Robert L. Carter Jr. Minister, Educator

August 15, 2003

Hastings Junior High School Educator

NEW BEDFORD -- The Rev. Dr. Robert L. Carter Jr. of Grinnell Street, the former pastor and pastor emeritus of Congdon Street Baptist Church and an educator, died Friday, Aug. 15, 2003, at St. Luke’s Hospital. He was the husband of Lillie M. (Williams) Carter. Born in Boston, the son of the late Viola (Whaley) and Robert L. Carter Sr., he lived in New Bedford 35 years. He also resided in Providence on a temporary basis for 23 years while he was pastor of Congdon Street Baptist Church until his retirement in 1997. He graduated from Boston English High School in 1948. He won the Lawrence Prize in English and became a major in the schoolboy cadet program. He graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in theology from Gordon College in 1952. In 1956, he received a bachelor of divinity degree; in 1996, he received a master’s dgree in sacred theology from Andover Newton Theological School. In 1981, he was named an honorary doctor of divinity, and in 1991 he received a doctor of humanities degree from Trinity College and Seminary. In 1963, he received a master’s degree in education from State College in Boston. He completed advanced courses in educational management at Leslie College in Cambridge. In 1963, he was certified by the Massachusetts Board of Education in English and history. He taught English and coordinated the English Department at Hastings Junior High School in Fairhaven for 25 years until he retired in 1998. He also taught high school English. From 1971-74, he was director of the Teachers Association of Massachusetts in Bristol County and president of the Fairhaven Education Association. He was winter track coach at Fairhaven High School. He was appointed to the Rhode Island Governor’s Commission to revise adoption laws. During his tenure at Congdon Street Baptist Church, he founded the Congdon Street Corp. in 1981. In 1985, while pastor of Congdon Street, he conducted a tour of Jordan and Israel. The Rev. Carter was an active supporter of the Urban League of Rhode Island. He was a member of its One Church One Child Ministerial board of advisers. He was chairman of the scholarship program at the Providence Ministerial Alliance. He was former president of the United Baptist Convention of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. In 1995, he was elected president of the American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island. In 1997, he was chosen to deliver the installation sermon at First Baptist Church for the new executive minister of the American Baptist Churches, Dr. Don Rasmussen. He began his Christian education at Bradley Memorial Baptist Church in Oak Bluffs. He attended Ebenezer Baptist Church in Boston. At the age of 12, he was baptized and became a member of Metropolitan Baptist Church, Boston. The Rev. Carter was pastor of Metropolitan Baptist Church from 1959-71. He also was pastor of Calvary Baptist Church of Haverhill and Douglas Memorial AME Zion Church of New Bedford. Survivors include his widow; four daughters, Barbara McCracken of Summerville, S.C., Viola Carter Seymore of St. Rose, La., Lydia Carter of Fort Valley, Ga., and Marie Waite of Middletown, R.I.; a stepdaughter, Charlene Mitchell of South Kingston, R.I.; eight grandchildren; three stepgrandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. His funeral will be at 10 a.m. Friday at Congdon Street Baptist Church, 17 Congdon St., Providence. Burial will be held on Saturday in Mount Hope Cemetery, Boston. Arrangements are by Bell Funeral Home, Providence.

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