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Thomas Carr, my great-great-great-grandfather, as a young man became a Primitive Baptist preacher. He loaded his family in a wagon and headed west in the Virginia Territory, to preach God’s word. As they stopped at a creek near what is now Haywood, Virginia, for rest and a meal, a group of horsemen approached his camp, led by a county sheriff. The sheriff asked for papers on Thomas’s two horses, and Thomas handed over the bills of sale. Glaring at Thomas, the sheriff said, “This black horse was stolen from a local farmer, and I will have to take the horse back to him.”

In that moment of time Thomas’s plans changed. He had committed to do God’s will by preaching and teaching the Word in new territories, but he found himself and his family in a strange land with only one horse–and no money. He was a Godly man, but I am sure he wondered, “Why me, Lord?” yet he prayed and thanked God for his family and for their safety. He then determined that he was right where God wanted him to be, and he settled in that very spot and built a church. Thomas Carr’s life was spent organizing, preaching, and teaching to three other churches as a circuit preacher. Rumor has it that Thomas Jefferson was his best friend and attended Thomas Carr’s service when he could. When I have that “Why me, Lord?” feeling, I think of Thomas Carr.