Rev. Charles (Chuck) Graff was born in Tecumseh, Nebraska (60 miles southeast of Lincoln). Chuck’s father owned an independent insurance agency and his mother served as county judge, mother of three children and volunteer church organist in their local United Methodist Church for over 40 years. His grandfather, William A. Albright, served as a minister and district superintendent in the Kansas and Nebraska Annual Conferences. His uncle, Dr. Harold Carr, served as President of Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado and his cousin, Dr. John Carr, taught at Emory in Atlanta. He also has a cousin, David Isaac True, who has served as a Benedictine Monk in Missouri for over 40 years. Holiday dinners never lacked lively theological and family discussions!
Upon completion from high school, Chuck attended the University of Nebraska, Kearney, and graduated with a Bachelor of Education in Business Education. His father invited him to return home to run the insurance agency but Chuck’s call led him to the ordained ministry. Following his college graduation, Chuck came to Laredo, Texas, to teach in a United Methodist mission school (Holding Institute). He packed his bags and moved into a dormitory that housed 25 boys from ages 12-19 from the U.S., Mexico, Central America and other countries. He studied conversational Spanish for two semesters at Laredo Junior College. Chuck taught high school classes (business education), coached basketball and soccer and played basketball with a professional team in Mexico City during the summer months. Teaching for five years in Laredo confirmed Chuck’s call to the ordained ministry and he moved to Denver, Colorado, to attend Iliff School of Theology on the University of Denver campus. This seminary experience provided a wonderful opportunity for Chuck to study both theology and social work in both of their programs.
Chuck then began serving churches in the Nebraska Annual Conference where he served in western Nebraska, Lincoln and Omaha. He served there when Bishop Joel Martinez initiated the National Hispanic Plan and Chuck was part of a team that hosted the first training offered in the conference. He was active on the Conference Hispanic Committee. He also worked with Bishop Martinez to create a new storefront ministry in South Omaha and the pastor serving that appointment became a D.S. in the conference.
Chuck transferred to the Central Texas Conference in 1998 to serve as Associate Pastor/Church Administrator at First United Methodist Church in Grapevine. While there, he helped raised funds for the budget and new sanctuary, supervised the offices and facility, led mission trips to Costa Rica and other locations, and assisted in worship and pastoral care. He has also served as senior minister at Davis Memorial United Methodist Church in North Richland Hills, leading another visioning and building renovation campaign there. He has served as chair of the Conference Hispanic Committee and Disaster Response Committee in the Central Texas Conference. He served on the Board of Trustees at Lydia Patterson Institute for over 15 years. Chuck currently serves as Associate Pastor with responsibilities in Evangelism and Lay Ministry, Singles Ministry, Men’s Ministry, Pastoral Care and Hospitality. He has recently started a new Outdoor Ministry to connect the church family with outdoor retreats and camping.
Chuck enjoys reading, art and music, leading mission trips (this summer will be his tenth trip to Costa Rica to build a new sanctuary/children’s worship center and medical clinic), golf, fishing, outdoor activities and travel.