Bishop Charles Ashley Craig, III was an anointed man of God, who excelled as a Christian leader,
gospel singer and community advocate. He was conceived in the union of Rev Charles and Thelma
Craig and entered this world December 22, 1947.
Bishop Craig received his early education in St. Louis Mo. and Los Angeles, CA. He relocated to
Detroit in 1962 and continued his education in the Detroit Public School System. After graduation
from Cass Technical High School, he attained an Associates Degree in Business Administration from
Highland Park College. Later he earned a Bachelors of Arts from Wayne State University. Bishop
Craig pursued his studies in Theology at the Detroit Bible College. His commitment and
demonstration of excellence within the church community was acknowledged by Urban Bible Institute
awarding an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Divinity, and the Alabama Interdenominational Seminary
award with a Doctorate of Humane Letters.
One Sunday in 1965, while at his father’s church, Our Faith Prayer Tabernacle, Bishop Craig met the
lovely Wanda Johnson and in 1970 they were united in Holy Matrimony. This union produced two
children; Charles IV “Volley” and Tiffany, the apple of his eye. As the years went on, Bishop readily
assumed his role as the patriarch of the Craig family.
Bishop Craig represented a legacy that is a rich heritage of innovation in gospel music. His father,
Rev. Charles Ashley Craig, II was one of the pioneers of gospel music. It was under his father’s
tutelage that he received his foundation as a gospel artist. Bishop Craig began singing and
performing as a young child. By nature of his family heritage, he became committed to singing and
composing gospel music. Early in his career he sang along with his father and The Voices of
Tabernacle, Rev. James Cleveland and occasionally was a background artist for rhythm and blues
artist such as the Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and other Motown artist.
Bishop Charles Craig, along with his brother Bishop James Craig continued the Craig legacy in
gospel music. The dynamic duo recorded their first album, “Rev. James Cleveland presents the
Craig Brothers” in 1980. Their second album, ”He Wants a Place” earned them a GMWA Excellence
Award as New Group of the Year, presented by the Gospel Music Workshop of America. Their third
recording, “Christ Won’t Fail”, was also successful and earned them a second Excellence Award for
Traditional Group of the Year. The music success in gospel continued with their recording “God is
Blessing Me Right Now”. In 2006, the Craig Brothers were Stellar Award nominates for their CD
“The Craig Brothers Live in Detroit”. The dynamic duo gained musical acclaim throughout the nation
and have performed for many distinguished individuals, including the President William Clinton.
In 1978 Bishop Craig acknowledged a calling to the ministry. He along with his brother James was
ordained into the ministry in 1980 during the convention of the Metropolitan Spiritual Churches of
Christ Churches, Inc. Bishop Charles Craig founded Craig Memorial Tabernacle, January 1, 1984
and Bishop James Craig became the Assistant Pastor. The church was blessed with continuous
growth. May 1, 1988 they moved to their current edifice at 14201 Puritan. Within a year, Bishop
Craig proudly burned their mortgage on July 7. 1989. Bishop Craig continued to give God the praise,
honor and glory for this mighty accomplishment. He was elevated to Bishop in 2004 through the
Interdenominational Assembly of Churches, and also served as the Ist Vice President.
Bishop Craig was a Vietnam veteran. While in the Armed Forces, as always, he shared his musical
ability, serving as musical coordinator. He served in this position until 1969 when he was honorably
discharged. Professionally, he was an educator, teaching Math and Social Studies for Urban Adult
Education Institute. Music was always a focal point in his life and he continued to conduct
educational and musical workshops. Bishop Craig retired as an Analyst in the Distribution
Department, Chevrolet Division of General Motors Corporation. He was also a community advocate,
supporting multiple community groups. In spite of his involvement in church and the community, he
was an avid bowler and golfer. He bowled in at least two leagues during the winter and one during
the summer. He loved all sports events but especially basketball. He was an untiring Detroit Piston
fan, being a season ticket holder for many years.
Bishop Craig served as a Director on the Board of Detroit Central City Community Mental Health
Agency and the Clinton House. Additionally Bishop Craig was on the Board of Directors of the
Gospel Music Workshop of America and is the principle leader for the Detroit Chapter of the Gospel
Music Workshop of America.
To know Bishop Craig was to love him; because he was that kind of individual. Bishop Charles A.
Craig, III made his transition, Saturday July 5, 2008. He will forever be remembered for his
demonstration of love, humility and a talent that was contagious. Among many who will cherish his
memory are his wife Wanda; son Charles, IV (Shellyn); daughter Tiffany; four grandchildren Charles
V, Toni, Michael and Carrington; step-father Theary Moore, Sr.; two sisters Gloria Gridiron (Donald)
of California and Linda Moore; two brothers, Bishop James Craig, Sr., and Theary Moore Jr.; one
brother-in-law, Curtis Foster; two aunts Tance Gray (Jesse) of Nevada and Dorothy Craig, of
Missouri; twelve nephews and nieces, his Craig Memorial family; his G.M.W.A. Detroit Mass family;
and a host of cousins, great nieces, great nephews, Godchildren; Sons and Daughters in the Gospel
Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’”
“Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.” Rev. 14:13 NKJV
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