John L. “Bud” Carroll dies; was leader in American Baptist education, youth ministries

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 2/27/15)—The Rev. John Laurence (“Bud”) Carroll, 86, a leader in American Baptist education, youth, camp and conference ministries, died Feb. 18,  surrounded by his family, at White Horse Village, Newtown Square, Pa.

For 30 years, he served American Baptist Churches USA’s former Educational Ministries (EM)—the ministry of which was continued by American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS)—as director of Educational Ministries, 1982-1989; director of Ministry with Youth, 1966-1982; and associate director of Ministry with Youth, 1963-1966. In the 1970s, he held simultaneous roles, including developing camp and conference ministries.

Among his numerous accomplishments, Carroll developed new approaches to youth ministry, such as creating the model for EM’s national youth gatherings and introducing the Youth Leader Corps. Under Carroll’s leadership, the 1974 Baptist World Alliance Youth Conference in Portland, Ore., drew more than 5,000 youth. He oversaw curriculum and other printed resources, while providing leadership for training events, Travelcades and other Christian education conferences, national and regional staff gatherings, and organizing mission projects both in the United States and overseas. He co-authored “Youth Ministry: Sunday, Monday and Every Day” (Judson Press, 1972).

After retiring in 1993 as EM’s deputy executive director for regional relations, he served as consultant to the regions and continued, on a contract basis, to provide support to the Camp and Conference Council. He volunteered with Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County, Pa., for 15 years and served on the senior volunteer staff at American Baptist Assembly, Green Lake (Wis.) Conference Center, where he coordinated various Elderhostel events.

“I am saddened to learn of Bud Carroll’s death,” says ABHMS Executive Director Dr. Aidsand F. Wright-Riggins III. “Bud had been a part of my life and ministry for over 40 years. For me, he was the initial face and symbol of American Baptist Churches USA. He singularly defined youth ministry for many decades. He was a person of integrity and incredible vision. Bud Carroll will be missed.”

Born July 12, 1928, Carroll was the son of Francis Joseph and Helen (Quayle) Carroll.

Ordained in 1955, he served as pastor of Christian education for two churches in California: First Baptist in Chico and Oakland. For more than 50 years, he was a member of Central Baptist Church, Wayne, Pa., where he served in several leadership capacities.

Carroll served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He earned a B.A. from University of Redlands, Calif., and a B.D. from what is now known as American Baptist Seminary of the West, Berkeley, Calif. The latter named him Alumnus of the Year in 1984. In addition, he studied with the Church Executive Development Board and pursued graduate study in education at West Chester (Pa.) University and management at Pennsylvania State University.

Throughout his life, Carroll enjoyed camping, backpacking, reading mysteries and historical novels, genealogy and traveling. An avid train buff, he took special interest in the historic Chapel Car Railway Ministry.

He is survived by his wife, Mildred Parmelee (“Parm”), to whom he was married for 61 years; children, Laurie Jonell Raid, Jeffrey Laurence Carroll, and Bradley John Carroll; and grandchildren, Jonell Lauren Raid Westerman, Stephen William Raid, Thomas John Carroll, Joshua William Carroll, Alana Kimsey Carroll, and Peter Laurence Carroll.

A memorial service will be held at 3:30 p.m. on March 8 at Central Baptist Church, 106 Lancaster Ave., Wayne, Pa., 19087. Contributions to the “Bud Carroll Memorial Chapel Car Endowment Fund” should be made payable to and mailed to Green Lake Conference Center, W2511 State Highway 23, Green Lake, Wis., 54941.

American Baptist Home Mission Societies—the domestic mission arm of American Baptist Churches USA—ministers as the caring heart and serving hands of Jesus Christ across the United States and Puerto Rico through a multitude of initiatives that focus on discipleship, community and justice.

American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.

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