Facts About Rev. Fred Potter

We want to give you some facts about Rev. Fred Potterís life that it might be a blessing to you.  As you read you can see Godís hand of protection upon him. 

1.      Rev. Potter was born in Elizabethton, Tennessee on June 17, 1923. His parents were separated and this was truly hard for him.  Little did he know God was molding his heart so he could care for children from broken homes and troubled lives.

2.    He was saved in March 1938, at the age of 15 1/2.  He was working the new ground when he heard the church bells ring.  Conviction set in, and he went to the house where he was staying and told his granny that
     he needed to go to church.  She told him he did not have a change of clothes, and to wait.  She said she would wash them and he could go some other time.  He told her, ďWhere Iím dirty you canít wash.Ē
     He went onto church and was saved that  morning at 11:45. 

3.      In 1942, at the age of 18, he volunteered for the armed service to fight for our Freedom in World War II. He was told if America lost this war they would take his Bible, burn the churches, and he would lose his right to worship God.  This is what caused him to volunteer and fight for God and Country.  While in Germany, he was wounded 29 times in his legs and once in his head.  On his way back from picking up supplies, he got separated from his company and was pinned down by some Germans that were shooting at him.  He only had ONE bullet left in his gun, when a German soldier threw a hand grenade at him from across the road.   The explosion sent him about 20 feet in the air one way and his gun another.  As he lay in a ditch of water (in the field) he noticed  both legs were numb from his hips down, and he could not move them.  At this point he felt something going down his neck and reached to his head to feel what it was.  As he pulled back his hand he saw it covered in blood.  He knew the Lord had been dealing with him to preach the Gospel, so while lying there on the battlefield, he surrendered to preach.  A few minutes later, an American convoy topped the hill and the Germans started firing on them instead of Brother Potter.  The last truck in the convoy turned around to get tanks and the infantry to come and help.  The American forces killed and counted 75 Germans and the Lord spared Rev. Potters life.  He received a purple heart for being wounded in this combat action.

4.      In 1945, he was married to Louise Eggers of Elizabethton, Tennessee.  Later she would be the one to give Charity Baptist Mission, Inc. itís name. He then started pastoring in May 1946.

5.      In 1954, he started the Brookside Baptist Church.

6.      In 1960, the Tri-State Baptist Childrenís Home was started.

7.      Charity Baptist Mission, Inc. was started in 1973.
This was also due to the opening of Charity Childrenís Home in Mexico. It opened the same year.

8.      The Childrenís Home in  India was started in 1975. 

9.      Another Childrenís Home in  India was started in 1979. 

10.  Bro. Potter felt the need to start his own Christian School.  So in 1985, he started the Brookside Baptist Academy.

11.  The Brookside Bible Society was founded in 1985.  Bro. Potter felt the need to help preserve the King James Version 1611 Authorized Version.  Since itís beginning, the Society has had the Turkish Bible translated from the King James by Bro. Ralph Cheatwood (he is the director of operations in Bulgaria and Romania).  The Bible Society has been involved in other translation throughout the world. In addition, one of our national pastors in Bulgaria is working on a translation of the Bible into the Bulgarian language.

12.  The work in Bulgaria and Romania started in 1991.  Now with eight missionary families living in these countries they are able to spread the Gospel. There are over 90 house churches in Bulgaria and Romania.

13.  From Bulgaria, the mission moved to the Ukraine and Moldova in 1992.  We now have two families and one single missionary living in these countries.

14.  In 1992, Bro. Potter met Bro. Jim Costigan, a street preacher in Boston, MA.  He calls his work the "The Roadside Mission of Boston." From that meeting Brother Costigan started going out through our mission board. We have sent tapes, videos, Bibles, tracts, and other materials to help him with the work.  He has sent many of these materials overseas.  His work is truly of the Lord.

15.  Bolivia

16.  In 1998, Bro. Potter started to help feed and clothe those in Eastern Kentucky

17.  Then in 2001, the Lord started added a Childrenís Home to the existing work in Bulgaria and Romania.  We now have one home in Romania and many feeding centers in both countries.

18.  In closing, Rev. Potter has pastored eight different churches and two mission churches.


Rev. Fred Potter, 85, of Bristol, Tennessee, passed away Wednesday, April 8, 2009, in the Mountain Home V. A. Medical Center. He was born Sunday, June 17, 1923. He was preceded in death by his parents, Charlie and Mariam Lester Perkins Potter; three sons: Michael, Jonathan, and Ronnie Potter; and two brothers, Frank and Paul Potter.

He was a lifelong resident of Bristol and was a World War II veteran having served in the U.S. Army 736th Tank Battalion, where he received a purple heart in combat duty. He served as Pastor of Brookside Baptist Church for over 51 years as well as eight additional churches. He was the founder and president of Tri-State Children's Home and Charity Missions, organized 90 churches in Bulgaria and Romania, two orphanages in India, a children's home in Mexico and relief fund for seven counties in Kentucky. He is survived by his wife, Louise Potter; daughter, Janice Gentry and her husband, Carl of Abingdon, Virginia; grandchildren: Tim Hale, Melanie Motley, and Melissa Carrier Vencil; three great grandchildren: David Motley, Kasey Hale, and Hannah Vencil; and a special nephew, Ricky Potter.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Brookside Baptist Church, P.O. Box 3686 Bristol Tennessee, 37625-3686 or to the 736 Tank Battalion Service Company, Care of Gill Terry, 177 East Miner Rd. Mayfield Hts. OH 44124-1701.

Condolences and memories may be sent to and viewed by visiting www.oakley-cook.com. Mr. Potter and his family are in the care of Oakley-Cook Funeral Home.