Carter, Robert Crossley (Bob)

3/10/2009

June 30, 1914 - March 10, 2009

Born in 1914 and raised in New Orleans , Bob Carter was a lifelong learner, a diligent gardener and skilled in the workshop as well as a pastor. He graduated from Tulane University and received his divinity degree from Emory University . He was appointed to circuits of small Methodist churches in rural Georgia and North Carolina in the 1940's. He married Mildred Siceloff in 1945, with whom he was a partner in ministry until her death in 1979. They moved to Louisiana in 1949 and continued in “town and country” ministry in and around Covington and Eunice. His final and only urban appointment was North Baton Rouge UMC in 1969. Bob's congregations knew him for his attentive pastoral care, sound business management, and community involvement. The larger United Methodist community in Louisiana knew him for his quiet integrity, peacemaking, and leadership in social and racial justice.

In 27 years of retirement he continued to live a life of both energetic activity and deep simplicity and frugality in the tradition of John Wesley, going about doing all the good he could in his extended family and through the many causes and ministries he supported with his time, as well as financially. He was a servant leader for many years at St. Mark's UMC in New Orleans . After moving to Austin in 1995, he joined another reconciling congregation, Trinity United Methodist Church . He was also a helper and true neighbor in his apartment community, where he tended a small unofficial garden in his corner of the courtyard. After a fall and serious fractures in 2005, he lived in the homes of his sons Bill and then David, at last accepting the caretaking he had given to so many.

One of his poems has been used as an Easter reading for several years at Trinity UMC:

Love,

through light

and warmth

and water

Prods earth-shrouded roots

to send the resurrection power

into bare limbs

Shouting out in multi-hued profusion

“Behold! All things made new.”

“Brother Bob” closed his retirement address to Louisiana Annual Conference in 1979 with a story from his early ministry in rural Georgia . He was leading a funeral procession toward the graveyard when he noticed he was alone. He looked back and saw that the family had stopped and propped the casket against a tree and were taking a last set of family portraits with the deceased. In retirement, Bob said, he wasn't looking back any more.

Bill Carter

Source: Louisiana Conference Journal, 2009