My name is Bruce Carroll. I was raised in a close knit Catholic family. As a family, we went to Mass every Sunday, and at school, I attended Mass every day but Saturday. My religious beliefs were molded by my parents and by the priests and nuns at the school I attended. I memorized my prayers, took the sacraments of Communion and Confession, and served as an altar boy. I was also a Boy Scout, attaining the rank of Eagle Scout. My parents emphasized the Golden Rule and living a moral life, much like the Boy Scout’s Oath and Law.
After graduating from public high school, I left home to enlist in the service and thereafter went to college. It was then I began to stray from my faith and communication with God. I didn’t stop believing in God, I just felt I had other important things going on. It wasn’t long after my father passed away 15 years ago that I came to the realization I had been neglecting God, and myself, ever since leaving home. Perhaps his death sparked an insight into my mortality, a realization that the arc of life would go full circle eventually. Perhaps the realization was due to the sorrow of a prodigal son coming home too late, too late to share spiritual conversations with his father. I can still picture him kneeling by his bed at the end of his day, hands folded in prayer.
Although I believed in God, something was missing from the life I was living. I knew I needed a community of faith. I searched for another church to join but it was a frustrating search. I began to pray about what it meant to be spiritual. I started to read the Bible again, which I had rarely done before. Then, in 2012, my life changed forever. I met someone very special. Vi became my companion, my sometimes advisor, my best friend, the love of my life, and eventually my wife. It was she who introduced me to the transforming message of God and to Highland Baptist Church, where it is etched on the wall of the Sanctuary: “Be Ye Doers of The Word, And Not Hearers Only”. The more I got to know and listen to Highland’s ministers, deacons and congregation, the more I felt my spirit being kindled with the love of God. I had truly found a thinking, feeling, healing community of faith; along with all that I realized God was knocking on my door. In November of 2012, I professed my faith, was baptized again, this time with the warm comfortable feeling of being home again.
I never thought about it until I started thinking about this testimony, but my entire life I’ve been drawn to “service of others”. I am humbly grateful for this opportunity to serve our community of faith and I look forward to it.