Charles Allen was a prominent United Methodist minister who served as pastor of Grace Methodist Church in Atlanta from 1948 to 1960 and as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas, from 1960 to 1983. His columns in the Atlanta Journal
Charles Livingstone Allen was born in Newborn in 1913, the sixth of eight children, to Lulu Franklin and John Robert Allen. Brought up in a devout Methodist home, he followed his father into the ministry and was educated at Young Harris College (1930-32), Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina (1932-34), and Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta (1933-37). Admitted on a trial basis to the North Georgia Conference in 1933, he was ordained a deacon in 1935 and an elder in 1937. From 1933 to 1948 he served appointments in Douglasville and Thomson, among others. Leila Jane Haynes of Clermont became his wife in 1934. They had three children: Charles, Franklin, and Mary Jane.
The hallmark of Allen’s ministry was “pastoral preaching” in a lucid and transparent style. In 1947 he founded Pulpit Preaching, a homiletical journal. It merged with Pulpit Digest in 1972 to form The New Pulpit Digest (renamed Pulpit Digest in 1978). Allen remained a contributor until 1989. His items, which began in Georgia’s Wesleyan Christian Advocate in 1947, were a prelude to the column he wrote for the Atlanta Journal, beginning in 1949,
In Houston Allen added guided tours to Israel to his activities. By 1983 the Houston church had become the largest integrated congregation in Methodism. Several institutions, including Emory University; John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas; Piedmont College; and Wofford College, have awarded him honorary doctorates. After Allen retired from First United Methodist Church, he became a counselor to the employees of Transco Energy Corporation in Houston.
Allen died in Houston on August 30, 2005.