JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Now a director of youth ministries for the First United Methodist Church of Stillwater, Oklahoma, Alton Carter has quite a story to tell. Abandoned by his father and neglected by his mother, Carter was shuttled between foster homes for his formative years.
Carter is the featured speaker for the "Journey of Faith" banquet to benefit City Youth Ministries on Thursday, June 4 from 6 – 8 p.m.
"At age 11, Alton Carter actually took himself out of his home because he knew that was a situation he was not going to be able to survive," said Kim Shumpert, Executive Director of City Youth Ministries located in downtown Jonesboro. "So, he took himself out of his home and put himself in foster care. He will tell us his story of foster home after foster home, boys ranch, abusive situations. It's really a miracle he survived."
Carter has written a book about the experience. It's called "The Boy Who Carried Bricks" and is available on Amazon.
The "Journey of Faith" banquet raises money for summer programs at City Youth Ministries.
Shumpert expects more than 300 students this summer.
"For so many kids, we are the lifeboat," said Shumpert. "We are their stop along the path that changes their trajectory, that gets them out of a situation where they're not thriving and gets them into a situation where they are thriving, where they are becoming productive citizens."