The Rev. Dr. Charles Anderson Sayre

Age 100 ~ Longtime Haddonfield resident

April 19, 1920- August 10, 2020

On Monday, August 10, Reverend Dr. Charles Anderson Sayre, 100 years old, passed away of natural causes at home surrounded by his family. Dr. Sayre was a long-time spiritual leader in southern New Jersey and touched the lives of many.

He was born in Belmar, New Jersey in 1920 as the only child of the Reverend Woodburn and Elizabeth Hiestand Sayre. He graduated from Moorestown High School in 1937 and went on to receive a baccalaureate degree from Michigan State University in 1941. He was awarded a divinity degree at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1944 and subsequently earned his PhD. from Drew University in 1952.

Throughout his ministry, Dr. Sayre served churches in Mercerville, Cranbury, and Asbury Park. In 1965, he was appointed as Senior Minister to Haddonfield United Methodist Church (HUMC) and served there until his retirement in 1990. He often said, “I’m a minister – that’s my calling.”

While serving at HUMC, he expanded its mission and ministry into Camden with the founding of RESPOND, Inc. Dr. Sayre was actively involved with the organization and the Sayre Training Complex, which offers job training programs for at-risk teens and adults, is named in his honor. The NJ Senate and Legislature recognized Dr. Sayre’s “outstanding dedication and steadfast commitment for the benefit of the community at large” in 2011.

Dr. Sayre dedicated his life to helping his community. He was a member of the Haddonfield Rotary Club for over 67 years. He served on many boards, including the United Methodist Southern New Jersey Conference, vice chair of the Methodist Hospital Foundation, a trustee for the Princeton Theological Seminary, a senior trustee for Pennington School, Fellowship House, Drew University, Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, Camden County United Way board, Camden County Housing Commission, Camden County Alliance for the 21st Century, Seeds of Hope, Morristown College, and founded Hope Methodist Church in Voorhees. He served on the Board of Publications for Abington Press, alongside Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun.

He loved the Jersey shore, with a summer home at South Seaville Camp Meeting where he served on the Board for over 40 years. He and his wife made frequent winter trips to Sanibel Island, Florida.

One of the greatest joys of his life was the love of his close-knit family. He was preceded in death by his wife of 75 years, Lucile Bush Sayre in 2017 and he leaves behind two daughters, Judy Sayre Grim and Jill Sayre Lawlor, five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

He led with care, kindness and respect and believed passionately about fighting against racism, addiction, poverty and injustice.

Gifts may be made to the “Sayre Fund for the Tabernacle at the South Seaville Camp Meeting,” at PO Box 588, South Seaville, NJ 08246 or the “Lucile B. Sayre Meditation Garden” at the Haddonfield United Methodist Church, 29 Warwick Road, Haddonfield, NJ, 08033.