There hasn’t been a more qualified and well liked African-American candidate come along in some time for the community than Dr. Reverend Charles F. Lomax, Jr.
A native of East Knoxville, Lomax grew up off Dandridge Avenue where he attended Green Elementary School (presently Green Magnet) and later graduated from Karns High School in 2000.
A man of academic achievement, he went on to attend the University of Tennessee where he received his Bachelor’s degree, and later attended the prestigious historically Black Morehouse School of Religion at the Interdenominational Theological Center where he earned a Master of Divinity degree.
He completed a doctoral degree at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia in 2018.
The current Alcoa Missionary Baptist Church pastor has built a life of community engagement and dedication to people throughout his academic and professional journey.
After experiencing the struggle many young people face after graduation with the inability to find employment he returned to his hometown and started working for the Knoxville Leadership Foundation. At KLF he served as the Match and Training Coordinator for Amachi Knoxville where he paired mentors with mentees who had at least one parent incarcerated in state or federal prison.
“It was while working at KLF that Mayor Madeline Rogero appointed me as a Commissioner on Knoxville/Knox County Planning (formerly the Metropolitan Planning Commission). Additionally while at KLF, I started pastoring St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Alcoa, which prompted my departure from KLF. I have proudly served in the roll of Senior Pastor at St. John for the last seven years and continue to be encouraged by the work of our members and ministry partners”, said Lomax.
On any given day you will see Charles smiling, suited up and always dressed to impress, a warm demeanor and personality that goes unnoticed by everyone. Needless to say, he shines.
The Lomax campaign ran on 3 main issues.
Smart Growth and Development, Affordable Housing, and Millenial Retention citing these key areas as part of a movement and resolution in moving Knoxville forward.
Garnering an impressive 7,241 votes and 42% of the vote in the primary city council election in August it is obvious that Charles’ appeal has grown and with increasing fundraising leading up to the general election tomorrow.
Facing Lynn Fugate, a candidate with name recognition Dr. Lomax has had little trouble attracting voters from both sides of the spectrum.
In a bible belt city a pastor with excellent community relations and eagerness to be accepting of all people, including participating in Knoxville’s PRIDE parade earlier this year isn’t something many might be used to as religion often times creates barriers to acceptance.
But not with Reverend Lomax.
His dedication to God and the gospel along with his progressive foundation make him qualified for the job. Not just for some people but all people.
When asked why he is running however, he doesn’t shy away from his roots or who he is.
“I want to show African-American men in the community you can stand up and make a difference,” he said.
Additionally I want my community to know my accomplishments are not my own. I’m a product of my village and I bring with me all the experience and wisdom that others have poured into me. My hope is that my running will be a catalyst for some other young person from East Knoxville to offer themselves for public service. For those who would entrust me with something as valuable as their vote, this is the covenant I pledge to keep: With integrity and intensity, I will fight for every Knoxvillian regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or socio-economic status.
On tomorrow November 5th, vote Charles F. Lomax, Jr for City Council At-Large Seat A.
Angela Dennis is a Writer and Editor in Knoxville. Her work has been featured in multiple publications such as Knox News Sentinel, Blavity, Black Girl Nerds, etc.