Rev. Charles Gilchrist Adams, leader of Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, in failing health

The Detroit News

The Rev. Charles Adams was in failing health late Sunday, just weeks after turning over the helm of the Detroit church he led for 50 years.

Several members of the Hartford Memorial Baptist Church congregation reported the beloved former leader of their church was with his family on Sunday. 

The Detroit News briefly posted a story on its website Sunday evening with a headline stating that Adams had died. The story was posted inadvertently when staff members were preparing background information on the iconic church leader.

Rev. Charles G. Adams, 82, senior pastor at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit, stepped aside after more than 50 years.

"We sincerely apologize to the Rev. Adams and his family, his friends and the congregation of Hartford Memorial Baptist Church," said Gary Miles, editor and publisher of The Detroit News. "We can't begin to comprehend the heartache and grief that this has caused so many.

"Egregious though it was, it's important for readers to know that this was not a failure of reporting or sourcing, but the accidental posting of a file that was unfinished and not yet intended for publication."

The News will review what happened and take appropriate measures to protect working files from accidental publication, Miles said.

Adams’ son, the Rev. Charles Christian Adams, succeeded him as the pastor of the church earlier this month.