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102-year-old former sheriff accepts Christ as Savior

CENTERVILLE, Mo. (BP)–“Better late than never” might come to mind when one thinks of the testimony of Charlie Reed, who recently made a profession of faith at the age of 102. He turned 103 ten days later.

Reed, former sheriff of Reynolds County, Mo., accepted Christ March 3 in his Centerville home after three years of weekly visits by Eugene Meadows, pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church, Lesterville.

Meadows said it took many visits for Reed to feel comfortable having a minister in his home.

“I didn’t tell him I was a preacher, because his son said he didn’t like preachers,” Meadows recalled. “We talked about anything he wanted.” Conversation between the men eventually turned to spiritual matters. When Meadows finally admitted he was a pastor, it didn’t seem to bother the older man.

Reed recalled times when he would look into the windows of a church when a revival was taking place, Meadows said.

During a revival this spring at Fellowship Baptist Church, Meadows and evangelist Gene Lancaster decided to present the plan of salvation to Reed. Before reaching the home, the two men paused to pray.

When the two men arrived at their destination, Meadows said, they felt that God was in control of the situation. “When we entered the home, we could sense the Holy Spirit was preparing the way.”

During their visit, Lancaster presented the plan of salvation to Reed and asked if he and Meadows could pray with him. That evening, Reed made a profession of faith and asked to be baptized in a river.

Reed’s decision was an answer to many months of prayer, Meadows said. “By the time of the revival that evening, most of the people were rejoicing because of his experience.”

Reed was born March 30, 1897, on a farm three miles south of Centerville. His family moved to Reed’s Spring, Mo., while he was a boy. They lived there until Reed went to the Army during World War I.

He was on a ship preparing to go to Europe when the armistice was signed. He settled on a farm near Centerville, and he married Ida Lewis on Sept. 25, 1935.

She died in September 1998. Reed was elected sheriff of Reynolds County in 1937 and served 16 years. He also was county assessor for four years.

His only son, Donald, was born in 1937. Reed has two grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

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  • Shawn Hendricks