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Published:June 17th, 2007 13:36 EST
Up Close and Personal with UCF's Pastor Robert Carpenter

Up Close and Personal with UCF's Pastor Robert Carpenter

By Kelda Senior

Pastor Robert Carpenter has started a church in South Florida while continuing to minister at University Christian Fellowship at the University of Central Florida.

Carpenter has began overseeing a new church, New Birth Christian Fellowship, located in the Palm Beach area. He drives to Palm Beach on Saturday nights to give his sermon at 9 a.m. on Sundays. Then he drives back to give his sermon at UCF at 4 p.m. on Sunday afternoons. “I think of it as one pastor in two locations," Carpenter said. He has a pastoral staff in Palm Beach to look after things when he is away. 

Along with being a pastor, Carpenter is pursuing a master’s degree in political science at UCF. He received two bachelor’s degrees: one in psychology and one in Biblical studies at Lee University in 1994.

Carpenter said that the idea of ministry became real to him in 1994. He continued receiving training and became a pastor in 1998. “The biggest reward from being a pastor is seeing the lives of people change over time," Carpenter said.

Raquel Gary, a student and member in Carpenter’s church at UCF said, “University Christian Fellowship has really been more than just a church to me; it's been my family away from home. God has used University Christian Fellowship and the people within it to help me better my relationship with Christ."

Carpenter is also a life coach, motivational speaker and entrepreneur. He has launched a virtual assistance company that he said will revolutionize the way companies handle their human resource departments. The virtual assistance program will allow humans resource specialist and secretaries to work from home on their own personal computers, saving companies money. Carpenter said that program will allow employers to hire secretaries that work from their home, saving the company money. 

Aside from business endeavors, Carpenter has found time to address the issue of violence in the Orange County area. Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) is one of Carpenters most recent projects. “I started SAVE after a moment of frustration from the stabbing at University High School back in October 2006," Carpenter said. He started a petition and gained the support of students and community leaders.   

Carpenter keeps everything organized by managing his time. “I’m a big organizer and time manager," Carpenter said. “I have learned the art of setting time limits and multi-taking. I’ve always been this way, but recently I’ve just refined it."

Carpenter said that he is most proud when he affects someone’s life. “I like to see someone who is successful because of something I’ve said or done," he said. 

Carpenter said everyone can be successful and accomplish anything if they learn to become disciplined. He said, “It’s a challenge, and it’s much easier to not be disciplined, but there are many rewards in the end."

To relax, Carpenter enjoys reading, traveling, computers, playing video games and meeting new people. 

Carpenter plans to finish his master’s program at UCF and possibly attend law school.

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