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A profile of Ben Michael "Mike" Carter Ph.D.

Dr. Carter

The bare bones are that Mike was born in Dallas, Texas December 31st, 1949 to the parents of Hilda & Benny Carter. Benny Carter was drafted in 1945 and served in the Philippines and Japan with the U.S. Army. Hilda Carter was a direct descendent of John Hancock, one of the founding fathers of the United States of America. When John Hancock signed his name he wrote larger than any of the others so King George of England could read it.

Mike came to know Christ in 1978 and was baptised while living in Puerto Rico. In 1980 he met Salma Carunia in Puerto Rico at Libreria Bethania while doing her internship from Bethany Missionary College, Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 1982 he married the love of his life. Mike & Salma traveled far and wide for education and missionary purposes. Subsequently, Mike earned several university degrees. He also published five books. In 2005 Mike suffered an untimley death at the age of 55 in Irving, Texas.

The legacy he left, however, is a living tri-fold. All of his searching, questions, and aspirations are documented for others to take heart, follow, and study.

A Life in Community with Thought and Reason

Mike continually sought out the place of faith within the context of reason and the world. His path left deeply affected friends, family and many acquaintances that he met in places across the globe. As he matured and traveled, Mike confronted the typical issues of a modern young man. Yet he never retreated from duties or from offering kindness to all. However, much more than a typical person, Mike not only wrestled with his doubts and the why and how of things, but he documented this struggle in an unpublished manuscript titled "The Clay Supper". Salma Carter is preparing it for publication. Mike recorded his thoughts, questions and views in extremely well written notes, letters, stories, books, poetry, and unpublished papers.

These questions and writings, his thinking therein, corresponded and developed the events which marked his life. His mother, Hilda Carter, had tremendous influence on his life. Hilda read books to Mike at an early age. Mike was able to read to the neighborhood children at age 3. She was stricken with polio when she was 21. Mike was two years old. Hilda displayed the fortitude of her distant revolutionary relative John Hancock. In spite of confinement to a wheelchair for fifty-six years she raised Mike and his younger brother James Patrick and kept the family together.

Family Travels and Military Service

Mike's father Benny Carter worked 7 days a week to support his family. The Carter family moved several times as his father transfered to different locations working with Roadway Express. He started as a clerk working up to district superintendent. The family lived in Dallas, Irving, and San Antonio, Texas. They moved to Alaska in July 1955. Then to North Carolina in 1959, back to Irving, on to Miami, Oklahoma, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Chicago, Illinois, and finally back to Irving, Texas.

Mike graduated from high school while in Wisconsin in 1968. He entered the The University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in the fall of 1968. He graduated in the spring of 1972 with a B.A in History with a minor in economics. He then enlisted in the U.S. Army.

Mike's service in the United States Army provided the intial broader view of the world. He was stationed in the DMZ of Korea and in the Panama Canal Zone and earned the Army Forces Expeditionary Medal and a United Nations Service Badge.

After his honorable discharge, he worked for a time in Milwaukee then left to travel within the continental United States and beyond. His papers reveal he was one of the many young men in the seventies searching for meaning in the post Vietnam world. Finally, while searching for the truth he landed at the Salvation Army in Puerto Rico where he found Christ.

Higher Education and World Travels

Mike never ceased to wonder and question. With a new wife Salma and growing sense of purpose he began to study with a new direction. He earned a M.A. in Theological Studies from Billy Graham Center, Wheaton College, Illinois, an M.Th. from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, U.K., and a Ph.D. in Christianity in the non-western world from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland United Kingdom. These gave him the intellectual tools to challenge commonplace thinking. While studying in Edinburgh University Mike was proud of his wife Salma who stood beside Queen Elizabeth II who came to open the new Glass Theater where Salma worked. Salma received an award from The Rank Enterprise & Inovation at Odean Theater which was signed by actor Liam Neeson who came for the premiere of Rob Roy. In july 1997 Salma went to Europe with Plymouth Park Methodist Church Choir and sang in Switzerland, Austria and Prague, Czech Republic. Salma also sang at Carnegie Conert Hall in New York 1998. Salma Carunia, who was raised in a Christian orphanage in south India (the world famous Dohnavur Fellowship established in 1901 by Amy Carmichael), traveled the world with her husband. While teaching in China, 1989-1992, Mike & Salma traveled to India to visit Dohnavur Fellowsip of Amy Carmichael, where Salma was raised. Mike was very impresssed with Amy Carmicheal life's work, and he considered her as one of the greatest missionaries of the 20th century! Mike continued to place the real flesh and burdens of the world in front of his faith.

Mike's poetry and books brought him into further contact with personalities worldwide, including those scientific authors espousing purely mechanistic beginnings to our world. From these and other situations, Mike remained faithful in his quest and found the answer for us. His life ended while working for a health care company. He continued to challenge, write, publish, and email intellectuals, scientists, and authors' worldwide.

An Appreciation of the World, but not in it.

In addition to Mike's publications and unpublished works, he demonstrated in his poetry, stories and behavior an appreciation of the world's natural beauties; a reflection of God's light onto all. He rejected the nattering of our commercial institutions in favor of worship, achieving intellectual understanding, and the nurturing of the relationship with his beloved wife, Salma Carunia. As his writings speak, you find him ultimately accepting and offering vigorous defense of a Lutheran Doctrine and yet this is a far more ecumenical view of grace and a strong affirmation of one's need to actively praise & worship with love. Mike speaks with clarity and fervor that contrasts the typical staid mainstream positions of today's Church. Mike believed God's communication to us and our expression of love through praise and worshiping Him is the core of our calling.