Rev. Dr. Charles Elliott, Jr. was born August 17th, 1934, in Wheeler, Alabama, to Charles Elliott Sr. and Gertrude Steel Elliott. He attended Jerusalem Elementary School, Wheeler Junior High and Courtland High School. Even though he had to miss many days to go to the fields to pick cotton he successfully complete eleven (11) years of school. Charles, Jr. was the oldest of 13 brothers and sisters. His father took on other jobs to support his family.
As Charles, Jr. grew older, he realized how hard his father was working, so he decided to drop out of school to help his father take care of the family. He got his first job working at Alabama Brick and Tile Company in Decatur, Alabama.
His concern for others has always been a priority. Much of his ministerial philosophy is in part to the many events he witnessed growing up as a child in a segregated and prejudiced state.
One incident that he often refers to occurred while he was in high school. At the end of the every school year, the school would celebrate with the annual field day event. Area schools would com together to compete in differing sporting events. Charles Jr., had been given permission from his father to attend providing all his work had been completed. The day before the event, he missed school to make sure all of his chores were done and that the wagon was loaded with bales of cotton ready to go to the cotton gin. He thought that by having this all done he could rise early, get to the cotton gin, and finish ginning the cotton, and be on his way.
At 4 am, he was up and on his way to the cotton gin. He was first in line. By 7 am, the line had grown and was extremely long. The owner of the business, Mr. Wheeler, saw that he was first in line, and that everyone behind him was white. Mr. Wheeler asked, "What are you doing here boy?, Get to the back were you belong."
Charles tried to explain that he had been standing in line for hours so that he would be first in line to get to school and participate in field day. But Mr. Wheeler didn't want to hear it. He told Charles to get out of line and get to the back. Charles knew, there was no way that he would get to school in time for field day.
Knowing that there was nothing that he could do, he did as he was told, he pulled his wagon to the back of the line. Needless to say that Charles missed the festivities as it was 430 pm by the time Charles had got back to the front of the line to have the cotton ginned.
Charles, Jr. was accepted Jesus as his personal savior and was baptized when he was 12 years old at Old Canaan Missionary Baptist Church. He was very active in the church working in Sunday School, singing with the Ever Ready Juniors and the Happy Hitters of Sheffield, Alabama.
In 1952, he married the late Dorothy Lee Tucker Elliott. They Lived in Decatur, Alabama, for the next 2 years.
In 1954, he moved to Louisville, KY and lived with his family, William and Mary Elliott until he found a job. It wasn't long before he was hired at Kentucky Foundry. When he received his first pay check, he got an apartment at 1304 West Chestnut Street. A week later Charles went back to Decatur to get his wife Dorothy to bring her to Louisville. They united with Bethel Missionary Baptist Church which at that time was located at 13th and Liberty Street. Charles served as a Sunday School Teacher and organized the Male Chorus. In 1958 Charles was ordained as a Deacon.
Answering the Call...
Early in 1959 he knew that God had called him to a deeper call in ministry. He knew that God had anointed him to preach, but he chose to continue to serve as a deacon. As time passed things began to happen as a warning to let him know that you can't run from God, but he still refused to hear.
Just before Christmas in the same year, he had received word that his mother had been rushed to the hospital, paralyzed from the hips down. Also his younger brother George had been rushed to the hospital with a ruptured appendix. he was not expected to live through the night.
Charles rushed to the bus station to get to Decatur as soon as he could. During the bus ride he had been praying asking for God to intervene. He promised God that he would announce his calling to preach when he returned to Louisville.
When he arrived in Decatur at the hospital, his mom had been released to go home. Frantically he went looking for his brother, only to find out that the Dr.'s were with George in the process of dismissing him as well. George and Charles went home and the mother was in the kitchen cooking dinner.
God had answered Charles' prayers, and when he returned to Louisville, he announced his calling in December of 1959. He preached his first sermon at Bethel Missionary Baptist Church.
In 1960, Charles Jr., organized the Little Bethel Mission and they worshiped at 22nd and Cedar Street for most of that year. The members of his beginning ministry were his wife, Dorothy, his sister Sylvia, his mother Gertrude, his uncle and aunt William and Mary, and John and Becky Cummings.
Charles asked the Pastor of Lancaster if he could merge his mission with the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church. He was told this couldn't be done. Though it dampened his spirit, he knew that he had to press on. His ministry continued to grow with new members and visitors every Sunday. Among the visitors was a Deacon from King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church, Milton Dickerson, Sr. along with Laura Smith and R. G. Lilly.
In 1961, he was asked if he would be willing to accept the role of Pastor at the King Solomon Baptist Church.
1962: Rev. Charles Elliott, Jr. attended Simmons Theological University for three years.
1967: After the starvation death of a (9) year old boy in Eddy
Alley, Pastor Elliott organized the Kentucky Christian Benevolent Association, to meet the needs of the poor in any emergency situation.
1967: Following an explosion in Laurel, Mississippi, which destroyed many homes, Pastor Elliott made a citywide plea for food, clothing and money to assist the family that was affected by the explosion. A few weeks later Pastor Elliott carried a tractor trailer to Mississippi loaded with food, clothing, etc., and a check in the amount of $1,300.00.
1967: He was also elected as Chairman of the Board for the Kentucky Christian Leadership Conference he served from 1967 to 1969.
1968: After the death of Dr. Martin L. King there was a riot on 28th Street in the West End of Louisville, Ky. Pastor Elliott was asked by the Chief of Police Colonel Hyde, Mayor Kenneth Schmide, and the Safety Director Wilson Edwards, to help calm the young people. Pastor Elliott's philosophy was and remains the same today, the same energy used by our youth for crime, and destruction could be used for constructive things. Thus Pastor Elliott organized the Youth Motivation and Development Program. The program employed youths (3) hours a day after school, and (5) hours on Saturday. The program ran through 1971 and was granted $178,315.00 by the Board of Aldermen.
1968: Rev. Elliott joined Dr. A. D. King, the brother of Dr. Martin L. King and pastor of Zion Baptist in the Poor People's March on Washington, D. C.
1969: Rev. Charles Elliott, Jr. organized the first rally and motorcade in honor of the late Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. and later he worked very hard along with other ministers of the city and legislatures for the passing of the bill to make Dr. King's Birthday a state holiday.
1969: Pastor Elliott resigned as Chairman of the Board of S.C.L.C., and devoted most of his time to the Youth Motivation and Development Pro gram.
1969: Pastor Elliott was instrumental in the hiring of many people at the Indiana Army Ammunition Plant, in Clarksville, Indiana.
Committed to the Community
1970: Pastor Elliott was elected Chairman of the Board for the California
Community Center, he served from 1970-1973.
1973: Construction began at 1620 Anderson Street erecting a new sanctuary.
1975: The sanctuary was completed we held our first worship service in the new sanctuary on the first Sunday in January. Mayor Harvey I. Sloane, Samuel Kline and AI J. Schneider were there for the celebration.
1975: In February, Pastor Elliott began to investigate allegations concerning problems at the County Jail by the inmates as a result of this investigation Reverend A. J. Elmore was appointed Ombudsman for the jail by Judge Todd Hollenbach.
1975: In June, Pastor Elliott organized the Feed The People Program. This program was
organized for the purpose of feeding, clothing, and sheltering those in need.
1977: Pastor Elliott led a march to City Hall on behalf of Shelby Lanier who
had been fired from the Louisville Police Department for unjust reasons. Later Lanier was reinstated to the Police Department with back pay.
1978: When Mayor Stansbury signed the Ordinance Number 68, the contractors
and vendors affirmative action ordinance, Pastor Elliott was there.
Building of a Legacy
1980: January 15th, two Blacks were appointed by Governor John Y. Brown, Jr. to two of the highest positions in State Government. Governor Brown had kept a promise he made at King Solomon Missionary Baptist on Easter Sunday when he was campaigning for governor.
1980-1991: Pastor Elliott devoted most of his time preaching the gospel as he conducted revivals in Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Ohio &Kentucky
1992: Pastor Elliott led a march from the Bethel Apostolic Church to the
Courthouse for the World Day of Prayer he was instrumental in getting the Fairness Act defeated.
1992: A Hurricane hit a small city in Florida Pastor Elliott made a plea to raise money, food, clothing, and lumber to assist the families that had lost everything. Pastor Elliott also went to Florida and spoke with a minister whose church had been destroyed and viewed the destruction.
1993: Pastor Elliott conducted a month long revival at 32nd and Young Street. When the revival was over he carried a bus of underprivileged youth to Kentucky Kingdom.
1993: Pastor Elliott was also active with the Parkland Development Project.
1994: Pastor Elliott was instrumental in the purchase of the property at 1018 7th Street formerly known as The Municipal College for Negroes
1995-1999: Pastor Elliott again devoted much of his time toward his pastoral duties, Wednesday night prayer meetings on the streets, counseling, and continuing to preach the gospel.
Honored for his service
2003: Rev, Elliott received his Doctorate Of Divinity Degree from Union Baptist Seminary of Ohio, but this is not how the story ends these days Dr. Charles Elliott, Jr. is determine more than ever to proclaim the gospel and the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. His motto is found in Luke 4:18 – “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me”, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
2012: Rev. Charles Elliott, Jr. was inducted into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame in Lexington Kentucky.
2013: Street sign was erected renaming Anderson Street to Rev. Charles Elliott, Jr. Way
2014: Dr. Charles Elliott, Jr. Celebrated his 80th birthday and today he continues to pastor King Solomon Missionary Church delivering the morning message every Sunday.