Ironton man celebrates half a century in ministry

Published 5:00 am Friday, May 31, 2024

By Terry L. Hapney, Jr.
The Ironton Tribune

President Richard Nixon resigned from the presidency during Watergate. Vice President Gerald Ford succeeded him as 38th president of the United States. Pop singer Alanis Morissette and baseball player Derek Jeter were born. Television news anchor Chet Huntley, actor-musician Tex Ritter, and vocalist Cass Elliot of the Mamas & the Papas died.
It was also 50 years ago when one local man’s ministry began.
Longtime Ironton resident Charlie Lane, 80, celebrates half-a-century of work for the Lord this month. In honor of his service, Pastor Rob Hale of Ironton First Church of the Nazarene invited Lane to deliver the message Sunday, May 18. Lane recounted God’s blessings in his life and ministry over the decades.
“It’s awesome to have someone who has been as active in the ministry (as Charlie),” Hale said.
After accepting Christ in 1972, Lane served as youth leader at 10th Street Tabernacle; he was called to preach in 1974. Lane earned his minister’s license in 1976 while serving as pastor of Church of Christ in Christian Union in Hanging Rock. Transferring to the Church of the Nazarene in 1981, Lane pastored South Shore Nazarene Church. He was ordained as elder in 1982.
Lane served as pastor at South Shore, Flatwoods First, Ironton Elm Street and two terms at South Point Nazarene churches before retiring in 2013. While he “retired” then, he really didn’t retire. For the next seven years he was interim pastor for four churches. He also continues to preach at funerals.

Looking back, Lane said he has many memories of the churches he pastored.
“I met some wonderful people over the years,” he said. “God opened door after door for me. It has been good.”
Lane said he has few regrets.
“I’ve done the best I could,” he said. “God is good.”
Lane loves running into adults who were children in churches he pastored. He recalled the bus ministry at one of the churches.
“We’d pick up kids and fill that bus,” he said.
After preaching at the City Mission in the past, two women came up to Lane asking him if he remembered them.
“Of course I didn’t,” he said. “We had picked them up on our church bus.”
Lane said the women stated they were poor and didn’t have anything. They said the “greatest” memories they have are when Lane and church members took them to King’s Island.
“That’s what’s touching, when you run into someone who appreciates what you have done,” he said.
Lane said he never viewed himself as “a great preacher.”
“I never even thought I was a good preacher,” he said. “But when it came to pastoring, I did my best. People don’t remember sermons you preach. They remember what you did for them—going to the hospital, going to the funeral, any time they have a need you’re there for them as a pastor.”
Hale, who served as assistant pastor to Lane at two churches, said the 50-year celebration is, in a sense, for him, too.
“I was 19 when I spoke at his youth group at 10th Street,” he said. “Fifty years later, guess how old I am? I’m 69. I guess it’s my anniversary, too.”
Hale said Lane is friend, mentor, and confidant.
“I just love him and his family,” he said. “His wife, his boys, his daughter—we feel like family.”
Charlie and Linda Lane celebrate 57 years of marriage this year, with three children and five grandchildren.

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