Where’s Charlie Doggett? By Ginny Davis
(Prepared by Ginny Davis for FBC Nashville’s SAALT Shaker newsletter for senior adults in the next issue after he retired as editor, January 2014.)
If it’s Tuesday morning, he’s tutoring first- and second-graders in reading at Tulip Grove Elementary School. If it’s Friday morning, he’s serving as a docent at the Zoo at Grassmere. If it’s Sunday morning, he’s greeting First Baptist Church members and guests at the 7th Avenue lobby door.
In between these scheduled days and times, Charlie may be writing one of three blogs he maintains, updating his web page at charliedoggett.net, working on volume three of his personal photo biography, reading a good mystery book, hiking an interesting nature trail, or boning up on his Spanish for a 12-day photography trip to Panama.
One thing Charlie is not doing, since “retiring” as editor of The SAALT Shaker, is asking senior adults, “Where is that article you promised to write for me?” “I enjoyed working on the newsletter, but four years is enough,” says Charlie. “It’s time for someone else to take over.”
Charlie’s new focus is on tutoring Ava, Tony, Audrey, and Cole in reading. Each week he spends thirty minutes with each child, following instructions provided by their teachers. His work as a tutor is part of FiftyForward Friends Learning in Pairs (FLIP).
Teaching is typical Charlie Doggett activity. During his professional career, he taught youth in churches in Florida and Texas and provided Convention-wide leadership in youth education at the Brotherhood Commission and in Church Training at the Baptist Sunday School Board.
He also served as business facilitator for a Southern Baptist mission in the Gambia, West Africa. His preparation for that work included language school, but his efforts to use Jola were sometimes met with, “Oh, Mr. Charlie, it’s easier to talk English!”
After Gambia, Charlie retired to Nashville, where he has lived longer than anywhere else. A native of Bradley County, Arkansas, Charlie also lived in Oklahoma, where he started his college career. He graduated, however, from Ouachita University, with a career goal of ministry.
Charlie acknowledges a number of difficult challenges in his life, including a near-fatal automobile accident and the death of his daughter, but says: “I’m actually very fortunate. I’m not going to dwell on hard times.”