Chuck Hollingsworth

Elder | Tysons

After being taken from the home for child-neglect and spending several years in a foster home, I was adopted and raised by an agnostic father, largely adopting those beliefs. I was a freshman in college, antagonistic towards issues of faith, and living as a self-absorbed, completely independent person.  I was working my way through college (2 jobs), fully engaged in fraternity life (and all that means), as well as boxing, bull-riding, and pretty much any thrill-seeking activity I could find.  I was elected to Student Body leadership, was “burning the candle at both ends”, and unfortunately, was still pretty successful in all human endeavors…which continued to feed an ego and an attitude of complete self-sufficiency. I did not “need God,” and I viewed those that did as weak.   But I was empty.

One of my jobs was serving as a janitor in a church. Because of the flexibility of the hours, I could get the work done around parties and other activities. The Saturday night before Easter (18 years old), I was cleaning the sanctuary of a Methodist church when I found a young lady that was clearly distraught. She asked me, “Why should I not kill myself?”  And for the first time in my life, I knew I did not have an answer.  That night the Lord miraculously worked in my heart, and I received Him alone, in a darkened sanctuary, through the reading of the gospel of John.  At about 3:00 in the morning I realized it was Easter, and since I was afraid I would miss it if I fell asleep, I stayed awake to celebrate an Easter sunrise service that morning as a “new creature.”

A series of incredible, providential circumstances led me to the US Naval Academy within months of my conversion.  Along with all the other forms of development at Annapolis, I had incredible Christian mentors that helped me on an accelerated spiritual journey.   By the time I graduated and began my journey as a pilot, I was firmly grounded in the faith, and subsequently spent a Navy career as a committed servant of the Lord.

I have been incredibly blessed with my wife, family and career.  I’ve had the opportunity to serve in churches all over the world as a Bible teacher, Director of Education, elder, and substitute pastor.  More than anything, I have been blessed to walk with and serve a risen Savior.