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Jeff Elgin Carter Jr.

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My pastor, Reverend Jeff Elgin Carter, Jr. arrived in Buffalo, New York on a cold, snowy Wednesday night. His airplane flight was cancelled and he rode the train all night to Buffalo with one small suitcase and $80.00 to begin his future.
Rev. Carter graduated from Grambling State University and became a math teacher. He was pastor of Prayer Tower Church of God In Christ and Prince of Peace Temple Church of God In Christ. I was one of the youngest members baptized by Rev. Carter. He and his wife, Pastor Deborah Carter are founding Pastors of Ephesus Ministries in Buffalo , New York .
Rev. Carter became the Coordinating Chaplain at the Attica Correctional Facility. Rev. Carter's ministry in the prison system has been recognized all over the country. In 1987, Ebony Magazine did a four page article with pictures of Rev. Carter about his career with the New York State Department of Corrections- In 1991 Rev. Carter was chosen as one of only two Chaplains from Erie County to attend an International Prison Chaplains Conference in Geneva, Switzerland . In March 1998, his work in the prison system was featured in the Buffalo News. Rev. Carter served as secretary and president of the New York State Chaplains Association. He was also on the Chaplain Certification Committee of the New York State Community of Churches. He helped write policies in the Department of Corrections about how inmates worship and live their lives.
Rev. Carter is on the Board of Governors of the National Conference for Community and Justice, the Law Enforcement and Diversity Team of Erie County, past president of the Network of Religious Communities of Western New York, chairperson of the Board of the Pastoral and Church Ministries Program at Houghton College and teacher at the Colgate Rochester Seminary. Rev. Carter has received many awards such as the National Conference for Community and Justice Award for Outstanding Leader in the Interfaith Community and the Governor's Tribute to African American Leaders of Excellence in State Service. Rev. Carter is a cultural diversity trainer and works for racial harmony and peace in our community.
Rev. Carter is a wonderful husband, tamer and grandfather. He has been married for 41 years to Deborah Carter, who he calls his "Queen." He is the father of four children, grandfather of two boys, foster father to two sons and godfather to many others. In October 21, 1999 Rev. Carter donated one of his kidneys to his son, Jeff III, giving him life for a second time. This was an emotional time for Rev. Carter and he says that he would give his heart as well as his other kidney to his son.
Rev. Carter has been a great spiritual leader for my family and I hope you agree that he is one of our outstanding African American ministers and religious leaders in Western New York.

3rd Place , Grade 4-6
Brienna Lacey
Heim Middle School - Grade 6
Williamsville NY

Reprinted with permission from "Historically Speaking": April 2003

Afro American Historical Association of the Niagara Frontier, Inc.