Born: July 7, 1851, Berlin, Maryland.
Died: July 26, 1933, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Buried: Eden Cemetery, Collingdale, Pennsylvania.
Charles was the son of Charles Tindley and Esther Miller. He married twice, to Daisy Henry (1868) and Jenny Cotten (1927).
He is considered one of the founding fathers of American Gospel music. The son of slaves, he taught himself to read and write at age 17. He was a driven young man, working as a janitor while attending night school, and earning his divinity degree by correspondence course.
In 1902, Tindley became pastor of the Calvary Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the church where he had earlier been the janitor. At the time of Tindley’s death, his church had 12,500 members. The Tindley Temple United Methodist Church in Philadelphia was named after him.
His I’ll Overcome Some Day was the basis for the American civil rights anthem We Shall Overcome, popularized in the 1960’s.