Served Nazareth First Missionary Baptist Church for 43 years.
Dr. Charles R. Mosley preached his valedictory sermon at Nazareth First Missionary Baptist Church on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, more than 50 years after first preaching as an adult.
The topic he chose was 2 Timothy Chapter 4:6–8, with the scripture verses read by his son and namesake, Rev. Charles R. Mosley, Jr. He titled his sermon “The Time of My Departure is at Hand: I’ve Fought the Good Fight; I’ve Finished My Course.”
A 1957 graduate of Stephens-Lee High School, Mosley was always serious about his calling to the ministry. He even staged mock sermons as a child, as lifelong friend Barbara Nelson-Gibson told The Urban News.
“Every Saturday morning bright and early around eight o’clock, he would line up pasteboard boxes like church pews in his grandparents’, or a neighbor’s, front yard. We knew he would come to get us if we didn’t show up, so we voluntarily saved him the time, and the trip,” says Gibson. “His church services always started promptly at nine o’clock, and he commanded a captive audience. First, he would pray for about five minutes and then preach us a sermon. He was very serious about his reverent direction.”
Mosley delivered his initial “real” sermon on February 17, 1957 while still a high school student, under the direction of Rev. Dr. John W. White at Asheville’s Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church. Pursuing his mission of a higher calling, he entered Shaw University in the fall of 1957. While studying for his undergraduate degree, he continued in the ministry, and was ordained on May 30, 1960.
In 1961, Mosley took on his first official pastoral duties at Eastern Star Baptist Church in Tarboro, North Carolina. One year later, he married the love of his life, a fellow Shaw University graduate, the late Lue (Riddick) Mosley, who passed in 2007. Rev. Mosley and his First Lady were the proud parents of Rev. Charles R. Mosley, Jr. and S. Antanette Mosley, Esq.
With a never-ending thirst for knowledge, Rev. Mosley furthered his education and obtained his Master’s of Divinity in 1964, also from Shaw. Then, from 1963 to 1967, he served Sycamore Hill Baptist Church in Greenville, NC, where he was lauded for his scholarly teachings of the Bible. In 1965, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Shaw in recognition of his scholarship.
In 1967, Dr. Mosley accepted a pastorship at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, Belmont, NC, and then, with the passing of Rev. Dr. Otis E. Dunn, his life would come full circle: he was called to the pastorate of Nazareth First Missionary Baptist Church in his home town.
Beginning with that initial sermon in 1957, Dr. Mosley reached the milestone of having preached for 60 years in 2017. To commemorate his six decades of service in the pulpit, he was honored with special recognition in 2017 from the General Baptist Convention of NC.
In his final sermon he expressed fond, and sometimes amusing, memories of members who have passed, including Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Brown, Sr., former Senior Deaconess Mrs. Pauline Rollinson, and Deacon Alphonzo McCoy. He also thanked Deacons Major and Nathan Mayfield for helping bring him home so many years before.
Major Mayfield told The Urban News, “My son, brother-in-law, and I helped pack up Dr. Mosley to bring him home from Belmont. He certainly had big shoes to fill. As the saying goes… There are two horses you should have, one for everyday, and one for special occasions, and church. Well, he rode that special horse every day, including Sunday!”
In a 2010 interview honoring the 50th anniversary of Dr. Mosley’s ordination, the late Senior Deaconess Pauline B. Rollinson eloquently summed up Dr. Mosley’s service to the church.
“Dr. Charles R. Mosley is a man of faith and wisdom. His dedicated service and steadfast commitment to the ministry has touched hundreds of lives. He has served as teacher, counselor, consultant, and big brother, and created many models of excellence for aspiring preachers who will follow in the trail he has blazed,” Deaconess Rollinson told The Urban News.
“Dr. Mosley has been a conscientious keeper of his vows of ordination for 50 years. His reputation as a caring, compassionate minister is a blessing in the lives of the people of Nazareth First Baptist Church, the city of Asheville, and beyond.”