Funeral services for Reverend Charles Henry Rabon, 80, of Charlotte, will be held Saturday, February 12, at 11:00 a.m. at First Baptist Church, Kershaw. Rev. Bryant D. Fersner and Rev. Bob Deaton will officiate. Burial will be at 4:00 p.m. Saturday at Lugoff First Baptist Church Cemetery, Lugoff, SC. A memorial service will be held in Charlotte at Providence Baptist Church on Sunday, February 13, at 2:30 p.m. The family will receive friends following the service in Kershaw in the sanctuary of the church. Memorials may be made to the Charles and Jo Rabon Scholarship Fund, Gardner-Webb University, Boiling Springs, NC, or to Connie Maxwell Children's Home, Greenwood, SC.
Rev. Rabon died Tuesday, February 8, in Presbyterian Hospital, Charlotte. Born on September 7, 1930, he was the fifth of nine children of the late Ben Andrew and Ida Branham Rabon. Rev. Rabon is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 57 years, Jo Lena Bridges Rabon; daughters Rhonda Eckenroth (Guy), Bonnie Corbitt (David), and Margaret Ford (Jim); and son Charles "Chet" Rabon, Jr. (Jennifer), eight grandchildren, Kyle (Molly) Eckenroth, Matthew Charles Eckenroth, Lauren Corbitt, Whitney Ford, Caitlin Ford, Sydney Ford, Charles Lane Rabon, Bennett Rabon and a great granddaughter, Elizabeth Grace Eckenroth. He is also survived by his sister, Grace Edmonds, and a large extended family.
Rev. Rabon was a graduate of Camden High School, Gardner-Webb College, and Furman University. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, KY. He was bestowed an Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from Charleston Southern University in 1981. In October 2009, he was named to the Gallery of Distinguished Alumni of Gardner-Webb University.
Rev. Rabon was ordained into the ministry in 1954, and served the Lord in numerous places and roles throughout his life. His career as a pastor spanned 19 years, during which he served as minister at First Baptist Church, Cannelton, IN, Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Shelby, NC, First Baptist Church, Kershaw, SC, and Boiling Springs First Baptist Church, Spartanburg, SC. In 1972, Rev. Rabon joined the leadership of the South Carolina Baptist Convention as its first Director of the Pastoral Ministries Office, and served in that role until 1994. He participated in gospel mission trips to the Bahama Islands, Cuba, Panama, Alaska, Philippine Islands, Brazil, and Kenya.
Rev. Rabon served as interim minister at the following churches: First Baptist Church Duncan, Salley Baptist Church, Ridge Spring Baptist Church, Lugoff First Baptist Church, Lakeview Baptist Church, Timrod Baptist Church, Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, Sand Hill Baptist Church, Bethany Baptist Church, Kershaw Second Baptist Church, and Grace Crossing Church.
Rev. Rabon unselfishly served the Baptist faith in many other roles, including: President of Pastors' Conferences, Moderator for several SC Baptist Associations, and Member of the SC Baptist Convention General Board and its Nominating Committee. He also served as Trustee at Bethea Baptist Home, Darlington, SC, Seminary Extension Representative, Advisory Council North Greenville College, Board of Directors and Alumni Association, Gardner-Webb University. In his later years, he assisted Connie Maxwell Children’s Home as ambassador and fundraiser.
He cherished time with his family, and enjoyed woodworking, golf, reading, and gardening. Rev. Rabon's true passion was serving the Lord and preaching. A life well spent in the Lord’s work!
Baker Funeral Home, 210 E. Hilton Street, Kershaw, S.C. is serving the Rabon family.