Charles G. Hayes, also known as Father Hayes, was a gospel musician and pastor who founded the Cosmopolitan Church of Prayer in Chicago. He was known for his traditional gospel style and his choir, the Warriors, who recorded more than 30 albums and had several hits, such as “Jesus Can Work It Out”. He was also a respected leader in the gospel community and a mentor to many artists. He died on February 12, 2014, at the age of 76. But what was the cause of his death?
Health Issues and Stroke
According to some sources, Father Hayes had been sick for some time before his death. He had suffered from diabetes and high blood pressure, which are risk factors for stroke. He also had a history of heart problems and had undergone a quadruple bypass surgery in 2008. He had been hospitalized several times in the months leading up to his death.
On February 12, 2014, Father Hayes was found unresponsive in his room at a nursing home in Oak Park, Illinois, where he had been staying for rehabilitation. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Though there was no autopsy, the cause of death was given as a stroke in paperwork filed by his family physician, Dr. David Kraus. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to a part of the brain is interrupted, causing brain cells to die. It can result in loss of consciousness, paralysis, speech problems, and death.
Legacy and Tributes
Father Hayes left behind a legacy of music, ministry, and love. He was survived by his two sons, Marcus Hayes and Charles G. Hayes III, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was also mourned by his church members, his choir, his colleagues, and his fans.
A musical tribute was held for him on February 21, 2014, at the Sweet Holy Spirit Church in Chicago, where he lay in state. The tribute featured performances by many gospel artists, such as the Chicago Mass Choir, the Barrett Sisters, Pastor Mitty Collier, Rev. Walter Butts, and Delores Washington. Many dignitaries, such as Congressman Bobby Rush and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, also paid their respects. Dr. Albert Jamison, chairman of the Gospel Music Workshop of America, flew in from Brooklyn to be present.
Father Hayes was buried on February 22, 2014, at the Oak Woods Cemetery in Chicago. His funeral service was attended by thousands of people, who celebrated his life and his impact on gospel music. He was remembered as a man of faith, a man of joy, and a man of song.