in brilliant  color. As we drove up Majestic View Way to our cabins, both rainbows were guiding us home.  When we walked onto our deck, the brilliant rainbow was centered in front of our cabin with the second one close behind.  Bess and I stood in amazement for several minutes giving our Lord praise.   Both rainbows remained for an unusual length of time.

Bess and I are accepting this amazing happening as a sign from our Lord that God’s blessings and favor will follow us through our retirement.

Enjoy God’s blessing and favor,

Charles Kirby


BLOG # 2:  April 15, 2017

Easter has always been my favorite Sunday. Two Easters in my pastoral career stand out as the most exciting and dynamic in two of my churches. The first was in 1972 at Tidewater Central Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. That was the very first time any of my churches went over the 1,000 mark in attendance.  I can still remember the excitement of this incredible day! Total attendance was 1,342. The Downings were our featured music guests for the entire day. The church was jammed with people. We had 648 people present that rode our 15 buses. We rented Point-Of-View School down Parliament Drive from the church for an exciting children’s rally with over 500 in attendance. Back at the church, we had to put a large crowd in the courtyard area, looking in the open doors and windows of the worship center. Of course the overflow section of the worship center was packed. Since the doorways into the worship center opened out into a long hallway, chairs were placed there for people to sit, and down every isle as well. All of that was really amazing, but the most incredible and glorious happening of the day was in the evening service when 125 people came to faith in Christ as the Downings kept singing “I Will Meet You In The Morning Just Inside The Eastern Gate.” People filled the front and altar areas several times. That remains to this day the most victorious service I have ever witnessed in my lifetime.
The next great Easter Sunday happened in Lubbock, Texas in 1976 at Lubbock First Nazarene Church. We rented Texas Tech Coliseum for an Easter rally with Bob Harrington, the Chaplain of Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Our great music family joined Bro. Bob for a thrilling service. What a sight to see a host of people coming forward at the invitation to receive Christ! Over 3,400 people attended that one service. It really was amazing to witness it all!
Today is Saturday April 15, 2017. It is Easter week-end once again. Tonight Darrel Gash and the LGC Singers will close out our 19th season of “Saturday Nights In Lakeland” with a fabulous production of Easter music with “Jesus Paid It All!” Easter morning we will have two Easter services. The annual Sunrise Service will be in the beautiful garden courtyard at 7:30 a.m. and a Resurrection Celebration service will be at 10 a.m.. Thinking about everything as I write these lines, it is very sobering. This is going to be my final service at Lake Gibson, when I will bring my last message as pastor for 19 years.  It will also climax 56 years as career pastors for Bess and me. Wow! What a journey!
Precious memories, how they linger!

Charles Kirby

Blog # 1:  April 8, 2017

Palm Sunday begins Holy Week leading up to the resurrection of our Lord on Easter. Ten times I have taken the Palm Sunday walk from Mt. Olivet to Gethsemane’s garden. It really is a holy walk our Lord took on Palm Sunday. It is a continuous downward slope, and offers the pilgrims who take this walk a time of reflection and rededication. This is where our Lord made the final decision to take the low road to the cross rather than the high road to an earthly throne. I really am blessed, thinking He had me in mind in that decision that has transformed my life for all eternity!  Hallelujah, what a Savior!  To climax this holy week, Bess and I will end 56 years of pastoral ministry on Easter morning.  Hallelujah, what a journey!
Have a glorious Easter 2017!

Charles Kirby