From Bobbi M. Johnson-Tanner,
Covenant Players' International Director
"I wrote the following article soon after Chuck’s death in 2006. ‘Chuck’ is Charles M. Tanner, Covenant Players’ Director & founder, and CP’s exclusive playwright. Re-printing this is allowing me to state again my hope and enthusiasm for the place that the ministry of Covenant Players has in the future – and the place that is yours to come alongside us, for we cannot do it without you.
"My work as Covenant Players’ Acting Director began in 1998 when Charles M. Tanner suffered a massive stroke. Its effects left him unable to continue work as CP’s Director and exclusive writer as he had since he founded CP in September 1963. While his condition deteriorated gradually from that time until his death on March 11, 2006, his burning love, passion and enthusiasm for Jesus Christ, the ministry of Covenant Players and his close CP family never waned.
"True to his own teaching, Chuck remained positive, enthusiastic, faithful and loving. Of all the things that I have seen my father accomplish, his grace in the years before his death is among the most impacting.
"I think the reason that I write the above is to share with you this demonstration of the Lord’s faithfulness – to Chuck and to Covenant Players. As disciples after Jesus, we know that we are given no guarantees as to this temporal world except those of the Lord’s faithfulness and provision. We are the Covenant Players, not the 'Charles M. Tanner Players'. The imprint from Chuck’s hand as founder and designer of CP has given us our foundation – and our mainstay; the magnificent repertoire of 3000+ plays that Chuck wrote over his 35 years of leadership. What Covenant Players does now, who we mature into being, and for what tasks God is forming us – these things are all before us to discover.
"Our history finds us coming alongside those battling addiction, sin, abuse, grief, self… battles of the inner man and woman. We serve face-to-face in an internet world. We have been used by the Lord – hanging on in hope through apartheid; working with Protestants and Roman Catholics in Northern Ireland; offering solidarity in East Berlin and Poland; teaching English in post-Cultural Revolution China. CP served the men in the Southeast Asian theatre during the Vietnam War and was there during the US withdrawal before the fall of Saigon. CP was ministering in New Delhi when Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated, and stood beside brothers and sisters in Tiananmen Square in 1989. When the Berlin Wall came down and the peoples of the East poured into the West, our unit serving in Berlin went the other direction – to serve the people still in the East.
"CPers served near New York City in New Jersey on 9/11, as well as through the Gulf Coast region following the ravages of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. We’ve gotten our hands dirty alongside relief workers and locals after the horrific tsunami in Japan, as well as ministering through the plays. We are privileged to hold the hands of the aged and the handicapped; discuss anger and bullying in schools rocked by gunfire and rage. We go 'where the people are', and they are often in trouble. We serve the servants: our brothers and sisters sharing the Gospel among peoples of severe poverty and lack of resources – in the West, as well as in many second and third world countries. We have become well familiar with the jarring reverberation of prisons’ slamming doors – performing in chaplain-sponsored programs, and in 'the yard' in what is perhaps true guerilla theatre.
"Covenant Players will continue to go to where the people are, to do our part in turning the world upside right for the Lord. We will continue to be His missioners, the beneficiaries of our friends and supporters’ prayers and petitions. We continue to seek our loving God’s blessings as we continue into the next generation."