Charles Joseph Wenzel was born in Irvington, NJ, on March 9, 1917. Charlie and Margaret (Peggy) Frances Crawford were married on February 28, 1942. Charlie was called to serve his country in the Armed Forces, serving with the Army during WWII as a clerk and an assistant chaplain. After serving overseas, he followed the Lord’s leading and moved in 1946 with his wife and son Charles to Columbia, SC, where he enrolled in Columbia Bible College, graduating Summa Cum Laude in 1948. Upon graduation from CBC, Charlie and Peggy, with their growing family of 3 children, left for Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA. After three years of seminary, Charlie graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1951.
In response to Dr. Robert C. McQuilkin’s request to come teach at CBC, Charlie moved his family back to Columbia in the summer of 1951 and began what was to be 37 wonderful years of service at CBC/CIU. He was best known for his Greek and theology classes but also had the privilege of ministering to many other students through various Bible classes taught over the years.
While a student at CBC, Charlie became interested in a ministry started by Mrs. Marguerite McQuilkin, wife of Robert C. McQuilkin. It was during this time that he joined her in her efforts to reach out to the community. Upon his return to Columbia to teach, Charlie once again got involved in this work and became the General Director of Bethel Bible Camp when it officially began in the early 1950’s.
In the early 1950’s Dr. McQuilkin asked Charlie to become the teacher of the Sunday morning Business Men’s Bible Class, a class Dr. McQuilkin taught to men in the community. After a number of years, Charlie became burdened for the soldiers stationed at Fort Jackson. He recruited students from CBC to go out each Sunday into the streets of Columbia and invite soldiers in to hear God’s Word. God gave him the privilege of seeing many saved as he ministered over 30 years to both the business men of the community and the soldiers serving our country.
Charlie passed away on May 24, 1988, leaving behind his wife of 46 years (now deceased – 2001) and eight children. As of 2016, the family had increased to 24 grandchildren and 30 great grandchildren.