Minister – Rev. Michael J. S. Carter
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, I was steeped in the African American Baptist Church tradition. Yet I was always curious and open to other forms of worship. I attended synagogues, Catholic churches, as well as the various Protestant denominations in my neighborhood while growing up in Baltimore. When moving to New York I attended, Mosques, Religious Science and New Thought Churches, as well as A Course In Miracle Groups, Native American Sweat Lodges and Pow Wows, as well as Buddhist and Hindu Temples along the way. I couldn’t get enough of what connected the religions of the world.
Eventually I departed from my traditional Christian upbringing for theological reasons after moving to New York City to pursue a career in the professional theater. I was a professional actor for 20 years but wanted more in my life. I wanted to serve. A friend suggested that I might want to visit a UU congregation. Prior to this I had never heard of Unitarian Universalism. After a while, I ended up attending The Community Church of New York, became a member, and the rest as they say is history. It would be fair to say that I always knew that I wanted to become a minister or priest at a very young age. I just felt so at home in the church. Comparative Religious studies really fed my spirit and became my area of interest in seminary, while the theater training really became an asset in assisting me in communicating and getting a message across.
I finally decided to leave the theater and to attend The New Seminary Interfaith Temple in New York which trained and ordained Interfaith clergy. I was ordained in 1994 and attended Union Theological Seminary from 1997 until 2000 where I received my Masters In Divinity Degree. To support myself during that time I continued to work as an actor for a bit and as a professional chaplain. Now a new phase of the journey is taking place and I am proud to serve as the minister for the UUCSV.