COVID-19 claims life of Alabama minister

Coronavirus

MOBILE, Ala – (WKRG) The family of Charles Porter, a well-respected minister, former newspaper editor and educator, confirms he lost his battle with COVID-19.

“The virus is absolutely relentless but he fought to the bitter end,” said his daughter, Nikki Porter. She says her father spent 82 days in the hospital and several weeks on a ventilator. “He went in on April 5 and we were told he wouldn’t make it through the night… but God. He was discharged June 26. Then he went to rehab for a couple of months.”

Porter died August 27. See obituary submitted by the family below.

“Charles W Porter is a native of Mobile, AL where he was a staple in his community by serving in numerous capacities. After earning a Communications degree from Alabama State University, Charles Porter furthered his studies at The University of Alabama where he was the first Black graduate of the School of Communication. At that point, he had a strong foundation to support his dreams to pursue a career in Media. Charles Porter was ready to break barriers. He was the first Black to serve as Director of Public Relations at the prestigious Northwestern University in Chicago. When he moved his family back to Alabama, he was the first Black to be hired at Mobile Press Register. He then went on to work for the Mobile Beacon before launching his own media outlet, Inner City News. Inner City News was established in the 70s to address issues that affected our communities, provide a positive spotlight and offer support to our inner city businesses and communities – typically overlooked by mainstream media. Inner City News eventually expanded to National Inner City. Dr. Porter also shared his gift with the community as a powerful self-taught keyboardist. Charles co-founded a 70s jazz group, “Insatiables”. Over time Charles decided to shift his audience from Jazz to Christian as he dedicated his life to the church where he ministered through music then eventually called to the ministry. On October 20, 2002, Dr. Porter’s title was promoted to Reverend when he delivered his first sermon. To heighten his ability to speak to mountains, Charles earned his doctorate in theological studies and served as a minister at Green Grove Missionary Baptist then Friendship Missionary Baptist Church. To expand his impact, Charles oversaw the Entrepreneurial program at Bishop State Community College. This program offered highly valuable resources to new and aspiring business owners.”

Before it was the ‘thing to do’, Charles Porter has always advocated for the community – notably the Black community. He wanted us to support each other’s businesses so we could build wealth in our own community. He walked the walk of Black Lives Matter before it was an official movement. Charles believed that everyone deserved to have a fair shot at life. Whenever possible, he would try to help families fill in their gaps. If someone needed guidance, he was there. If someone didn’t have an active (or positive) father in their life, he stepped in. That’s why so many non-relatives call him Uncle CW! Rev Porter had a natural humor and wit that offered comfort and encouragement to any situation.

Charles Porter has earned a plethora of national and local accolades, recognitions and awards for his excellent work and service in the community. He was passionate about many community programs including Mobile County Training School (MCTS), Africatown to name a few. Charles Porter is a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity (Gamma Sigma Chapter).

Born from Rosie and Qullie Porter, Charles Porter was survived by his wife Joyce of 48 years.

Charles Porter was also a daily blessing to:

4 children – O’Neal, Michael, Terri (Walter) and Nikki. 

8 grandchildren – Kymberly, Charles, Brooke (Jarvis), Morgan (Tim Jr), Jerett, Jelica, Javarus, Markiah and the late Karimi.

4 great grandchildren – Amber, Makenzie, Jarvis Jr and Madeline

1 sister – Edna Mae Mitchell (Jodie) of Sacramento, CA

4 brothers – Willie “Snook” (Helen), James “Bae Bae”(Johnice), John “Duke”(Daisy) and Howard (Clarice) of Mobile, AL.

And a host of beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.

Homegoing Services:

Viewing:       Thursday, September 3           5-8pm

Services:       Friday, September 4                2pm

Smalls Mortuary @ 950 Broad Street

Internment: Lawn Haven


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