Dr. Charles C. Lever, Sr. is the Senior Minister at the First United Methodist Church in Vero Beach, FL. His wife, Xiommy (pronounced “See-Ah-Me’), also called “Sam,” is an Area Manager for Aventis Oncology. They have two sons, Chaz, who is an undergraduate student at Duke University and, Chapman, who is in middle school. Dr. Lever received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Wofford College in Spartanburg. SC; his Master of Divinity degree in Ministerial Studies from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta; and his Doctor of Ministry degree in Christian Education and Pastoral Care from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. His continuing education credits include work at the Jerusalem Center for Church Studies in Israel; the Robert Schuler Institute in Garden Grove, CA; and others.
Dr. Lever is the recipient of the American Legion Award for "Courage, Honor, Leadership, Patriotism, Scholarship and Service;" has been inducted into the International Honorary Chapter of the Sigma Nu Fraternity, the Phi Beta Kappa "National Scholastic Society," Pi Gamma Mu "National Social Science Honor Society," the International Society of Theta Phi for "Scholars and Leaders in Religion,'' the Blue Key National Honor Fraternity for "Academic and Extracurricular Leadership." Dr. Lever has been listed in various volumes of "Who's Who,” “Outstanding Young Men in America," and “The National Dean's List."
Dr. Lever has a varied background in Christian Ministry. In college he served as Youth Counselor at the Look-Up Lodge and Camp in Traveler's Rest SC; as a Youth Director at Duncan Memorial UMC in Spartanburg. SC; and as a Summer Youth Director at Southside UMC in Jacksonville. FL. In seminary he served as Minister of Martin's Chapel UMC in Lawrenceville, GA; as a Chaplain to the terminal care unit at Wesley Woods Health Center in Atlanta, GA; and as a Chaplain to the oncology unit at Crawford Long Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, GA.
Dr. Lever received his License to Preach in 1975, was ordained a Deacon in 1981 and an Elder in 1985. During his twenty-seven years of service in the Florida Conference, he has served churches in Jacksonville, Tampa, Winter Park and, currently, in Vero Beach.
Dr. Lever has been active in both the District and Conference affairs of the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. On the District level he has served on the Board of the Christian Enrichment School, the District Committee on Finance, the District Committee on Superintendency and as Chair of the District Committee on Ordained Ministry. On the Conference level, he has served on the Conference Council on Ministries, the Conference Work Area on Education and he currently serves on the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry (CBOM). On the CBOM he serves on the Executive Committee, the Conference Relations Committee, the Policy Committee and as the CBOM Secretary.
Dr. Lever has served on numerous boards and agencies. Among these boards are the Ethics Committee at Indian River Memorial Hospital, The Methodist School of Early Education in Winter Park, FL; Churches United in Global Mission in Los Angeles, CA; The Early Education Center in Tampa, FL; the Wesley Villas in Jacksonville, FL; The Riverside Park Apartments in Jacksonville, FL; the Riverside Park Child Care Center in Jacksonville, FL; The Life Center for Senior Citizens in Jacksonville, FL; The St. Mark’s Ark Preschool and Daycare Center in Jacksonville, FL. Dr. Lever, served as the founding Vice-Chair of the Board of Wesley Villas, which built a 6 million dollar, 64-unit villa retirement complex during its first three years, creating a capital asset that was paid for when completed.
Dr. Lever received his calling into the Ordained Ministry as a youth and received his License to Preach in 1975. He met his wife, Xiommy, on a double date in high school, both were dating other individuals at the time, and ended up dating their senior year in high school. Their common love for the church and for one another made them an ideal match for each other. Today, Xiommy is active in Disciple Bible Study and the Walk to Emmaus. She also serves as a Certified Lay Speaker in the United Methodist Church.
Dr. Lever completed his first book, “If You Can’t Climb the Wall, Build a Door,” in 1997 and is currently working on his second book. He has spoken at the Robert Schuller International Institute on Church Leadership, has served as Guest Chaplain of the United States Senate, and addressed numerous conferences and workshops. Dr. Lever is excited to be sharing in the ministry of the First United Methodist Church of Vero Beach. He believes that the bedrock of our faith is to be found in coming to know Christ and in making Him known to others through word and deed. It is to this end that Dr. Lever has committed his life to God's Kingdom.