The Fall and Rise of Pamelia Tyree Carr
A bout with cancer and even a former boyfriend's gun to her head could not tame this bad girl.
by Robin Caldwell
A close encounter with death caused Pamelia Carr to re-evaluate her standing with Jesus Christ. She had, literally and spiritually, fallen and could not get up. As a huge tractor-trailer plowed its way towards her limp body in the middle of a downtown Cleveland street, Carr was making some rapid-fire promises to God.
"Lord, if You spare me, I will praise You for the rest of my days. I'll go back to church and serve You with every ounce of flesh I used to serve the world. I will love You more?"
As the Lord miraculously lifted Carr up from the path of the truck, the normally quick-witted, street-wise mother of three knew her life had been changed. Dazed, she continued on to her job at a local bank, not quite sure about what had happened. Later, during a tribute to her Aunt LaClaire Lastery, she was led to make a public confession of faith and re-dedicate her life to Jesus Christ.
She has not looked back.
To describe the "fallen" Carr is to say that she had straddled the fence. By day, she was a successful entrepreneur and producer of gospel stage plays. By night, she dated men who would shower her with gifts and attention and she would use them. A bout with cancer and even a former boyfriend's gun to her head could not tame this bad girl.
"I had a gangster spirit. After a series of bad relationships, I decided to be in control of the men in my life. It was my goal to play the playas. It was poop or get off of the pot. And, if they chose to get off of the pot, then I would have another one waiting to fill their shoes."
Carr kept good on her commitment to Christ. She immediately returned to church and prayed fervently for God's direction in her life. The transformation on the inside was ongoing, but on her surface it was quite immediate. "It was like a wave of peace washed over my countenance. People were always saying, 'Pam, there's something different about you.'" That something different was the Lord.
Slowly but surely, the Lord eliminated those things in Carr's life and heart that had nothing to do with His purpose for her. Though she loved her children fiercely, she would be the first to admit that she was not the best of mothers. "I had to get to know my children as a renewed woman. The restoration of that relationship has been phenomenal."
One afternoon, Carr was in a restaurant when she ran into Quincy Carr, a pastor friend from her past. Still leery of men, she agreed to give him her number and two years later, they were married.
"Considering some of my past choices in men, what was I doing marrying a minister? That was the last man I would have selected for myself."
There were other plans in the heavenlies. The team of Carr & Carr has grown in leaps and bounds as they serve together in ministry. The two travel the State of Ohio and nationally to minister the Gospel in women's prisons and churches. It was Pastor Quincy who encouraged his wife to step out in faith to begin her own ministry-Women of Destiny.
"A thought isn't given time to collect dust in Pam's brain. In a second, she has turned a vision into reality. My wife is a remarkable woman with an awesome mind," boasts Pastor Carr.
Two years later, Women of Destiny Ministries, Incorporated can claim a stellar track record in programming (prayer breakfasts, luncheons, and dinners) for women. The events are secondary to the one-on-one attention Carr pays to the women who seek her counsel and friendship. Both her home and heart are open to people in need.
"This ministry is my daily reminder that God spared my life for a reason. Why should I allow someone else to get beat up [by life], when I have had these experiences to share? If I can keep someone from making the same mistakes, then I will do whatever God leads me to do."
Currently, Carr is putting the finishing touches on the WODM 2002 Women's Conference to be held the weekend of March 9-10 at Cleveland's Morning Star Baptist Church. Twelve hundred women are expected to attend the two-day event. That would be three times more than last year's attendance. The theme, "Revive Us Again" is reflective of Carr's observation that both Christian and non-Christian women have a lot on their plates these days and need reviving spiritually and emotionally. Men are welcome to attend, as well, for no admission fee.
As if she didn't have enough to do as a wife, mother, and grandmother, Carr has formed "The Inner Circle," as a tool of fellowship and service for a group of twenty women. This eclectic group comprised of church members, friends, and co-workers meet regularly for fun and to perform good works in the community.
Will there ever be an end to the energetic godly pursuits of Pamelia Tyree Carr? No, she's just beginning. "If God says 'Jump, Pam,' I just do it. I don't have the time or inclination to ask Him 'how high?' I'm too grateful."
In the game of life, Carr is a wide-receiver waiting for the quarterback to pass the ball. She knows that her positioning to receive that pass is pivotal in winning the game. If she steps out of bounds, there is always another player to intercept the pass or she can be penalized. Pamelia Carr is not the type to step out of bounds. She's headed for the end zone. She's going the distance.