Lead Pastor, All Nations Church: Age 39
Robert Carter’s career in IT and robotics has taken him to a number of positions, ranging from 11 years at MassMutual, where he worked his way up to robotics process automation developer — tech lead, to CVS Health, where he currently leads a team of developers as a robotics process automation consultant.
As an immigrant from Jamaica 17 years ago, he’s gratified by all of that. “My life and journey is multi-faceted. I’m very proud of what I do in corporate America, being able to rise up to where I’m leading teams, leading projects that impact many people across the country. I’m proud of those accomplishments.”
But he also has a passion for ministry, and for lifting others up, through his work at All Nations Church, where he transitioned from a congregation member into leadership roles and eventually lead pastor. He oversaw the church’s move to a 20,000-square-foot facility on Leete Street in Springfield when it outgrew its previous, 5,000-square-foot site, while expanding ministry outreach programs.
Committed to life-long learning, Carter is currently working on a doctor of ministry degree at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, with a focus on leadership in a changing church culture. His wife, Rebekah, is All Nations Church’s minister of worship.
Carter has long been community-minded, from his volunteer work on the board of Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Center, to his work advising, mentoring, and financially supporting young people and budding entrepreneurs. So it’s natural that his ministry leadership would be similarly outward-looking, not confined to within the church walls.
“I’ve recognized that the church has to be a bit more involved in the community — not to go out with a messiah complex, to save the community, but recognizing that we exist within a community and we should engage with the community and be part of that,” he said. “What, specifically, does the 01108 need?”
One issue in the Forest Park neighborhood is food insecurity, so the church has operated a food pantry for the past two decades, distributing close to 400,000 pounds of food. Carter envisions a time when All Nations might create its own nonprofit, a separate entity from the church, to tackle a host of community needs, from drug use to immigration issues to broken homes.
“It’s a low-income area; we don’t want to deal with just the symptoms of hunger, but why is there hunger in the neighborhood? What we’re aiming to do is strategically engage with the community and help them where they are.”