Roanoke City Council has named the Reverend Carl T. Tinsley, Sr., as the 2012 Citizen of the Year for the City of Roanoke. In recognition of this honor, Mayor David A. Bowers bestowed the prestigious Key to the City to Rev. Tinsley at the city’s Annual Volunteer Reception on Nov. 14. In addition, City Council announced his selection at the Dec. 17 Public Hearings, and presented him with a resolution commending his service to the community.
Tinsley is a native of Franklin County and has been a resident of the City of Roanoke for more than 50 years. He attended Cornet Business School, Virginia Western Community College, and Shenandoah Bible College. He also served in the U. S. Navy as a Radio and Radar Technician and Operator Flight Squadron, crewman, and Third Class Petty Officer.
Rev. Tinsley retired from Norfolk and Western Railway Company (Norfolk Southern Corporation) with 38 years of dedicated service, and was the first African American clerk in the Traffic Department.
In addition, he has served in the ministry for more than 41 years, pastoring churches including First Baptist Church of Natural Bridge; First Baptist Church of Catawba; Indian Rock Baptist Church, and First Baptist Church in Cloverdale. Tinsley is the current pastor of First Baptist Church in Buena Vista where he has shown dedication in ministering and caring for the needs of each member, and also serves as an Associate Pastor of St. John’s Episcopal Church.
He is a life member and Past President of the Roanoke Branch NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People);President of the Ministers’ Conference of the Roanoke Valley and Vicinity; President of the Northwest Neighborhood Environmental Organization (NNEO); Past Vice-President of Fairland Civic Organization; and Past Chairman of the Roanoke City Democratic Committee (the first African American to hold this post).
Throughout his life, Rev. Tinsley has demonstrated a heartfelt interest in higher education and for the advancement of minorities in the Roanoke Valley, and has helped solve controversial neighborhood and community issues by working hand-in-hand with city government. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Roanoke City Electoral Board and is active in many organizations within the Roanoke Valley for which he has received awards and honors, including the SCLC Martin Luther King Drum Major for Justice and the Martin Luther King Religious Affairs Awards.