NAUGATUCK — A borough man’s spiritual journey will reach a new height.
T. Charles Brantley, 48, the founder and pastor of the Restoration Springs Inter-denomination Church at 1575 Thomaston Ave. in Waterbury will be elevated to bishop on Sept. 21. The ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. at Restoration Springs.
“It’s an elevation that God and those around me deem for me. I’m honored to have the title,” Brantley said.
Brantley will be elevated by the Judah Initiative Fellowship, a group of five churches in Waterbury that is led by Chief Overseer Bishop Lionel French.
“His faithfulness is exemplary. His loyalty is second to none. Those are things you really need with someone in such an office,” French said. “Most of all he is an honorable man.”
Brantley is being recognized because of his years of service in the community and dedication to the church. However, it’s a recognition that Brantley originally did not seek.
“They told this to me over two years ago. I fought them and told them I wasn’t interested. I am finally accepting it,” Brantley said.
For Brantley, who has been in ministry for over 30 years, becoming a bishop is one step on a long road. Brantley, who has lived in Naugatuck for 18 years, first began his church 15 years ago in Naugatuck at 470 North Main St.
“The church came out of our pain of our marriage. We made several mistakes and God restored our marriage. That is why the church is called Restoration Springs,” Brantley said.
The church moved to 173 Church St. four years later and, a year after that, moved to 560 Rubber Ave. In 2004 the church moved one last time to its current location in Waterbury.
Brantley said while the church was in Naugatuck it had a food program for borough residents and hosted outings for local children.
“We did a lot of things in Naugatuck while we were there,” Brantley said.
Even though he likes his current location, Brantley said he misses Naugatuck.
“[We’d return to Naugatuck] if God opens the door and there are people there who want us to come back. You never say no to God,” Brantley said.
Brantley has retained his ties to his community. He is still the chaplain for the Naugatuck Fire Department, as well as Connecticut State Police Troop A and Troop I barracks.
Brantley is also the author of 13 books on theology and relationships and is a relationship expert on Channel 8’s Connecticut Style show.
Brantley said he does this to reach out beyond those who attend his church.
“I believe the mission of the church is not to stay within the four walls, but to go out and help the lost,” Brantley said.