BRUCE BRANUM/THE GREENVILLE STANDARD
Carter’s life ended far too early in a car accident on County Road 50, locally known as Honoraville Road, late Saturday evening April 22, but his friends, teachers and family have messages for the community.
Resa Bates, a very close friend of Kim and Tony, Carter’s parents, said, “Had he just been wearing his seat belt.” She went on to speak of the memorial services which had been held in the days after Carter’s untimely death and the invaluable message Carter’s friends wanted the community to know, “Click it for Carter! Put your seat belt on and be safe.”
David Brantley, who is the Headmaster of Fort Dale Academy, said of Carter, “I’ve known Carter since he was a three year old. I’ve seen him virtually every day of his school life for the past thirteen years. He was a bright spot in our school. He had a smile that was infectious and he made a contribution to our school in so many ways that he didn’t even know about.
“He was a wonderful young man and it is a loss for us in so many ways. But, I have marveled at the strength and the maturity of our students this week. They have gathered together and prayed for the family, friends and the first responders. The love and caring concern shown is remarkable. We don’t want him to die in vain.”
Brantley went on to say, “We had a wonderful speaker scheduled for yesterday and I just marvel at God’s timing. It was like God said, I’m going to put him there for these students, the faculty and adults.
I don’t want our kids to ever have to go through something like this again. I want them to be able to move on but I always want them to remember it. We don’t want Carter to die in vain.”
The speaker Brantley mentioned was Auburn University football team chaplain Chette Williams. Williams had been invited just a few weeks before to speak at Fort Dale Academy and an assembly of students, faculty and parents last Thursday.
John Gibbons, who serves as state director of the Fellowship of Christian Althletes, introduced Williams to the audience and spoke of his noted faith and experience with hardships and the loss close friends and family.
Williams, after a welcoming applause, spoke, “I am honored and privileged to be here. I know what you are going through.” He went on to talk about the lives of players that had met untimely deaths and his involvement with the communities and families. Then he said, “I came to give you hope. Hear my heart,” and he continued to speak of hope in Jesus Christ over that of grief. He closed in prayer and said, “Carter, you are already making a difference in your school. People are coming to know Jesus, through your situation.”