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Charlie's Fearless Love

Updated: Aug 1, 2023

By Sean Cates

I first met Charlie Criniere around 15 or so years ago. We instantly bonded over our love for

God and our passion to see people encounter the love and salvation of Jesus!

Charlie truly is in his own spot in my heart! He was such a unique man and his enthusiasm to

inspire others was infectious. Charlie wasn’t being “true to himself” if he was focusing on

“himself.” He loved solving problems, inspiring others, and starting a fire in people! While I

Consider myself an “encourager” also - if I was with Charlie it was 90% HIM speaking affirmingWords over me and pushing me closer to Jesus and my calling!

We spent many nights out sharing our faith on the streets together to whoever would listen.

Charlie loved that I produced Jesus centered rap music and would give my albums out to his

Students at Grandview High School. I’d attend his FCA events there and he and I would do

our best to get the students to think about deeper things than the upcoming weekend party,


I remember distinctly one special trip Charlie and I took together to Omaha, Nebraska. We had no idea until we arrived at our outreach spot that we were in one of the most dangerous crime ridden and drug infested areas in the midwest at the time.

That night as we were walking the streets talking to young people about Hope in Jesus we had Police officers stop us. They told us we needed to leave because it simply wasn’t safe for us to be in this area at night. An area where shootings happened regularly. I remember CharliePolitely saying to the officers, “But gentleman, if it’s dangerous for us..isn’t it also dangerous for these young kids we are trying to help and get off of these streets?”

We ended our outreach that particular night but that was the type of heart within Charlie. He

consistently thought about others before himself. His heart bled for children - and he yearned to see them free and happy.

My heart is broken that this world has lost such an amazing man, husband, father, teacher,

coach, & friend. He was one of the most special men of faith I’ve ever known.

About 1 month before Charlie died him and I hung out for a couple hours. Talking, praying,

encouraging one another. I’ve never shared this before now. I asked Charlie this question.

“At your age, what are some dreams you have?” He thought about it for maybe 10 seconds

and replied, “My biggest dream is to build up the next generation in their faith in Jesus.” His

answer was completely unselfish and it didn’t surprise me at all.

I pray that all of Charlie’s dreams for his family, his community, and the next generation are

realized through Miss you Charlie. May your Legacy live on in us, Here is a song I wrote so that his children would forever remember his heart towards them.

- Sean Cates

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