Fluellen remembered for contributions to community 
by Marie Nesmith
Feb 28, 2012 | 5461 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Three days after his passing, those close to the Rev. Charles Fluellen are remembering his life as one of compassion, service and devotion to his Lord and family.

A resident of Cartersville, Fluellen died Saturday at the age of 57 after an apparent heart attack at a charity basketball game at Excel Christian Academy. As displayed by his participation in the Pastors vs. Politicians contest, he often answered the call to help others in the community, whether it was through his work as director of the Bartow County Transit Department or pastor of Glory Harvester Church.

"Charles was a very dedicated member of our county government and one of our department heads," said Bartow County Administrator Steve Bradley, adding Fluellen started serving as Bartow County Transit's director in 1998. "He had an outstanding work ethic. He loved his department and he cared deeply about the employees. ... [And] he had made a lot of strides in bringing our Transit Department along as we grew. ... He was already involved in planning for the future growth of the department.

"As far as his own personality, Charles was a warm, friendly man with a very good sense of humor. He was the type of person that I would consider to be loyal to his friends. He was an outstanding family man and he talked often about his family. He was proud of his wife, Judith, and his two sons: Charles Jr. and Andre. You couldn't talk to Charles long without the conversation involving the family. He took a lot of pride in the role as a husband and a father. And he was a man of very good moral character too. He was the pastor of a church and he put a lot of time and effort in his off time into that. We will miss him a lot. He was a very good department head but beyond that he was just an outstanding person. You work closely with people like this and they become your friends. This is a big loss to a lot of us. A lot of county government's [employees are] in shock today."

Echoing Bradley's sentiments, James Black -- Fluellen's friend and fellow pastor -- spoke of his contributions to the community, especially noting his ministry at Glory Harvester Church.

"I've known Charles for many, many years. I'd say well over 25 years, probably," said Black, pastor of New Covenant Church in Cartersville. "Charles had a great servant's heart. In the body of Christ, he had what I call a kingdom vision, wanting to see the body of Christ work together to accomplish common goals in the community.

"Charles had a very outgoing personality. He was a big man but he had a tender heart. Charles was the kind of individual who had great compassion for people and wanted to minister to people in every way possible. The body of Christ in Bartow County has lost a great servant in the kingdom of God and the community as a whole has lost a great friend and citizen."

For Eloise Ellis, an elder for Glory Harvester Church, Fluellen -- whose son Andre is a Detroit Lions defensive tackle -- was a visionary who loved cooking and assisting others.

"He's been our pastor for two years," she said. "He was a great visionary. He was trying to [introduce] us to different, not so much religions, but different ways of worship, that there's no one right way. He brought in different people of different denominations to expose us to different ways of worship. ... We just had a wonderful service on Friday night for Black History. It was awesome and Pastor Charles was probably the happiest I've ever seen him."

Describing him as a people person, Ellis emphasized Fluellen's community service and devotion to his family.

"He loved people. ... He loved doing what he was doing," she said. "Recently, the question was asked to him probably in the last two weeks or week or so if he could be doing anything in life what would he be doing. And he said, exactly what he's doing."

On Monday, State Sen. Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville, led a moment of silence in the Senate Chamber to honor Fluellen.

"Mr. Fluellen was a prominent member of our community and a great man of God. He was unbelievably dedicated to his congregation and family," said Loudermilk, who also was playing in the charity basketball game alongside Fluellen on Saturday, in a press release.

"His presence will remain with everyone who met him and his memory will forever live within the Bartow community. It is only suiting to honor such a prestigious man with a resolution that will forever embody his spirit at the State Capitol," he said, referring to legislation that will be drafted in coming weeks.

According to Mack Eppinger & Sons Funeral Home, which is handling the arrangements, Fluellen's funeral service will be Saturday at noon at Cartersville First Baptist Church. His family will receive friends Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Glory Harvester Church. Fluellen's friends and loved ones are encouraged to view and post a message in a condolence book at www.mackeppingerfuneralhome.com.