Charlie Fraga (Vancouver-Portland) will be the next overall coordinator of the People of Praise. He was elected by the community’s board of governors during an assembly that took place September 9-10.
Charlie’s 12-year term of office will begin on November 3, 2021. He follows Craig Lent who has served as overall coordinator since 2003.
“I am humbled to be called to serve in this unifying role at such an opportune moment—when we not only celebrate 50 years of community life but look to discern what God may be calling us to do together in the next 50 years. I know that, together, with the Spirit guiding us, we will be able to hear the Lord and faithfully continue our vocation as his People of Praise. I covet your prayers as I enter into this new role, and ask for the same for our brother, Craig, as he wraps up 18 years of exemplary service.”
Charlie, 70, has served many roles in the community since he first joined in 1977 after moving to South Bend from San Francisco. In 1982, Charlie and his wife Carmen moved to northern Virginia, where Charlie led the branch from 1982 to 2003, serving as its first principal branch coordinator. In 2003, the Fragas moved to Portland, Oregon, where Charlie served as principal branch coordinator for 12 years. During his time in Portland, Charlie and other branch members worked closely together to establish an outreach and community building effort in north Portland, where some 70 percent of the branch now lives. In 2011, the branch launched Trinity Academy, a classical Christian school that serves 105 students, where Charlie currently serves as president of the board. Charlie has served on the community’s board of governors since 2018, and previously served from 1989-2001 and 2003-2015.
Charlie and Carmen have been married for 47 years and have four children and 11 grandchildren. He is a gourmet cook and a fluent Spanish-speaker. He was born in Oakland, CA.
According to the community’s foundational documents, to be elected overall coordinator, a man must be a tenured coordinator, at least 35 years old, a coordinator for at least three years and a member of the community for at least 10 years. He must receive a two-thirds majority of votes from the electors, who are the members of the board of governors. “He also must be prudent, charitable and zealous for the life and works of the community” (Principles of Structure and Government of the People of Praise). The community’s board of governors includes Tom Caneff, Sean Connolly, Charlie Fraga, Nick Holovaty, Craig Lent, Bob Magill, Phil Monaco, Pat Murphy, Jim Mysliwiec, Mike Zusi and John Zwerneman.