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Elder Thomas Carr

He was born in the County of Grayson, State of Virginia, on the seventeenth day of May, 1804, of poor, yet very honest and pious parents, Thomas and Elizabeth Carr. He was a very ordinary boy, but fortunately for him, he got a tolerable education. When grown, he paid his respects to a lady of respectable family by the name of Porter, and married her. He and his wife raised several sons and one daughter. The most of them, if not all, are members of the Primitive Baptist Church, and very orderly members. Brother Carr joined the Methodists in the first place, as we have heard from his own mouth. Becoming dissatisfied in that condition, he joined the Primitive Baptists at old Fox Creek Church, Grayson County, VA, November 3, 1837. Was licensed to speak in public, or preach, August 3, 1838. Was dismissed by letter from that church on the 3rd Saturday in February, 1839.

He was a poor man and taught school a portion of his time, moving from one neighborhood to another. We have not time to look after the particulars and time of ordination, etc., consequently we will give the rest of this sketch from personal knowledge.

He became a member of the Cross Roads Church in Grayson County, VA, many years ago, and was pastor of the same up until the time of his death. He was also pastor of Rock Creek and Zion churches, and was very prompt in attending all his appointments and church meetings; and in his own and corresponding associations; was nearly always appointed to preach. He was generally a little slow in starting, but people who were best acquainted with him loved to hear him best, and always waited patiently, expecting to hear the truth as it is in Jesus.

His orderly walk and godly conversation was an ornament to society and to the denomination to which he belonged. He well adorned the profession he had made at old Fox Creek Church nearly thirty-nine years ago. We have often heard him say in preaching that he would not be anything but a Predestinarian Baptist. During the last ten years of his life, he seemed to improve in preaching and explaining the mysteries of the Scriptures to the edification of the saints. He generally stood still while preaching, or nearly so, using but a few gestures at any time, only turning a little to address those around him. After starting fairly and in full train of thought in the great plan of redemption, he would most invariably shut up his left hand and hold it behind him, across the small of his back, and begin with his right, as though he was pointing the whole Adamic line to the great Author of the Saints’ faith. Standing in that posture, he would draw up the pictures so plain, and the promises and invitations to the saints’ hungary, thirsty souls so clear that I have often heard saints rejoice and sinners cry out, “What must I do to be saved?” or, “Lord have mercy.” He would generally move on in the great train of grace, showing in the pictures that grace was older than sin–even given in Christ before the world began–very often (he preached) two hours, and but very few ever seemed to be weary.

I have heard him say that he had often rode through rain, hail, and snow until his clothes were frozen on him. Notwithstanding he was a poor man, money could not hire him to preach, nor could money hire him to quit preaching; for the cause of Christ was so near and dear to him that he counted all natural things but dross, that he might obtain that inheritance that is incorruptible and undefiled and that faideth not away, reserved in heaven for you who are kept by the power of God unto salvation, ready to be revealed at the last time.

Some month before his death, Brother Carr was taken with dropsy and lingered for some time under some medical treatment, until it was believed by him and others that he was mending. Notwithstanding, the disease was working on those vital organs, and the time of his departure was at hand. Many of his brethren and sisters visited him during his sickness and administered to his necessities. I, on one occasion, visited him. He and his wife told me that the neighbors and brethren and sisters had been very kind to them during his sickness; that they had plenty of the necessities of life.

I talked with them freely, being well acquainted. Brother Carr’s mind seemed to be sound, his ideas clear, his faith and hope strong, and his confidence unshaken in that God does all things well. He expressed a desire to visit the churches again and see how the brethren and sisters were getting along.

Notwithstanding his wife’s desires, with the brethren, sisters, and ministers, for him to recover, the time of his departure had come, and on the 21st day of June 1876 at the age of 72 years, one month and four days, he laid his armor by at the bidding of his Master, and passed from the shores of time, without a murmur or struggle. He leaves a wife and several children, churches and ministers to mourn. But, brothers and sisters, we do not mourn as those who have no hope.

Brethren and sisters, see that Sister Carr is not wanting. May Israel’s God take care of us, and send us to take up Brother Carr’s mantle.

(“Minutes of the Seventy Eighth Annual Session of the Mountain District Primitive Baptist Association Convened with the Little River Church Allegany Co. N. Carolina on the 22nd and 23rd days of Sept 1876, proceedings).