In The Crucible of Testing
Good Hope Baptist Church, organized in 1866, stands between Columbia and Sumter, South Carolina, and the cemetery holds the remains of many of its distinguished members. Pastor Charles Augustus Stiles, occupies one of those holding spots. Sunday, October 11, 1908, was an unusual day. Ordinarily Pastor Stiles would be exalting the Lord Jesus Christ in a pulpit somewhere, but, on that date he was in heaven bowing before his Lord. Family and friends were conducting his funeral, as he was resting from his labors, burdens, and the many tragedies he had suffered in this vale of sorrow. C.A. Stiles was born April 9, 1836, near Charleston, South Carolina. C. A. was saved at the First Baptist Church in Sumter, pastored by W. D. Rice, during special meetings held by Dr. J. O. B. Dargan. He was baptized on December 9, 1855. Two years later his home congregation licensed him to preach. On November 15, 1861, C. A. joined the Confederate Army and served for twelve months and was a Sergeant in Company K of the 23rd Regiment of the South Carolina Volunteers, and was slightly wounded in Boonesborough, Maryland, on September 14, 1862, and was discharged on February 14, 1863. Pastor Stiles lost two wives early in their marriages. The first died March 31, 1871, and left him four small children. The second died October 4, 1874. Pastor Stiles married a widow. His oldest son, Arville Legare was killed at the age of fifteen in an explosion that took place on the steamer Marion. C. A. Stile’s ordination had taken place on January 3, 1869, in the Bethany Baptist Church in Sumter County. His longest pastorates were at the Good Hope, Beulah, and Congaree Baptist Churches. For a shorter period, he pastored churches in Mayesnille and Timmonsville, and for a year he served the congregation of the First Baptist Church in Florence. Charles Augustus Stiles died at his home in Eastover, on Saturday, October 10, 1908, at 72 years of age. Loyal friends in Lower Richland erected a monument over his grave in memory.
Dr. Dale R. Hart From: “This Day in Baptist History III” David L. Cummins pp. 593 – 594