Carlton cross is a busy man. He's not only a husband and father of twins. He's a full time college student and a minister. But ministering is not just his job, its his calling. "I grew up in a small church and my mother was my youth director. A lot of times it was just she and I, but I had a dream. I wanted to be a part of a program that was actually reaching out and helping people."
Carlton started ministering when he was in high school, and for the last five years he's been at First United Methodist in Jonesboro working with the youth. "I truly love ministering to the teenagers. As a youth minister you're going to laugh with them. You're going to cry with them. You're going play with them, and you're going to minister to them."
Carlton says his biggest challenge is trying to balance work, school and family. But when it comes down to it, family is at the top of the list, right after God. "My children are very precious to me. They were premature when they were little and we didn't get to spend much time with them because they were so very little, but when I got my hands own them, I haven't let go of them yet. My wife is the best thing that ever happened to me."
Carlton says his wife gives him encouragement and prayer gives him strength. "Many times I don't have the courage to do the things I need to do, and a lot of the situations I've been put in... As a pastor if it wasn't for being able to pray and asking for strength, there's no way I would have been able to do it."
Carlton says the man he is today is due in large part to the life he almost never had. "I actually died when I was 9 months old. I had a rare kidney disease. God gave me a chance at second life. It was a miracle, and ever since then I believed through God's help, I could make a difference."
That's why Carlton says he starts each day and ends each day with prayer.