Kenneth Ray Carpenter has been pastor of the First Apostolic Church (FAC) in Maryville, Tennessee for over 30 years. Since becoming pastor in 1984, he has pursued the vision and dreams God placed in his heart to reach the community of Blount County. The original congregation of 27 has grown through the years with the help and support of a dedicated group of saints and family members.
He has been a minister with the Assembles of the Lord Jesus Christ (ALJC) for the past 33 years, and is well-known throughout the organization. He is a well-respected conference and camp meeting speaker and is well-known for his leadership in missions giving. He has served as President of Menistry since 2010, and was Presbyter of Section A of the Tri-State District for several years.
Pastor Carpenter was elected General Superintendent of the ALJC in 2013. His compelling burden and vision for the ALJC is to see prayer networked throughout the organization. He is ready to work and build on the foundation of the great superintendents who have served before him. It is his heartfelt desire to see all churches, regardless of size, have the tools they need to propel them into a greater revival and reap a harvest of souls.
His ministry began at age 17 when he preached his first sermon, and shortly thereafter he began evangelizing throughout the United States. Pastor Carpenter feels deeply indebted to the ministers and churches of the ALJC organization for investing in his life and ministry when he was a young evangelist. He considers Bishop Billy McCool his spiritual father and pastor. As a troubled 16-year-old teenager, he was enrolled at Apostolic Christian School in Knoxville, Tennessee. It was there that Bishop Billy and Betty McCool and the First Apostolic Church of Knoxville took a chance on him. February of that school year, he was baptized in Jesus name and received the gift of the Holy Ghost.
His parents, John and Ruby Carpenter, held Bishop Billy McCool in high esteem. On his father’s deathbed, he asked Bishop McCool to finish raising his two teenage sons. He didn’t understand at the time the profound affect his father’s deathbed wish would have on his future! Many times during his teenage years, Bishop McCool would correct his teenage behavior; however, the greatest lessons learned were through Bishop McCool’s lifestyle. He was a loving husband, father, and pastor; but had the backbone of a crow bar. For years he witnessed firsthand the balanced life of this anointed man of God. The traits of his pastor still influence his life today.
Since 2008, many financial blessings and miracles have taken place among the families of FAC Maryville because of Pastor Carpenter’s debt-free approach to building a new 80,000 square foot campus for the church, preschool, and Christian school. He has been dedicated to following his God-given direction to build debt-free and support missions, instead of sacrificing missions giving to pay interest on a bank loan.
The Carpenters are involved in outreach “21st century style” with the support of a stateof- the-art technical team. The church produces The Apostolic Connection, a weekly telecast that airs daily throughout East Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia. The church’s website hosts a webcast ministry where all services are live webcast and archived at www.factv.org. The church’s education outreach includes Apostolic Christian Academy and Preschool, founded by the Carpenters. The school is celebrating their 20th anniversary this year. Another aspect of outreach is the Carpenters both serve as Chaplains with the Blount County Sheriff’s office.
Pastor Carpenter is passionate about God, family, and church. He treasures being a husband, father, grandfather and pastor. In 1982, while preaching as an evangelist at FAC Maryville, he met the love of his life, Penny Bennett. In July 1984, one month after becoming pastor of FAC Maryville, he and Penny were married and she joined him in pastoring. Ministering alongside the Carpenters are five multi-talented people including son-in-law and daughter, Chad and Fallon Erickson; son-in-law and daughter, Zach and Lauren Hammond; and son, Nolan. The Carpenters are also very proud to be called Nona and Poppa by two very special little girls—Paris Lache’ and Windsor Kate.