Charles Lee Culpepper Th.D.

Male, #34675, (10 Mar 1895 - 21 Aug 1986)
Father*John Thomas Jefferson Culpepper (9 Aug 1827 - 1 Aug 1902)
Mother*Mary Caroline Currington (3 Sep 1858 - 23 Apr 1930)
DNA* Charles has been proven by DNA and genealogical research to be a descendant of Joseph Culpepper of Edgecombe Co., NC, who is a son of Robert Culpepper of Lower Norfolk, the son of Henry Culpepper of Lower Norfolk, VA. 
Name Variation He was also known as Ke Li Pei
(I did a quick image with the Chinese name of Rev. Charles Lee Culpepper, it's almost the 'transliteration' of the surname 'Culpepper'. In Chinese this name is pronounced as 'Ke Li Pei', and in Chinese writing it is
(If your computer system has Chinese fonts installed, and your web browser can recognize UTF-8 encoding, you'll be able to see the 3 Chinese characters entered above.)1
Birth*10 Mar 1895 Charles was born at Shiner, Lavaca Co., Texas, on 10 Mar 1895.2,3 
1900 Census1 Jun 1900 Charles and Samuel was listed as a son in John Thomas Jefferson Culpepper's household on the 1900 Census at Lavaca Co., Texas.4 
Death of Father1 Aug 1902 His father John Thomas Jefferson Culpepper died on 1 Aug 1902 at Lavaca Co., Texas
1910 Census15 Apr 1910 He was enumerated in the US Census of 1910 at Wilson Co., Texas.5 
WWI Draft Reg*28 May 1917 He registered for the WW-I draft on 28 May 1917 at Wilson Co., Texas.3 
Marriage*14 Sep 1919 He married Ola Lane at Texas on 14 Sep 1919 at age 24. 
1920 Census1 Jan 1920 Charles was listed as a son in Mary Caroline Currington's household on the 1920 Census at Arlington, Tarrant Co., Texas.6 
Birth of Son23 Jul 1920 His son Rev. Charles Lee Culpepper Jr. was born on 23 Jul 1920 at Fort Worth, Tarrant Co., Texas.2,7 
1930 Census*1 Apr 1930 Charles was listed as the head of a family on the 1930 Census at San Antonio, Bexar Co., Texas.8 
Death of Mother23 Apr 1930 His mother Mary Caroline Currington died on 23 Apr 1930 at Choate, Karnes Co., Texas.9,10 
SSN*1955 His Social Security Number was issued in 1955 in Virginia.2 
Death*21 Aug 1986 He died at San Antonio, Bexar Co., Texas, on 21 Aug 1986 at age 91.11,2 
Biography* Dr. C. L. Culpepper, Sr. signed his name as "Charlie Culpepper." In a 14 Mar 1975 letter to Mrs. J. L. (Vivian Hastings) Culpepper, Mrs. D. W. (Lavyn Wright) Sisco wrote: When we were in Plainview, Dr. C. L. spoke at First Baptist. I'm not Baptist, however, I went to the lecture and met him.
     In a 4 Oct 1975 letter to Mrs. J. L. Culpepper, Mrs. Sisco added that "Dr. C. L. Culpepper of San Antonio" had done extensive research on the Francis Gillespie Culpepper family. In an attempt to preserve the information that Dr. Culpepper had collected, a grandson, Tom Culpepper, set up the Culpepper Association which holds regular reunions of Francis G. Culpepper descendants and is attempting to create a machine readable record of the family.
     In a 28 Aug 1978 letter, Mrs. James L. (Vivian Hastings) Culpepper noted: Miss Annie [Mrs. R. M. (Martha Anne Culpepper) Hunt] told me that her brother Charlie is still in Memphis teaching Bible at a Baptist College. She also said they would soon have to replace him as he is getting very feeble. He had taught several years there, with no salary, he wanted it this way, until they could find a permanent instructor. So they never found anyone to fill the job. He told me the one time I visited him that he had done no research, just put down what kinfolks told him.
     16 May 1979, a Carolyn Culpepper Missions Room was dedicated at the Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary to the memory Charles Lee Culpepper, Sr.'s daughter and the following information was included in the program: The Culpeppers [the Charles Lee Culpepper family] were appointed to China in 1923. Dr. Culpepper served as President of the North China Baptist Theological Seminary from 1931 to 1942 and President of the All-China Seminary in Shanghai from 1946 to 1949. Dr. and Mrs. Culpepper were a part of the great "Shantung Revival" during the years 1931 to 1945. Dr. Culpepper was arrested in 1941 after the Pearl Harbor attack and held for eight months and then repatriated in September, 1942. When the Communists took over in China, Dr. and Mrs. Culpepper and their children were transferred to Hong Kong where Dr. Culpepper served as treasurer of the Hong Kong Baptist Mission. He was involved in helping to get Southern Baptists out of Communist territory. They transferred to Taiwan in 1952 to help set up the Taiwan Baptist Theological Seminary and remained there with the seminary until retirement. Since retirement from the Foreign Missions Board, they have been kept extremely busy with Bible classes, conferences, revivals, etc. The Culpepper's two remaining children are both missionaries of the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Mary Walker serves in Japan, and Charles, Jr., serves in Taiwan. At the present time, Dr. Culpepper is Distinguished Professor at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. and Mrs. Culpepper maintain their home in San Antonio, Texas, with residence in Memphis during the school term.
     In "A new seminary for a new day" a brochure for the Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary, C. L. Culpepper was listed: CHARLES L. CULPEPPER, SR., Distinguished Professor of Missions and Theology Th.M. and Th.D. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Served as pastor of Southern Baptist churches for several years. Served as missionary to China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong under F. M. B. of S. B. C. for 42 years. Author of two books in English and several books and papers in Chinese.
     Dr. Charles L. Culpepper, Sr. wrote 4 Jul 1978: My wife and I went ot China as missionaries under the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, in 1923. We retired in 1965, after serving in China, Hong-Kong, and Taiwan, for 42 years. My wife and I had three children, Charles L. Jr. 1920, Carolyn 1924, who died in China in 1928, Mary Frances, 1926, who married Rev. W. L. Walker, are in Japan, they had three children. The oldest, Carol married Fred Smith, and they are living in Charlotte N. C. Charles Jr. married Donal Jones, and they have four children, Tom, 32, Carolyn 30, Richard 38, and Cathy 23, all of them are married. We have three great grandchildren. Since retiring I have been traveling all over the U. S. holding Revivals, Bible conferences, and Deeper Life conferences. For the last three years I have been teaching part time in the Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Memphis, Tenn. Last year my wife and I stayed in Memphis and I taught full time. We intend to go back in Aug. 20th and will be there for the full school year.
     Culpepper Heritage Association records note: Dr. Charles L. Culpepper, Sr. was a Baptist missionary in China for 42 years. He went to China in 1923 and was briefly interned by the Japanese in 1941 before he was repatriated to the United States. He returned to China at the end of WW II and a few years later moved his operations to Taiwan after the Chinese Communist gained control of the government. "Pau Pau", as his grandchildren called him, died at the age of 91, after a long illness from heart failure. He graduated from Baylor University in 1919. He married his wife, Ola Lane, on September 17, 1919, and she accompanied him to the Southwester Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, where he graduated in 1922. The next year they were appointed to China by the Southern Baptist Foreign Board. Their first assignment was in the Shantung Province in northern China at an established mission. His main duties soon developed into work at seminaries and during his overseas service he served as President over three seminaries in China and Taiwan. As war threatened in 1930 he found his mission in Japanese occupied territory. Although the US was still a neutral country, he and several other missionaries were taken under house arrest. His wife, son, and daughter had earlier returned to the US, and he was subsequently returned to the US. He returned to China in early 1945 and served as liaison/interpreter between US and Chinese troops. Communist forces filtered down the length of the country and he moved to Hong Kong, then Taiwan. His son and daughter were missionaries also, CLC Jr. to China and Mary to Japan.12 


Ola Lane (14 Aug 1896 - 29 Aug 1989)
Marriage*14 Sep 1919 He married Ola Lane at Texas on 14 Sep 1919 at age 24. 
ChartsJohn Culpepper of Randolph Co, AL: Descendant Chart
Last Edited8 Jun 2012


  1. E-mail written 3 Nov 2010 to Lew Griffin from Mandy Yu Chablais, Switzerland, e-mail address.
  2. U.S. Social Security Administration, compiler, Social Security Death Index (SSDI), Online database at
  3. National Archives and Records Administration, compiler, World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Online database at, 2005.
    Chas Lee Culpepper, 22, Floresville, Wilson Co., Texas. Born 10 May 1895 near Shiner, Lavaca Co., Texas. Student, Single; Caucasian; No prior military service; Claims no exemption from service; Medium height, Slender build, Light blue eyes, light hair, not bald, no disabilities. Registered 28 May 1917 in Wilson Co., TX.
  4. 1900 Federal Census, United States.
    ED 88, Sheet 9B, Pg 136A, Pct 3, Img 43, Lavaca Co., TX
    Thomas Culpepper, Head, M, Aug-1827, md-18 yrs, GA SC SC, Farmer
    Ruth Culpepper, Wife, F, Sep-1858, 41, md-18 yrs, Ch 7/7, AL AL AL
    Addie Culpepper, Daughter, F, Sep-1884, 15, S, TX GA AL
    Tina Culpepper, Daughter, F, Apr-1886, 14, S, TX GA AL
    Annie Culpepper, Daughter, F, May-1890, 10, S, TX GA AL
    Ruth Culpepper, Daughter, F, Feb-1893, 7, S, TX GA AL
    Charles Culpepper, Son, M, Mar-1895, 5, S, TX GA AL
    Samuel Culpepper, Son, M, Apr-1897, 3, S, TX GA AL
    Edward Hayman, Laborer, M, Apr-1877, 23, S, TX TN MS, Farm Laborer.
  5. 1910 Federal Census, United States.
    ED 157, Sheet 1A, Pg 114A, Pct1, Img 29, Wilson Co., TX
    Mrs. Mary Culpepper, Head, F, 51, Ch n/a, wid, AL GA AL, Farmer
    Martha Ann Culpepper, Daughter, F, 19, S, TX AL AL
    Ruth Culpepper, Daughter, F, 17, S, TX AL AL
    Chas Lee Culpepper, Son, M, 15, S, TX AL AL, Farmer
    Sam H. Culpepper, Son, M, 12, S, TX AL AL, Farmer.
  6. 1920 Federal Census, United States.
    ED 87, Sheet 52B, Pg 155, Pct. 1, Seminary Hill Addition, Arlington Heights, Tarrant Co., TX
    Rent=Y, Farm=N, (Enumerated 20 Jan 1920)
    Mary C. Culpepper, Head, F, 61, WD, AL GA AL
    Charles Lee Culpepper, Son, M, 24, M, TX GA AL, Student-Seminary
    Ola Culpepper, Daughter-in-Law, F, 23, M, TX TN TN.
  7. Texas Department of State Health Services, compiler, Texas Birth Index, 1903 - 1997, Online database at, 2005.
    Charles L Culpepper is the father of an otherwise unidentified infant born 23 Jul 1920 in Tarrant Co., Texas.
  8. 1930 Federal Census, United States.
    ED 133, page 49A, 1202 Drexel Ave, San Antonio, Bexar Co.,TX
    Rent=60.00, Radio=N, Farm=N
    Charles L. Culpepper, Head, M, 35, M, md @25, TX/GA/AL, Baptist Clergyman, WW1 Veteran
    Ola Culpepper, Wife, F, 33, M, md @23, TX/TN/TN, Missionary
    Charles Culpepper Jr., Son, M, 9, S, TX/TX/TX
    Mary F. Culpepper, Dau, F, 3 2/12, S, China/TX/TX
    Mary C. Culpepper, Mother, F, 71, Wd, AL/GA/GA.
  9. Texas Department of Health, compiler, Texas Death Index, 1903-2000, Online database at, 2006.
    Mary C. Culpepper, Karnes Co., Apr 23 1930, 19765.
  10. Tombstone.
    Floresville City Cemetery, Floresville, WIlson Co., TX
    Mary C. Culpepper, 3 Sept 1858 – 23 Apr 1930.
  11. Texas Department of Health, compiler, Texas Death Index, 1903-2000, Online database at, 2006.
    Charles L Culpepper Sr, Male, died 21 Aug 1986 in Bexar Co., TX.
  12. Office of the Provost Marshal General, compiler, World War II Prisoners of War, 1941-1946, Online database at, 2005.
    Name: Charles L Culpepper
    Race: White
    Report Date: 25 Aug 1942
    Latest Report Date: May 1946
    Grade: Civilian
    Service Branch: Civilian
    Area Served: Asiatic Theatre: China
    Detaining Country: Japan
    Status: Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated
    Report Source: Individual has been reported through sources considered official.