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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Connections: Wanda R. Carter
Aug. 25, 2013

The Fruit of Unity

Wanda R. Carter recently retired as an Assemblies of God U.S. Missions-endorsed hospital chaplain after earlier serving as an AG church planter and pastor in New Jersey. Carter, 71, spoke with Pentecostal Evangel News Editor John W. Kennedy.

evangel:  How did you become a church planter in New Jersey?

Wanda R. Carter: While I was at Valley Forge Christian College (AG), the Lord spoke to me: I want you to go to Phillipsburg and start a church. Phillipsburg? I said, “God, You must have made a mistake. I plan to be a chaplain.” Well, you can argue with God, but when you get through He always wins.

I asked Barbara Clark, my good friend who was a student with me at Valley Forge and Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, to pray with me about it. One day Barb said God told her to help me start the church. There was no AG church in the town.

evangel:  That must have been unusual for the time: two women — one black, one white — planting a church.

Carter:  We’re just two women who wanted to be obedient to God. Race was never an issue. The goal was to start a multiethnic church to show people what heaven is going to be like. God wanted us to minister to all races and cultures. Emmanuel Christian Center started as a cooperative effort between Evangel Temple in Springfield (Mo.) and the New Jersey District.

evangel:  You attended the 1989 General Council when “the issue of racism” came up in Resolution 20.

Carter: When I saw the resolution, I wondered why it didn’t state that racism is a sin. I was compelled to go to Indianapolis. I had to see it amended from “the issue of racism” to “the sin of racism.”

I said to the people gathered there that racism is a sin and we need to label it for what it is. Because unless we do, we’re not going to be able to speak with validity to the different groups of people who have been impacted by racism. If we want a multicultural church like the church in heaven, we need to start having that kind of church here.

evangel:  The resolution passed.

Carter: When it was adopted, I was relieved; I had done what God asked me to do. But racism is still an issue in the church in general and must be addressed. That’s the last place we should have racist views. Some people are unaware they hold racist views. The church in heaven is going to be made up of all tongues, tribes, peoples and nations. Racism is totally unacceptable to God.

evangel:  You’re about to move back to Springfield. What are your plans?

Carter: I’m officially retired, but also “refired.” I have many friends at Evangel Temple who have been so supportive over the years. I feel God is calling me into a prayer ministry. I’m interested in reconciliation — trying to get people to be honest about who they are so they can be honest about who other people are.

evangel:  What has been the highlight in all your years of ministry?

Carter: In Hackensack, N.J., where I grew up, I literally heard God say to me, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” It was before I was even saved. God kept His Word. He has always been with me. God’s faithfulness has been the highlight since I first heard those words.


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