Pastors' Memoirs

Charles G. Hurlock, 1938-1986

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The Rev. Charles Gallagher Hurlock, who last served in Pennhook, passed into eternal life May 24, 1986 and was buried from the Cokesbury United Methodist Church near Hurlock, Maryland, the same rural church in which he first received the call to ministry as a boy. Born June 21, 1938 to Charles M. and Ruth Hurlock, he spent his boyhood years working on the family farm on Maryland's Eastern Shore. As a young man, he served in the Army Intelligence Corps, and graduated from Western Maryland College and Crozier Theological Seminary. However, he never forgot the land and people among whom he grew up, and devoted his ministry to serving in the rural churches of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.

He loved rural people, but had the personal experience not to romanticize the rural life. He knew its blessings, but also the hard- ships and disappointments and knew the bitterness and narrowness that could be engendered in its people. The gift of his heritage allowed him to recognize and confront perversity that an "outsider" might never see. His gifts as a carrier of the Good News lay in his person, which was testified to by the instinctive friendship he enjoyed with children, animals, and the pure in heart. He was not noted as a "pulpitteer," but many instructive lessons for individuals were begun by his asking a listener a slow, disarming Question, "Well, now tell me this..."

The tragedies of his own life deepened his presence but at times made him impatient with much of the institutional church life. He never spoke of his own illness and seldom of his losses, but having lost his own son to a heart defect in childhood, he had a special ministry to other parents who had lost children as a member of Compassionate Friends. A devoted family man, who often put family needs above the chance for "higher" appointment, Charles is especially missed by his wife and two daughters. His wife, the former Linda Insley, returned to her mother's home in Salisbury, Maryland, following her recovery from surgery, and the youngest daughter, Anne, is with her. Tamara B. Hurlock is attending Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg.  
--Robert Gribbon   



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