Born in San Francisco, CA, Michele was raised in a military family. When she was four, her family moved to Germany for three years. Reassignment brought the family back to CA and eventually to Vallejo, CA, where Michele was saved through the ministry of Vallejo Bible Church. Sensing the Lord’s call into missions, Michele attended Biola College, where she was able to study missions and also education. She obtained a California Teaching Credential and taught in Christian schools for three years while also pursuing post-graduate work at California State University, Sacramento. In 1976 Michele participated in an orientation and internship program with Worldwide European Fellowship, now Biblical Ministries Worldwide. She attended language school in Paris and in Albertville, France, and then served a term in a church-planting ministry in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Following that term, Michele married Joe Charles and moved to serve with him in a ministry to U.S. military personnel and German nationals in Augsburg, Germany.

The Lord directed the Charleses into Bible institute ministry in 1988, first at Frontier School of the Bible and later at Cornerstone Bible Institute. Michele has taught at Cornerstone since 1993, teaching music classes, Ministries of the Christian Woman, and directing the vocal and handbell choirs.