WEEPING MAY LAST FOR A NIGHT
Dr. Stephen R. Phinney
I have known many great leaders of faith through the years, but, as for me, none compare to the life of my spiritual father.
With our deepest sorrow, we inform you of our beloved mentor’s death & for many of us, father – Dr. Charles R. Solomon.
I lost my dad last night to the Kingdom of God. While Heaven gained one of God’s faithful, we who love him grieve despair of great loss. I told him many times. Your name and ministry will go down in Church history. He would laugh. Then cry. Then I would cry. But honestly, I truly believe this man and his ministry will be recorded in the archives of Church history as one of the greats.
Being the humble servant, he was, refusing all forms of fame, his quiet life, but not so quiet ministry, birthed a refreshed generation of Completing the Reformation. The message the Lord gave him was simple, to the point, and transformational – we must complete the Reformation our early church-fathers began years ago. This single message influenced many ministries worldwide.
Galatians 2:20 became his dictum for life.
"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
All of us who knew him well would say he lived this passage to the fullest in all that he did. His faithfulness to this message became the steadfast mission of many leaders and ministries that sat under his tutorage. A few years back, I tracked down 6,000 ministries birthed through the Lord’s influence of this humble man. I am sure there are many more. We consider our ministry a legacy ministry of his timely message.
I have no words to describe my thanksgiving for Grace Fellowship International & Dr. Charles Solomon adequately. In 1979, when I was introduced to him, my life was like a performance-based train headed for disaster. Upon arriving in Denver to attend their internship program, I was being suffocated by a hidden lie – I was functionally illiterate. So much so, my wife had to help me read The Handbook to Happiness to understand its content. As we would read, I would draw the diagrams in the book. Little did I realize at the time, GFI’s training and personal discipleship would set the course of my life and ministry, which is primarily based on creating visuals to communicate Christ-in-you.
The Handbook to Happiness became the first book I read from cover to cover. I can’t tell you how many times I have read the book since. The content within the pages not only became his life’s mission; it became mine.
Through the years, others have asked me, “What drew you to Dr. Solomon’s ministry?” I would’ve liked to say it was in the discovery of the Exchanged Life principles, but that would be an understatement. Honestly, the pictorials God gave him through the modality of diagrams led me to the interpersonal discovery of ‘Not I, but Christ.’ Since I was dependent on pictures to understand, I adopted a habit of learning through visuals due to my inability to read. While some found his diagrams complex, I immediately saw the deeper Truths revealed in his method of addressing madness. I became ‘hooked.’
As a result of 40+ years of personal guidance, mentorship & friendship with Dr. Solomon, I discovered a hidden passion – writing. Even though it was annoying to have my literary endeavors corrected by him regularly, even shortly before he passed, I suffered my way through self-rejection and found the true writer – Christ in me. A method Dr. Solomon used throughout his ministry. When I started my writing under his care, I had 15 online readers. My writing was deplorable – grammatically, that is. After forty years of his tutorage and editing, I have found a nitch in the world of publishing. Today, we reach numbers that humble most leaders. Not to sound disputatious, a reality that Dr. Solomon was always quick to refute, I give the credit where credit is due on a human level. To my beloved spiritual father. After working with men of God throughout this generation, this man, without question, is the most faithful and honorable man of faith I have known. I considered him to be one of our greatest Church leaders.
With the Lord bringing him home, I am experiencing grief in my soul I have not known. I cannot imagine the level of grief his children & grandchildren must be feeling. We extend our deepest sympathy to each of you.
Dr. Solomon will be remembered for igniting one of our generations’ primary movements – the believer’s identity in Christ Jesus. Out of the top three mentors in my life (Major Ian Thomas, Lee LeFebre & Dr. Solomon), Chuck’s life and ministry influenced me the most. After I couldn’t talk with him due to his fading voice, and then on the day his fingers refuse to type, which was not long ago, I began to suffer a loss like no other. He was not only my mentor, teacher & friend; he was my father. Growing up in a home where my father was unable to show me a father’s love, my relationship with Chuck became a life-long lesson in fatherhood, faith, identity, and sound doctrines. One of the most important lessons he taught me was that a disciple never forsakes his spiritual father, never forsake the Cross’s message, remain loyal, and pass the message of the Cross on to generations to come. I reminded him shortly before he passed, I will be relentless in passing your legacy & message of the Cross forward.
My story is not much different from the thousands of lives, his life and ministry touched. He was called “dad” by many and “friend” by droves more. The general public will remember him as the man with the Wheel & Line – a tract hosting diagrams from his first book. What many Grace ministries don’t realize, if they dug deep enough, each would discover this man founded the roots for their passion to reach the world with the message of exchanging the self-life for Christ’s Life – at least for this generation.
We should always take a few moments to honor the lives lived by our Biblical faith heroes. Like many, their life’s work seems to remain unnoticed until after they die. Dr. Solomon’s legacy will be no different. As for me, I will not only pause for a moment; I will grieve for life.
The last “project” we worked on together was his passion for reaching President Donald Trump with the message of the Wheel and Line. It all started with this email request.
Son. Do you think there is any way you could get me an hour or so with President Trump to share the Wheel and Line? We have witnessed many lives transformed in a single interview, and if he is open and needy, the same could be true of him, which could quite the naysayers, both saved and politically at odds. Then, if he went on national news with a change in demeanor, countenance, voice, it could get evangelicals out to vote along with many undecided and even some astounded democrats! Such an appearance on the news could touch untold millions overnight —a spiritual pandemic if you will. This would sound like wishful thinking to the uninitiated, but for those of us who have witnessed the Spirit’s working this way for the past 50 years, we faithfully believe all things are possible. I believe there is a good chance that He will be open and win over unbelievers here, beyond, and positively affect the election, especially if most Evangelicals get out to vote. And it would confuse his opposition-it is high time to involve God with little time remaining!! - Love and regards, Dad.
This is the kind of man of faith he was.
After multiple correspondents with our President, we were successful in getting Dr. Solomon’s message through. Did the message change him? Well, we will need to watch the Lamb. I know this; yet another leader has been influenced by God's simple message given to a simple man.
Dr. Solomon told me many times that he wanted to impart the message of the power of the Cross until the day the Lord takes him home. And that he did.
"His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your Master.” (Matthew 25:21)
Well done, Dad.