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FBC Southside’s Carter named state Volunteer of the Yearcomment (0)

November 24, 2005

By Martine G. Bates

Jack Carter, a member of First Baptist Church, Southside, in Etowah Baptist Association cannot recall exactly when he first became involved in missions, but he followed the biblical pattern by beginning first in his home church, then moving into national and international projects. 
After many years of reaching out to others for Christ, Carter was named Volunteer of the Year at the Alabama Baptist State Convention annual meeting in Huntsville. 
“When looking for a volunteer of the year, our selection task force tries to look for a person who has been involved according to Acts 1:8 — in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth,” said Reggie Quimby, director of the office of global partnerships and volunteers in missions for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions.   
According to Quimby, Carter meets the criteria. He has been involved in missions throughout the United States, Canada and Central and South America. 
His work has been diverse. “He is a well-rounded volunteer,” Quimby said. “That’s the kind of volunteer for whom we are looking.”
Carter said his first missions work was with his church’s youth group. 
He accompanied them on several trips, working as “prop man.” This experience led him to join a Builders for Christ group sponsored by his local association.
“I enjoy doing construction work,” Carter said. “I went to Mexico a few times, and God opened doors for me so I just kept going.” 
A hurricane in Honduras changed the direction of his missions work.
“I went with guys from the Etowah Association to Honduras after a hurricane that had washed away hundreds of homes,” he said. 
“While we were working on houses for the people, we saw the need for a medical mission.”
Carter has returned to Honduras annually for the last seven years. The team now includes doctors, nurses and dentists as well as nonmedical personnel. 
“This past year, we handed out over 400 pairs of glasses and gave away 800–1,000 pairs of shoes,” he said. 
Carter added that the team’s doctors saw more than 1,500 patients in four days, and the dentists extracted 717 teeth.
Sam Day, pastor of First, Southside, emphasized that meeting people’s physical needs is not Carter’s primary objective. 
“His experiences in missions ranges from construction projects, disaster relief and medical projects, but interwoven in each of these is evangelism,” Day said. 
“Not only does he want to demonstrate God’s love, he wants to share with the lost how they can experience God’s love through a personal relationship with Jesus.”
James and Dana Deale, who nominated Carter, agreed with their pastor’s assessment.
“Every day he walks out his door, he walks into a missions field,” the couple wrote in their nomination letter. “Whether it is a cashier at the grocery store, a waiter/waitress at a restaurant, or a stranger on the street, we have seen Jack seize the chance to tell them about Christ and how that love changed his life.”
Carter agreed that missions projects abound. 
“It may be in your own kitchen, it may be sweeping leaves for your neighbor or it may be in Mexico City,” he said.
Modest about his role in the projects, Carter insisted, “This is a team effort. This is not Jack Carter — everybody pitches in, not just me. Many people work together to share the gospel of Christ.”
After five missions projects this year, he is already looking forward to his next trip to work on tsunami relief in Thailand. 
“The world is full of needs,” Carter said. “I am just grateful that I get to help a little.”

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