Dr. Charles C. Hays, Jr., was born May 31, 1936, in Headland, Alabama to Charles C. Hays, Sr. and Melba Katheryn Reeves Hays. Dr. Hays (retired) died peacefully in his sleep at Peachtree Christian Hospice Care in Duluth, Georgia on September 25, 2015.
At the age of 7, he moved with his family to Montgomery, Alabama. Upon graduation from Sidney Lanier High School in May, 1954, Dr. Hays attended Huntington College in Montgomery, Alabama, graduating in May, 1958, with majors in English and American History (with concentration in the Old South, The Civil War, and the New South). In March of 1961, he earned his Master of Divinity degree from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta. Dr. Hays earned his Doctor of Ministry degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in June of 1979, graduating with highest academic honors.
He received a license to preach in the Methodist Church at the age of 15, and he served in the Alabama - West Florida Conference of the Methodist Church for 50 years and five months before his retirement on June 3, 2002. Dr. Hays served the following churches throughout his ministry: Woodland - Pike Road Methodist Churches in Alabama; McKenzie - Red Level Methodist Churches in Alabama; Grace Methodist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, where he served as the Associate Pastor and Minister to Youth under Senior Pastor Dr. Charles L. Allen and Senior Pastor Dr. T. Cecil Myers; Wesley Chapel Methodist Church in Opelika, Alabama; Michigan Avenue Methodist Church in Mobile. Alabama; Saraland Methodist Church in Saraland, Alabama; McAnn's Chapel United Methodist Church in Jackson, Alabama; First United Methodist Church in Hartford, Alabama; First United Methodist Church in Brewton, Alabama; Gadsden Street United Methodist Church in Pensacola, Florida; First United Methodist Church in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida; Saint Andrew United Methodist Church in Panama City, Florida; Saint Mark United Methodist Church in Mobile, Alabama; Foley United Methodist Church in Foley, Alabama; Capitol Heights United Methodist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.
Dr. Hays served on the faculty of Jefferson Davis Junior College in Brewton, Alabama, and was an adjunct faculty member with Huntington College in Montgomery, Alabama. Since 2003, Dr. Hays has served as an after hours legal assistant with his son's law firm, the Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays & Associates, P.C., in Duluth, Georgia. He was a frequent lecturer on Historical and Biblical Geography, and in Old and New Testament Studies. Dr. Hays and his wife, Joan, were frequent world travelers and they led over 50 tours to Europe, Israel and Egypt Australia and New Zealand, Alaska, and the Caribbean.
Dr. Hays is survived by his wife of 56 years, Joan Martin Hall Hays, of Red Level, Alabama. They were married to each other while he served several churches in the Red Level area on June 9, 1959. They are the parents of four children:Charles Clarence Hays, III (Deceased: August 6, 2007); Gary Martin Hays of Duluth, Georgia; Derek Matthew Hays of Duluth, Georgia; Jennifer Ann Hays Stout of Fleming Island, Florida. Dr. and Mrs. Hays have nine grandchildren: Sara Elizabeth "Libby" Hays, daughter of Derek Hays; Jordan Ashley Stout, daughter of Brian and Jennifer Stout; Benjamin Matthew "Ben" Hays, son of Chuck Hays and Larkin Walsh; Haley Alexandra Stout, daughter of Brian and Jennifer Stout; Audrey Grace Hays, daughter of Gary and Sheri Hays; Matthew Davis Hays, son of Derek Hays; Jacob Andrew "Jake" Hays, son of Chuck Hays and Larkin Walsh; Ashleigh Caroline Hays, daughter of Gary and Sheri Hays; Ava Claire Hays, daughter of Gary and Sheri Hays.
Guided by his deep faith and desire to serve Christ, Dr. Hays found great fulfillment in serving others. He was always available to help a family member or friend, and was quick to try and cheer others up with his wit and his genuinely sincere and compassionate heart. He never met a stranger, and was quick to interact with others and make them feel like they were a life-long friend. He was a kind and gentle spirit, and he embraced the Biblical mandate of being salt and light in a world of darkness.
Dr. Hays was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather, and loved spending time with his family. He will be dearly missed.
A funeral celebration will be held at First United Methodist Church of Lawrenceville, Georgia, on Friday, October 2, 2015, at 2:00 p.m. A private burial will follow at Gwinnett Memorial Park in Lawrenceville. Visitation will be held at Tom M. Wages Funeral Home, 120 Scenic Highway, Lawrenceville, Georgia, 30046 on Thursday, October 1, 2015, from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes contributions to the Alzheimer's Association , http://www.ALZ.org , in honor of his wife, Mrs. Joan Hall Hays.