LAWRENCE EDWARD CARTER SR.,
B.A., M. Div., S.T.M., Ph.D., D.D., D.H., D.R.S., D.H.C .
In 1958, Martin Luther King Jr. privately recruited Lawrence Edward Carter as a 10th grader to come to Morehouse College. Twenty One years later, Dr. Lawrence Edward Carter became the first Dean of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel in 1979. Today he is a tenured Professor of Religion and College Curator at Morehouse College. For forty-six years, Dr. Carter has studied and worked in fourteen American universities, colleges, and professional schools, spoken at over one-hundred different colleges, universities, and seminaries, and received over one thousand speaking engagements from eighteen Christian denominations, including Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, and Buddhist communions, and traveled to thirty-five foreign countries. He has made over seventy radio and television appearances, including nationwide in The United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, India, China, Malaysia, Oceania, Australia, South Africa, and continent wide in Africa.
Lawrence Carter was born in Dawson, Georgia, and reared in Columbus, Ohio. He holds the B.A. degree from Virginia University of Lynchburg in Social Science and Psychology, and the M. Div. degree in Theology, the S.T.M. degree in Pastoral Care, and the Ph.D. degree in Pastoral Psychology and Counseling from Boston University. He did further study at Andover Newton Theological School, The Ohio State University, Harvard University, Georgia State University, New York University, The University of Wisconsin at Madison, Brown University, Spelman College and George Washington University. He holds certifications in multi-disciplinary clinical training, clinical pastoral education, the editing of historical documents, and community non-violent training. He is also a licensed and ordained American Baptist minister. He was a 1994 Fulbright-Hayes Scholar in Brazil, and twice a National Endowment for the Humanities fellow, in 1993 and 1996.
Currently, Professor Carter teaches Introduction to Religion, Psychology of Religion, Religion and Ethics, World Religions and The Life and Thought of Mohandas K. Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., at Morehouse College. He is developing a new on the History of Morehouse and its Presidents. He has also taught Introduction to Spirituality and Health at the Morehouse School of Medicine. From 1982 to 2000, he lectured annually at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta on “Campus Ministry”. From 1996 to 2002, Dr. Carter was a Summer Visiting Professor at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. Each year at Bates he led a seminar at the Benjamin Elijah Mays Institute. While a member of the Boston University staff, he served as Baptist Counselor, Residential Counselor, Executive Director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Afro American Cultural Center, and Associate Dean of Daniel L. Marsh Chapel. At the Harvard University Divinity School, he team-taught a course on “Orientation to Ministry.” Later he served as Coordinator of Afro-American Studies at Simmons College.
Scholars Press published Dr. Carter’s Centennial Festschrift, honoring Benjamin Elijah Mays, Mercer University Press published the second edition in paperback titled, Walking Integrity: Benjamin Elijah Mays as Mentor to Martin Luther King, Jr. Weatherhill Press published Dr. Carter’s Global Ethical Options, in the Tradition of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Daisaku Ikeda first edition in 2001. An Indian edition was published by Gandhi Media Centre, in New Delhi and Madurai, in 2005. A second edition is being expanded for publication in 2011. Dr. Carter’s next book will be published in the winter of 2010 byMiddleway Press, titled Humanizing Religion, Internalizing Peace. Fifty-six of Dr. Carter’s articles have appeared in The Journal of The Interdenominational Theological Center, The Journal of Pastoral Care, The Howard University Journal of Religious Thought, Black Family Magazine, The Oracle, Nexus, Freeing the Spirit, Boston University Currents, Morehouse College Bulletin, The Atlanta Inquirer, The Atlanta Constitution, The National Baptist Voice, Atlanta University’s Phylon, The Boston Globe, The Journal of African Civilizations, World Tribune, Seikyo Shimbun, The Journal of Oriental Studies in Japan, and Living Buddhism, Science of Mind Magazine, Gekkan Pumpkin, Focus, World Tribune, the Journal of the African-American Pulpit, the Journal of Speculative Philosophy, News Magazine Korean, and Monthly Joins Magazine of Korea. Dr. Carter has also published at the invitation of the National Council of Churches of Christ, U.S.A.
Lawrence Carter is the recipient of and administrator for numerous budgets, fellowships, gifts, grants, and an endowment. At the request of Dean Carter, the National Council of Churches established an Ecumenical AmeriCorps Scholarship Awards Program at King Chapel in 1998. He solicited from the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., Inc. a gift of one-hundred thousand dollars to erect the only statue in the state of Georgia honoring Martin Luther King Jr., on the Plaza of the King Chapel at Morehouse College. He also designed the burial memorials at Morehouse for Howard and Sue Bailey Thurman, Benjamin and Sadie Grey Mays, Hugh M. Gloster, and four tribute memorials to Martin Luther King Jr. He has organized and funded twelve national conferences at Boston University, Morehouse College, and in Abyssinian Baptist Church in New York City. For thirty years he has coordinated the Annual Science and Spiritual Awareness Week with its MLK Jr. College of Ministers and Laity. In 1983 he brought the first Nile Valley Conference to the American Academy at Morehouse, where Cheikh Anta Diop received the only honorary degree of his life time. In 2009 the Eli Lilly Endowment gave the King Chapel two million fifty thousand dollars for the Program for the Theological Exploration of Vocation.
Dr. Carter is the founder and sole fundraiser for Morehouse College’s International Hall of Honor that consists of one hundred forty eight original oil portraits of distinguished leaders in the civil and human rights nonviolent activists. The portraits by Ho Eun Chung are valued at over nine-hundred thousand dollars. He also founded the five-hundred member Martin Luther King, Jr. Chapel Assistants Preseminarians Program at Morehouse in 1979. He has raised over two-hundred fifty thousand dollars in scholarship funds for the Morehouse Chapel Assistants. On April 1, 2000 he founded the Gandhi King Ikeda Hassan Institute for Ethics and Reconciliation on Millennium Sunday, unveiling larger than life busts of Mahatma Gandhi and his wife Kasturbai, gifts from the people of India.
On Century Sunday, April 8, 2001, the Inaugural Gandhi-King-Ikeda Community Builder’s Prize of the Morehouse Chapel was conferred on His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan and a two thousand square feet legacy of peace traveling exhibition on Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, and Dr. Daisaku Ikeda and others was dedicated on March 31, 2001. On May 3rd, Dr. Carter delivered the Founding Address for the one billion dollar undergraduate campus of Soka University of America in Aliso Viejo, California, and the inaugural lecture titled, “Growing Up Into Democracy’s Crown.” He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of Soka University of Americaand was a member of the Board of Visitors of the Mercer University School of Theology, 2001 to 2003. He also delivered one of the three founding addresses of the Wake Forest University Divinity School in 1996.
Dr. Carter has received over seventy honors and recognitions, including having been voted Faculty Member of the Year for 1985 by the Morehouse College student newspaper; a member of the 1986 Class of Leadership Atlanta. Six times he was elected as a delegate to international religious assemblies and selected as a Bible Study Leader for the Sixth Assembly of the World Council of Churches, Vancouver, Canada, 1983. He was a delegate to the Eleventh Baptist Youth World Conference of the Baptist World Alliance in Glasgow, Scotland in 1988, and has received four honorary doctorate degrees in Divinity, Humanities, and Religious Studies from his alma mater, Lewis University, Al al-Bayt University in Jordan, and Soka University of Japan. On November 4, 2008 Dean Carter received the Seikyo Award of Highest Honor, previously presented to Mikhail Gorbachev. On May 29, 1993, Dr. Carter was elevated to the degree of Sublime Prince, 32nd degree of the Prince Hall Masons by the Atlanta Consistory and is a member of the W.C. Thomas Lodge. He has been recognized for singly researching and selecting the site of the new historic Ebenezer Baptist Church edifice on Auburn Avenue in Atlanta, Georgia. He is also a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. since 1974. In 2001 and 2004, Dean Carter was a delegate to the Second and Third Synthesis Dialogue in Trent, Italy and Castel Gandolfo, Italy, respectively, with the Dalai Lama of Tibet, convened by The Association of Global New Thought. Dr. Carter was also a speaker at the 2004 Council of the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Barcelona, Spain, the Club of Rome and the Arab Thought Forum in Amman, Jordan in 2004. September 11-16, 2005, Dr. Carter was a keynoter and consultant at the Oxford Conclave on Global Ethics and the Changing University Presidency at Balliol College, the University of Oxford, Oxford, England. He was a 2008 recipient of the Trumpet Award for Spirituality. Dr. Carter is a member of the Boards of Directors of the Academy of Preachers and the Institute for Religion and Public Policy.
Dr. Carter is married to Dr. Marva Griffin Carter. Mrs. Carter is currently a tenured Associate Professor of Music History and Literature at Georgia State University where she also served as Director of Graduate Studies in the School of Music. The Carters are the parents of one son, Lawrence Edward Carter, Jr. Young Carter is a sixth generation Georgian and a graduate of Morehouse College, in Economics with a minor in International Affairs. He has also studied at the London School of Economics.
Click here to download a partial history of Dean Carter’s speaking engagements and a listing of the international venues of his Gandhi, King, Ikeda Peacemakers Exhibit in PDF format.