WOODSTOCK, Va. — Logan’s faith community lost one of its own with the recent passing of the Reverend Dr. Charles M. Wood II, a longtime well-respected former pastor of the First Christian Church in Logan.
Wood died March 11 at his home in Woodstock, Virginia, at the age of 76. Born in Luray, Virginia, on July 26, 1943, Wood became a member of the Logan community in 1986 when he was selected to become pastor of the First Christian Church in Logan, a position he would serve for 23 years in until his retirement in 2009.
As pastor of First Christian Church, Wood became a well-known and well-respected in Logan County. Sheila R. Riddle, a member of First Christian Church who was an FCC Bible Study participant for many years prior to her full-time membership in February 2008, described Wood as something of a local celebrity who touched many lives with his involvement in the community, which stretched beyond the title of pastor as he held several other positions such as professor at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, counselor at Logan/Mingo Mental Health and author.
“It is difficult to say just a few words about a man who meant so much to so many,” Riddle said. “If there was ever a local celebrity, it was Dr. Charles Wood. He could hardly go grocery shopping because so many folks wanted to talk with him. He loved it, and we loved him. He touched our lives in so many ways whether as our pastor, college professor, colleague, confidant, counselor, mentor, friend or the many other roles he filled for each of us. He changed our lives for the better. If it wasn’t for him, I would not be an ordained minister today.”
Elizabeth Gillette was a member of the youth component on the search committee that brought Wood to Logan in the mid-1980s. She said one of the things that made him so special was that he was open to anybody.
“He was willing to go into a bar and witness to people, or if somebody was a drug abuser, he didn’t let that put him off,” Gillette said. “He was willing to work with them. He did a lot of counseling through divorce and drug abuse and alcoholism. He always said that the church was ‘not a place for saints, but a hospital for sinners,’ and that really made a big impact on my life.”
Gillette added that he helped her through a few rough times in life.
“Usually, you think of a minister that just ministers your church, but he worked at the community college, and he worked with the (Logan/Mingo Area Mental Health Inc.) Futures group. Because he wore so many hats in the community, his reach was really far,” she said. “In the dark times, he was definitely the light that helped you find your way back to the Lord.”
Wood was author of a Woodland Press book titled, “Living the Good Life: Surviving in the 21st Century,” published in 2002.
Wood was preceded in death by his wife of 51 years, Doris Rebecca Hunt, on Feb. 1, 2015. The two were married Aug. 8, 1963, and had four children: Rebecca “Becky” Lynn Shreck (Billy) of Crewe, Virginia; Christopher Allen Wood of Logan; Thomas Mark (Jennifer) Wood of South Point, Ohio; and Charles “Chuck” Monroe (Kendra) Wood III of Marion, Illinois.
Wood’s obituary lists five grandchildren: Andrew and Nicholas Wood, Brandon and Kathryn Wood and Zoe Shreck; a brother, Steve Wood of Edinburg, Virginia; a niece, Jackie Newton of Charlottesville, Virginia; and his caregiver, Jody Miller and her family of Woodstock, Virginia.
Wood’s oldest son, Chris, is a former professor at SWVCTC and a freelance writer for The Logan Banner. The only child still residing in Logan County, Chris Wood posted on Facebook after returning from his father’s services in Virginia to give thanks for the well-wishes and support.
“I’d like to thank everyone who offered their condolences for my late father,” Chris Wood wrote. “That was very thoughtful of you. God bless you all.”
To view a gallery of photos of Wood compiled by Boothe Davis, visit www.LoganBanner.com.