COVID-19 updates from Bishop Bryan | Resources for reopening church buildings | Pray at 12:19

UMW, Conference leader remembered for her legacy of faithfulness


A word from Bishop Bryan:

The South Georgia Conference joins the family of Charlene Black in celebrating her life, even as we grieve at the announcement of her death. This mixture of feelings is itself a powerful testimony to Charlene’s life. Our grief grows out of our awareness of her legacy of faithfulness as an educator, university official, community servant, and faithful leader in the United Methodist Women, the South Georgia Conference, and in The United Methodist Church.  Our sense of celebrating her life expresses our gratitude for the many ways God has richly blessed us by her example which continues to inspire and challenge us in our own discipleship. That legacy also continues in South Georgia where her son, Rus, is pastor of the Nevills UMC in the Northeast District. We express our sympathy to all of Charlene’s family. Her funeral service will be held this Sunday at 3 p.m. at Statesboro First UMC. The title of Charlene’s recent book is a clear statement of  her own personal witness: “God Had a Plan Even for a Little Girl from Dexter.”


Obituary for Dr. Charlene Elizabeth Rushton Black

Dr. Charlene Elizabeth Rushton Black, 77, daughter of Archie Sime Rushton and Elizabeth Jane Johnson Rushton, entered eternal life on August 8, 2019.

She is survived by her two sons, Joseph Barclay Black and his wife Donna Marie Carnley Black of Statesboro, Georgia, and William Rushton Black of Nevils, Georgia, three grandchildren, Catherine Elizabeth, Finnegan Barclay, and Rosa Mae Jane, and brother William Barclay Rushton and his wife Miriam of Gainesville, Georgia along with nephew Robert Matthew Rushton and niece Miriam Elizabeth Rushton Conto. She was preceded in death by her brother Robert Archie Rushton.

Charlene Elizabeth Rushton Black was born in Brunswick Georgia on July 8, 1942. Dr. Black earned an A.B. Degree Magna Cum Laude and a Masters of Arts Degree from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Vanderbilt University. She was a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, Sigma Xi, Mortar Board, Phi Kappa Phi, and Phi Beta Kappa. She spent most of her career at Georgia Southern University as a Professor of Sociology, Dean of the Graduate School, Dean of Undergraduate Studies, and Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs. While at Georgia Southern she helped chair the committee and prepare the grant that created the Center for Wildlife Education. She completed her career as the Dean of Academics of Young Harris College.

She was blessed to share her faith as president of the Statesboro District and South Georgia Conference United Methodist Women, and the Conference Methodist Student Movement. She served as Lay Leader and Director of the Women's Division of the General Board of Women's Ministries. She led the delegation of four General Conferences for the UMC. She served as an observer of mission work for the Methodist Church in many U.S. Institutions and in the Philippines, Brazil, Costa Rica, Austria, Bulgaria, Ireland, and South Africa. Dr. Black lead Bible studies for many years at Statesboro First United Methodist Church. She taught at least one mission study for the UMC every year for over 15 years. In 2015, Dr. Black authored “God Had a Plan, Even for a Little Girl from Dexter.”

The family will receive visitors on Saturday August 10th from 5:00pm-7:00pm at Joiner-Anderson Funeral Home in Statesboro.

The funeral will be held at Statesboro First United Methodist Church at 3:00pm on Sunday, August 11th with Rev. Jimmy Cason officiating, assisted by Rev. Stephanie Smith.

Interment will follow at Payne's Chapel UMC in Jenkins County.

Pallbearers will be Matthew Rushton, Matthew Conto, MH Robbins IV, Chris Burke, Robert Meguiar, and David Cole.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to United Methodist Women's Mission Giving, South Georgia Conference UMW by sending to C/O South Georgia Conference of the UMC, PO Box 13145, Macon, GA 31208-3145.


Stay in the know

Sign up for our newsletters


Conference Office

3040 Riverside Dr., Suite A-2 - Macon, GA 31210

PO Box 7227 - Macon, GA 31209


Administrative Office

3040 Riverside Dr., Suite A-2 - Macon, GA 31210

PO Box 7227 - Macon, GA 31209

478-738-0048 | 800-535-4224

Camping & Retreat Ministries

99 Arthur J. Moore Dr - St Simons Is., GA 31522

PO Box 20408 - St Simons Island, GA 31522

912-638-8626 | 888-266-7642

Contact us

Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.