Rev. Charles M. Straight is currently Pastor of the Faith United Methodist Church in Dolton, Illinois. In addition to his traditional pastoral duties at Faith, he also heads a Social Justice Ministry, The Next Movement, under the Faith UMC umbrella. He served in the position of Assistant Pastor at the Wesley United Methodist Church for seven years prior to his current appointment. During that time, he chaired the Evangelism Committee and was Overseer of the AIDS Ministry. Rev. Straight is Board Member and President, of The People’s Lobby Education Institute. He is a member of the HIV Prevention Taskforce for the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church, and the Black Church & HIV Advisory Committee for the NAACP.
His past leadership roles include: Board Member at the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, member of the Spiritual Care Committee for Bonaventure House, member of Pastor’s United for Change, a community action group made up of ministers involved in the issues of crime, health, education, social justice and economic empowerment of local community members where he served as Chairman of the Health Committee. Pastor Straight also serve three years as Chairman of the Local School Counsel for his
children’s school; and for two years, President of the West Chesterfield Community Association.
Rev. Straight was a member of the Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church from 1973 to 2000. During his 27 years membership he served in the capacity of Associate Minister starting in 1974. In that capacity, Rev. Straight served faithfully in Fellowship’s combined choirs, the Mission Department which provides spiritual support and guidance to persons confined to hospitals, prisons, nursing homes, and mental institutions, as well as conducting worship services for the Children’s Church. In 1985, Rev. Straight organized and chaired the city’s first African-American church-based AIDS ministries, serving over 25 HIV-impacted church members at Fellowship and other churches. In the past 20 plus years, Rev. Straight has provided vital services to the HIV/AIDS community, working as a Licensed Practical Nurse and volunteering in such institutions as Howard Brown Health Center, Martha Washington Hospital Treatment Center, Kupona Network, Evanston Health Department, Chicago Community Programs for Clinical Research on AIDS, and Project Coordinator for the HIV Vaccine Preparedness Trails at Cook County’s Stroger Hospital.
In the past, Rev. Straight also served as chairman of the board of BE-HIV, a not-for-profit social support agency in Evanston, Illinois. He also served as an advisory board member of the Lutheran Social Services Second Family Program, which provides placement services for children orphaned by parents or caregivers impacted by HIV/AIDS. Rev. Straight was also a member of the City of Chicago’s HIV Prevention Planning Group and chaired the Needs Assessment Committee. He remains a certified
instructor for Midwest AIDS Training and Education Center (MATEC) and has provided HIV/AIDS technical support to various churches and agencies targeting children and adults. Now an empty nester, he was a licensed foster parent or adoptive parent for Krystal, Kenneth, Ruth, Jeremiah, and Jasmine, whom he raised to adulthood.