On October 10, 2020, at the virtual Annual Meeting of the North East Jurisdiction’s Black Methodists for Church Renewal, Charlotte Ann Meade of the West Virginia Conference was honored for her 53 years of service and commitment. Loretta Young, chair of the West Virginia Conference Black Methodists for Church Renewal, presented the award to Charlotte.
Loretta shared that Charlotte had many God-given talents that she used throughout her life, particularly in service to the United Methodist Church. In addition to teaching for many years in Marion County schools until retirement, Charlotte mentored her nieces, served as the pianist for Trinity UMC (Fairmont), and wrote beautiful poetry that was used during an Annual Conference celebration of the Black church.
The West Virginia BMCR Caucus has been very active in the National BMCR programs. Charlotte Meade was a pioneer in the movement to establish a National BMCR to advocate for the equitable merging of the African American Churches of the old Central Jurisdiction.
During those days, Charlotte was living in Ohio and served as the recording secretary for the new organization. Back in those days, Charlotte carried an old heavy tape recorder to take minutes of those early meetings. She would then carry the old tape recorded back home in order to transcript the recording into official minutes.
You have heard the saying, “There is Power in the Pen.” This has been Charlotte’s power, and one of the reasons why she was so instrumental to the growth of BMCR. And on top of that, the leaders of BMCR would often ask Charlotte to play the piano and sing. Charlotte also wrote poems that told of our shared experiences living in Appalachia and our Christian beliefs.
Charlotte Ann Meade was instrumental in developing the supplemental worship resource, Songs of Zion, which many of us use in our local churches to enhance worship services.
Loretta presented Charlotte with a plaque honoring her service and commitment to Black Methodists for Church Renewal.
This article was written based on the remarks written by Loretta Young at the celebration of Charlotte Ann Meade and the presentation of the plaque honoring Charlotte’s service.