Remembering Carolyn Adams
by David Crowe
Find out more about the ministry of Free Will Baptist Home Missions by visiting www.homemissions.net.
IT WAS THE MID-80S. I was in my first full-time pastorate at Mt. Pleasant Free Will Baptist Church in Brilliant, Alabama. During my first year as pastor I became discouraged because things weren’t happening as fast as I thought they should. I was really struggling, wondering whether or not God had “called” us there. During this time I attended the Alabama Pastor and Workers’ Conference in hope of finding help and encouragement. While at the conference, I was introduced to Carolyn Adams.
Voice of Encouragement
I had met Richard Adams while a student at Free Will Baptist Bible College. He spoke in chapel one day, and I was deeply impressed by the “mountain preacher” from East Tennessee. Richard was one of the keynote speakers at the conference, and Carolyn provided the special music. Her first song was “Blessed Assurance.” I had never heard anyone sing that beautiful hymn the way Carolyn sang it. I knew she believed every word she was singing. I must admit that I got “stirred up.” I returned home renewed, refreshed, and revitalized! I’m truly glad that was not my last encounter with Carolyn.
Photo: Eric Thomsen
When Richard and Carolyn left Elizabethton, Tennessee, to join the Home Missions staff, they produced several albums of Carolyn singing and offered them as appreciation gifts for a donation to the “Build my Church Campaign.” For nearly 20 years now, I’ve listened to Carolyn’s beautiful voice while driving or flying from place to place.
In 1996, I came to work for Home Missions and had the distinct pleasure of working with Richard and Carolyn. For almost 12 years I watched Carolyn in the office and enjoyed her friendship. She was a gracious, complimentary, friendly, and kind lady—even through an extended illness. She sang while she worked, and I always enjoyed starting a song just to hear her finish it. She knew the words to more songs than anyone I have ever known. I saw that she lived and practiced what she sang about. She was a genuine Christian.
She was devoted to Richard, her family, Home Missions, and to the Lord. Her tapes and CDs raised thousands of dollars for Home Missions over the last 18 years. Only Heaven will reveal all that Carolyn accomplished for the Kingdom of God in her lifetime.
During her last days on earth I heard Carolyn say, “I’m not afraid to die, I just hate leaving my family.” She lived her life holding onto a “blessed assurance,” and she left this life still clinging to that assurance. What an example and inspiration her life was to me, to my wife Kathey, to our children, and to thousands of others across this country and around the world.
After Carolyn’s death, the Home Mission Board established the Richard and Carolyn Adams Endowment. Donations totaling $1 million will be placed in this endowment in their honor and in her memory. The principle will never be spent, but the interest will be used each year to support the entire program of the Home Missions Department.
Perhaps you would like to honor the memory of Carolyn Adams. I know of no better way to do so than to give to the Endowment named in their honor. This endowment will perpetually support the ministry into which she and Richard poured their lives.
If 1,000 churches or individuals will give $1,000, the endowment will be secured and continue to provide income until Jesus returns. If you or your church gives a gift of $1,000, as a token of appreciation, we will send you the Carolyn Adams Music Collection containing 40 different songs on four CDs. Take advantage of this great opportunity to honor Carolyn by supporting the ministry she loved so dearly.
ABOUT THE WRITER: David Crowe is the director of development for the Free Will Baptist Home Missions Department. He and his wife Kathey live in Cane Ridge, TN. Learn more about the ministry of Home Missions at www.homemissions.net.