State Rep. Al Williams and Charles Frasier knew each other for nearly 56 years. They met in high school, and were co-captains of the former Liberty County High’s football team together. Frasier died on Aug. 9; leaving Williams and the rest of the community to mourn his passing.
“The biggest impact on my life is to have a friend as loyal as Charles Frasier,” Williams said. “Except for his life, family and children, I was the closest friend to him, and he was the closest friend to me. His loyalty will always remain with me.”
Williams and Frasier were so close, they never made decisions without consulting one another, Williams said. They worked together in everything political.
“Charles nor I made major political decisions without talking to the other first,” Williams said. “When we talked, we always came up with a solution.” They worked together to help those living in Liberty County, thereby cementing their friendship.
Frasier served in the United States Armed Forces, during which he went to Vietnam. Upon returning home, Frasier became active in politics, especially in Liberty County and Hinesville.
He served as president of the local Liberty County Democratic Party for years. Fellow Vietnam veteran Ralph Dixon Sr., and the first vice-president, served with him.
“Brother Frasier was the chairman of Democratic Party for many years,” Dixon said. “He was an outstanding leader and I know because I served along beside him.”
Dixon said that Frasier loved getting into the political scene. He was raised in a segregated world, he said, and he wanted to change the world back to what it should be. It came as no surprise when Frasier became involved with Hinesville’s City Council.
Through the years, Frasier and Dixon remained close while working together. Dixon recalls the last conversation he had with Frasier, before he was hospitalized.
“Mr. Dixon, I had you on my mind,” Frasier said, before the phone disconnected. Dixon said he called back, but received no answer. He found out that Frasier had been hospitalized days after the conversation.
“Liberty County and Hinesville has lost one of its greatest pillars and Christian friends,” Dixon said.
Frasier was the first African American elected to city council. During his time as a council member and as mayor pro tem, Frasier dedicated himself to his community. He remains the longest serving official in the history of the city, City Manager Ken Howard said.
“He was definitely a trail blazer and a pioneer,” Howard said.
According to Howard, Frasier’s passion lied in his responsibility as a public servant, and his duty as a council member. He worked with the city to ensure residents of the local community would be given the opportunity to live in safe and sanitary homes, he said. The Azalea Street Project is his most notable accomplishment to date, Howard continued.
“He didn’t get the credit he deserved a lot of the time,” Howard said. “A true public servant doesn’t do what they do for the recognition, they do it because it was the right thing to do.”
Former Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas first worked with Frasier when he ran for city council. Thomas had just gotten out of the military, and became Frasier’s campaign manager. Later on, Frasier served on council while Thomas served as mayor.
“He was passionate about Hinesville, and he cared about the city and its people,” Thomas said.
Current Mayor Allen Brown, knew Frasier as a teenager, growing up with him in Liberty County. In 1986, Brown worked closely with him for four years on council, and then afterwards for eight years while Brown was mayor.
“I will miss Charles Frasier as a friend and as a community leader,” Brown said.
Billy Edwards, former Hinesville City Manager, met Frasier when he served on the Liberty County Planning Commission. Edwards said that he always brought great perspectives, which allowed everyone to work together to the betterment of the community.
“Anytime you lose a great leader like Charles was, it’s a loss for everyone,” Edwards said. “Those of us who had the opportunity to work for Charles will remember the things he stood for and try and go in the right direction together.”
When Frasier wasn’t serving his community, he spent his time with his family and with his church. Frasier was a member of multiple boards, including the board of trustees at Pleasant Grove AME Church, and the president of the Liberty County High Alumni Association.
John Morse Jr., the pastor at Pleasant Grove AME Church, said Frasier was a straight shooter, but always respectful and supportive of leadership.
“His visionary prospective led to many discussions about not only the church, but the community,” Morse said. “He believed the church should be an integral part of community life.”
One common thought echoes from all who knew Frasier— Liberty County has lost one of its most devoted servant leaders.
The viewing is 6-8 p.m. Aug. 17 at Mt. Zion Baptist Church. The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 789 will honor Frasier in a silent salute of service at 5:30 p.m., preceding the viewing. The funeral is 11 a.m. Aug. 18 at Live Oak Church of God.