In the fourth grade Charlene was called to be a teacher. She then pursued every opportunity to work with children from teaching Sunday School to babysitting. She completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education at SUNY Fredonia and her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. While completing her Master’s she worked as a substitute teacher and then as a full-time Kindergarten teacher in the Detroit area. She returned home to Westfield and taught Kindergarten for seven years at Mayville (now Chautauqua Lake) School and then Pre-School for thirteen years in Ripley.
Following her salvation in 1980 she diligently pursued the Word of God with the help of mentors and pastors and by completing courses through Elim Bible Institute and Marilyn Hickey’s Bible College. Filled with a passion for God’s Word, she began teaching women’s Bible studies in and out of her church. She is passionate about helping women know the Word of God in a practical and encouraging way, what she calls ‘putting feet on the Gospel,’ so they can walk out God’s Word in their everyday lives.
Charlene and her husband, Alan, have been highly involved in marriage ministry. Following a Marriage Encounter Weekend in 1979 they trained to become Team Leaders and served on several teams in the Jamestown area. They later developed The Marriage Plan, a twelve-week long series of weekly meetings with couples, to help marriages become more like God intended. This is important to them since their now forty-seven year long marriage was saved as a result of the Marriage Encounter experience. This experience also led them to accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. In addition, they developed a series of family night activities to assist families in strengthening their family relationships, especially with their children. These were presented at a National Marriage Encounter conference in Ithaca in 1981.
Charlene and Alan are the parents of two adult children, Debra who lives and works nearby and Scott and his wife, Christine, who live in Ohio with their two children, Evelyn and Norah. Charlene and Alan enjoy their visits throughout the year and especially during the summer Grand Camps that keep their grandparents laughing even as their gray hairs multiply.