Charles Qualls now leading Franklin Baptist Church

Published 12:47 pm Saturday, September 9, 2017

The Rev. Dr. Charles Qualls knows that in cer­­tain circles on both state and national levels, Franklin Baptist Church is “highly regarded.”

That strong reputation in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, to which the church belongs, serves to make his service as senior pastor all the more promising.

Qualls and his wife, Elizabeth arrived in early April, taking part in the Palm Sunday service. Already they have quickly grown attached to the city.

The pastor mentioned, though, that soon after arriving, people would seriously question him about being in Franklin.

“We’re thrilled to be here,” the 52-year-old Georgia native said enthusiastically. Elizabeth — who’s found work in the collections department of the Blackwater Library system — is also from the Peach State.

The change of pace has been a refreshing one for the couple. Both actually grew up in small towns. In his case, Atlanta grew over the decades to the extent that it practically engulfed his home of Roswell.

Integrating further into the community is a plan for both Qualls. He’s already become active in the Chamber of Commerce.

Although FBC is part of the CBF, which split from the Southern Baptist Convention in 1991 for philosophical and theological differences, the local church is still pretty autonomous.

“It’s a more progressive-minded congregation,” he said, which has become part of its appeal.

Originally a sociology major in college, Qualls decided to enter the Louisville Theological Seminary and his path became a new one.

“It’s been a fun career leading up this,” said Qualls with a broad smile.

Here at FBC, he and the congregation will look for ways to improve mission opportunities.

“What is our responsibility,” he asked rhetorically, and quickly added that it’s not code for evangelism.

Nurturing people’s spiritual selves is another goal.

“We really want to mature in terms of spirituality,” he said.

On a lighter note, Qualls remain local to his Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, and even has a football helmet from the team’s coach.

His installation service is scheduled for later this month.