FROM THE FLORIDA COURIER STAFF
Dr. Mack King Carter, former senior pastor of the10,000-member congregation New Mount Olive Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale and one of the state’s most beloved ministers, died Wednesday. He was 66.
Dr. Carter was a native of Ocala. He received an Associate of Arts degree in 1967 from Central Florida Community College, a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1970 from the University of Florida, a Master of Divinity degree in 1976 from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Doctorate of Ministry degree in 1978 from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
He also did additional studies at Florida Memorial College in Miami, and received honorary doctorate degrees from Bethune-Cookman College and Florida Memorial College.
Ministering as a teen
Dr. Carter told the Sun-Sentinel newspaper in a 2009 story that he gave his life to Christ at the age of five, and was preaching from the time he was a child growing up in Ocala just outside Gainesville. He pastored his first church at the age of 19.
His sermons “combine a unique talent of learned biblical scholarship and good old folkways of the traditional African-American preacher,” said the Rev. Dr. Gerald Kisner, minister of Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in West Palm Beach, in the article.
Also in the article, The Rev. Lance Chaney, pastor of St. John’s Baptist Church in Boynton Beach, said, “He’s a preacher’s counselor. He has mentored more than 100 preachers across this nation and he’s been a confidant for me.
“When you hear him preach, you know he mastered the Greek language. It makes people who want to preach go and study and prepare.”
Dr. Carter was known for having a photographic memory and weaving everyday situations as well as current events into his sermons to make a biblical point. Usually he would lecture directly from the Bible – without notes or prompting.
In 1981, Rev. George E. Weaver, then pastor of New Mount Olive, invited Dr. Carter to become his co-pastor before passing the torch to him in November 1982. Under Dr. Carter’s leadership, the congregation grew from about 2,800 to more than 10,000 members.
During his tenure, Dr. Carter established a television ministry and created the Mount Olive Development Corporation, a faith-based organization focused on revitalizing low and moderate income communities.
He was considered one of America’s great African-American preachers as he traveled throughout the United States and abroad preaching, teaching and lecturing. His regular classes at the National Baptist Convention Congress of Christian Education were packed to capacity with preachers and regular churchgoers each year.
“Noted for his biblical scholarship, his exegetical expertise and masterful skill in homiletics and hermeneutics, he is considered a ‘preacher’s preacher,’ according to his website.
Prior to accepting the call at New Mount Olive, Dr. Carter served Calvary, Watula and St. John Baptist Churches in Ocala, and Green Castle Baptist Church in Prospect, Ky.
Till the end
Dr. Carter “moved on,” in his words, from New Mount Olive Baptist Church in 2009 after serving there 27 years. At the time, he was fighting a battle against cancer and heart problems.
Nevertheless, he continued to teach and preach until he died. After leaving New Mount Olive, he joined New Birth Cathedral of Faith International in Miami-Dade County, where Bishop Victor T. Curry is the pastor.
He taught Bible study there and at St. Ruth Missionary Baptist Church in Dania Beach. He also preached the 11 a.m. Sunday sermon on Easter 2013 at New Birth, one of the state’s largest predominately Black churches.
During the last year of his life, Dr. Carter often said he was too tired or too sick to preach – until he got to church. He said “the Lord would meet me there” to give him the strength and presence of mind to preach with the same energy and passion he had done for almost 50 years.
Husband and father
Dr. Carter was the author of four books: “A Catechism for Baptists,” “To Calvary and Beyond,” “A Quest for Freedom,” and “Interpreting the Will of God.”
Survivors include his wife of 40 years, Patricia A. Thomas Carter; daughters Annalisa Robinson-Melton and Pamela Latrice Johnson; and grandchildren Brittany N. Robinson and Carter Nathaniel Johnson.
Homegoing arrangements were incomplete at the Florida Courier’s press time late Wednesday night.