After nearly 43 years of service, Dr. C.H. Charlton has announced his retirement as the pastor at Friendship Baptist Church. Rev. Lester Lattany received a vote of confidence from Charlton and his wife Janet and accepted the call to become the 11th pastor of Friendship Baptist Church. Charlton will assume the title of pastor emeritus.
Charlton has been a pastor for the past 55 years. He came to Johnson City after serving in churches in Virginia, where he served as the first African-American Board of Education member in Radford before becoming the city’s first African-American mayor.
In addition to his service at Friendship Baptist, Charlton has been heavily involved in the community. He served two years as vice-mayor during a four-year term on the Johnson City Commission, served five years on the Johnson City School board and six years on the Johnson City Regional Planning Commission, spending one year as the chairman.
Charlton also served as a professor at Northeast State Community College, was a member of the inaugural admissions committee for ETSU’s Gatton College of Pharmacy and has written several books.
Lattany comes to Friendship Baptist from New Jerusalem Baptist Church, which he founded in 2010. Lattany previously served as the pastof of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Kingsport for 18 years. Like Charlton, Lattany has been heavily involved in the community. He served as the president and CEO of the United Way of Washington County for 14 years prior to his retirement at the end of 2016.
Prior to the United Way, Lattany served as the CFO-Treasurer and Director of Community and Economic Development-Assistant to the City Manager for the City of Johnson City. He has served on a multitude of boards and has received several special recognitions honoring his work over the years.