Rev. Robert Joseph Carter, 80, of Phoenix, New York, returned home to be with his Lord, Jesus Christ, on Thursday January 19th after a long and fruitful life. He was predeceased by his wife, Mary Martha Carter; along with sons Scott Herald Carter and Michael Joseph Carter with whom he is now rejoicing in Heaven. Surviving family include sons Rev. John Robert Carter, David William Carter and daughter Amy Marie Carter, all of Syracuse; a sister, Ann (Carter) Baker, of Chicago; daughter in-law, Lisa L. Carter, and grandsons Jordan, Joshua and Caleb; several relatives, hundreds of friends and thousands of congregants to whom he will always be known as “’Pastor Bob”.
Rev. Robert Carter was born October 22, 1931 to E. Marie and Budd J. Carter at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse. Robert was raised and spent his entire life on Carter Drive, the family estate located along the banks of the Seneca River at Three Rivers, NY. Robert graduated from CBA in 1951 and served honorably in the US Navy on USS Missouri, during the Korean Conflict, and became a champion Naval boxer. After studying at Oswego State University, Bob spent over 30 years in sales. In 1960, he met and subsequently married the love of his lifetime, Mary Martha (Lyon) Carter, of Kansas City, Missouri.
After establishing their own home on Carter Drive, Bob and Mary had five children, became active in the Phoenix Lions Club, served in Republican politics on numerous boards in the Town of Clay, and were active members of St Stephen’s Church in Phoenix.
In 1971, an event took place that changed the lives of Bob and Mary. While attending a charismatic prayer meeting at Bishop Ludden High School, Bob and Mary had a transforming encounter with Jesus Christ. For the remainder of his life, Bob devoted himself to sharing his experience with everyone he met, eventually leading him from being a salesman to becoming an evangelist. Bob served as a lay minister at Solvay Christian Assembly, Church of the Resurrection and the Baldwinsville (Word of Life) Assembly of God. In 1983, after several years of study, he became an ordained minister of the Assemblies of God. For 10 years Pastors Bob and Mary, served as Directors of Outreach & Evangelism at Word of Life Assembly in Baldwinsville. In 1993 Bob and Mary joined the Pastoral Team at Abundant Life Christian Center, where they served the Lord together along with their son and daughter in law, Pastors John and Lisa Carter and daughter, Amy, until his retirement in 2007.
Pastor Bob remained lovingly devoted to his wife until her passing in 2000. He was passionate about his family-boating and fishing with his children and grandchildren along the shores of his home. But, his greatest hobby was that of being a “fisher of men,” and fulfilling the call of God on his life. He endured the painful and premature deaths of two of his sons, and beautiful wife. Through it all Pastor Bob never stopped sharing the Gospel or joyfully serving his church and community.
A funeral service celebrating Pastor Bob’s life will be held at 7p.m. Wednesday, January 25 at Abundant Life Christian Center, located at 7000 AII Nations Boulevard, East Syracuse, New York. Calling hours will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, January 24th at Abundant Life. Directions to Abundant Life Christian Center are available at www.aIccJife org. Flowers may be sent to the church. Contributions may be made to Abundant Life Christian Center.