Longtime Bible teacher, speaker and friend of OCF, ACCTS and Christian Military Fellowship, Charalambos Nikolaou Tokatloglou (Mr. Tok), went to be with his Lord on 15 December. He was 97. Though the self-described “little Greek” viewed himself as a “preschooler” spiritually, those who knew him saw a spiritual giant whose legacy spanned the globe.
“His faithfulness and service to the Lord were legendary, and I couldn’t help but be amazed and blessed in his presence,” said Brig Gen David Warner, USAF (Ret.), OCF’s Executive Director.
“My dear friend, mentor, and humble man of God has finally, to quote his biography, stopped ‘kicking in the womb.’ Mr. Tok has now seen the face of the Savior whom he faithfully served for eighty-one years,” said Robert Flynn, Christian Military Fellowship’s president and CEO.
Col Philip Exner, USMC (Ret.), ACCTS’ executive director, said, “Mr. Tok played an immensely important role in the lives of international military and civilian people. His humble and caring personality allowed him to share the Gospel with people from many cultures in a way that attracted them to listen.”
“Though I have been reading the Bible daily since 1931, I am only scratching the surface at best, because it is God’s wisdom. And if I went to heaven right now, I probably will be a preschooler there!” —Mr. Tok, from his biography, We All Knew A Little Greek
“His small stature concealed an enormous and unshakable faith that suffused and directed his thoughts, words and actions,” said Col Exner.
Mr. Tok served OCF as coordinator of ministries from 1964-1986, staff emeritus from 1986-1991, and minister-at-large from 1992-2004. He spoke frequently at OCF retreats, conferences, and leadership seminars, and also served joyfully for many years as a volunteer for membership mailings with his late wife, Carol.
One of the members of the founding committee that formed Christian Military Fellowship, Mr. Tok worked on the governing council and Board of Directors for many years, “lovingly guiding us toward the Cross, always reminding us who we were and to Whom we belonged,” said Flynn.
Mr. Tok’s humility and wisdom impacted others worldwide. In his biography, We All Knew A Little Greek, Mr. Tok spoke of a prayer to God, “Lord, if my whole life on earth is ‘in the womb stage,’ then no wonder I can’t even imagine what enjoying Your presence in heaven will be like. Thank You, Lord, for revealing this to me. Lord, this way there is absolutely no room for any pride here on earth about what I can do.”
About C.N. Tokatloglou
- Born in Ankara, Turkey
- Educated at American College of Salonika in Greece, and in Great Britain
- Missionary for Worldwide Evangelization Crusade in West Africa and Sudan Interior Mission in East Africa and Arabia
- Fluent in four languages beyond his native tongue and English
- Lived in the U.S. since 1956
- Taught New Testament Greek
- Developed an international students ministry at Michigan State University
- Developed International Officers and Prayer Partners Fellowship
- Bible teacher, speaker at chapels and conferences worldwide
- Wife Carol, who went to glory in 2006; two children, Eunice and Timothy
Col Exner remembered that as a young captain he first saw Mr. Tok at an OCF conference many years ago. Because he was the conference speaker, Col Exner only “looked from afar” at this small man who had such gigantic strength of spirit and boundless love of his Savior. Envious at the time of the unshakably peaceful confidence that shone from Mr. Tok, that desire spurred Col Exner’s search for a deeper commitment to Jesus Christ.
Brig Gen Warner recalls his first meeting with Mr. Tok. The spiritual stalwart “gently grabbed my hands, looked me square in the eye, and gave me his blessing. I’ll never forget the sense of peace and joy that overcame me from meeting him.”