Dr. Ernest L. Carswell Jr : Oct. 8, 2017

Published 2:39 pm Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Dr. Ernest L. Carswell Jr. was born July 27, 1935, in Americus, Georgia, and grew up in nearby Quitman. He was the son of the late Ernest L. Carswell Sr. and Kara Kathleen Borders Carswell. He faithfully served as pastor of Taylors First Baptist Church for 28 years, from 1972–2000. Under his leadership, the church grew to become one of the most mission-minded and respected churches in the Southeastern United States. During his tenure, the present four-steeple worship center was constructed, a symbol of the vision Dr. Carswell cast of the church reaching all four corners of the earth. He was offered an appointment to West Point Military Academy but he answered God’s call to ministry, and he graduated from Baylor University and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with an earned doctorate of ministry from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and an honorary doctor of divinity from William Jewell College of Missouri. He was honored by the South Carolina Senate in 1997, for 25 years of service at Taylors FBC and received the distinguished “Order of The Palmetto” in 2000 from Gov. Jim Hodges. Dr. Carswell previously served as pastor to churches in Kentucky, Georgia, and in Rock Hill, South Carolina before answering God’s call to Taylors.
Known as a true “shepherd” to his flock, Dr. Carswell went home to his Shepherd and Lord, Oct. 8, 2017. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his precious wife of nearly 50 years, Jerrilyn White Carswell; his half-sister, Nancy Kinnebrew Bell; and his half-brother, Bill Carswell Sr. Surviving are his loving wife of nine years, Betty Jean Carswell, and sons, Ernie and Tommy. Also surviving are Tommy’s wife, Susan, Don Kreindler, grandchildren, Justin and Megan Kistler, Austin and Gillian Kistler, Kathlyn Carswell and husband, Felipe Arroyave, Kara Carswell and Thomas Carswell, as well as two great-grandsons, Graham and Maddox Kistler. Additionally, surviving are three stepchildren, Anna Marie McRae, Nathan Billingsley, and Laura Jane Bevill.
Dr. Carswell left a legacy of faithfulness and service as a devoted and beloved husband, father, grandfather and pastor.
The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, at The Mackey Mortuary, 311 Century Drive, Greenville, SC 29607.
A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, at Taylors First Baptist Church with Dr. Jimmie E. Harley, the Rev. Paul H. Jimenez, the Rev. Lindsay O’Rear and the Rev. Kevin Batson officiating. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.
Memorials may be made to Taylors FBC Foundation, Carswell Scholarship Fund, 200 W. Main St., Taylors, SC 29687, or to New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary – Ernest Carswell Scholarship Fund, 3939 Gentilly Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70126.
Online guest registry available at www.mackeymortuary.com