Rev. Dr. Linwood W. Carroll, Sr., founder and Senior Pastor of Amazing Grace Fellowship Church (AGWF) has retired after a bout with illness, effective April 1, 2013.
Over 30 years in the ministry, Dr. Carroll was active in various ministerial positions, organizations, community projects and committees. At an early age he dedicated his efforts to understanding and fulfilling God’s purpose for his life.
Prior to founding AGWF in 2000, Pastor Carroll led weekly Bible study in his home beginning in 1999 with approximately 16-20 weekly attendees. Pastor Carroll always thought his “Calling” was to teach, but after writing several training booklets, facilitating a multitude of training sessions for the Diaconate ministry of various local churches and authoring several training manuals, he heeded the “Call.” He couldn’t continue to avoid what he deemed God’s calling on his life.
The AGWF ministry started in his home, moved to the former Chester Intermediate School, then to Lucy Corr Village, and is currently located at 5709 Jessup Rd., Richmond, where it has been since 2012. During this time, Pastor Carroll played an integral role in supporting a Missions Ministry that made international trips to Costa Rica with several members of the AGWF family. Under his leadership, the church became tax exempt, and the Minister of Music received his Honorary Doctorate in Music. He also encouraged the Christian Education Director to answer her “Call” to the preaching ministry; she attended Seminary, leading to preaching her Initial Sermon, after which she was licensed by the church. He authored the AGWF bylaws, as well as the Church’s Discipleship Covenant. He was instrumental in the development and maintenance of the churches’ Policies and Procedures, as well as the churches organizational structure with Christ as the head of the church. He believed that any organization/ministry of the church required a biblical foundation or it would surely fall over time.
When at Lucy Corr Village, renovation began with a sanctuary and 10 rooms used for classrooms and office space, the renovation was led by Pastor Carroll and by members of the church, volunteering personal hours to see the renovation through completion. Several members, now known affectionately as the “Bucket List,” dedicated many hours.
While worshipping at Lucy Corr Village, a strong relationship began to form with the residents and employees. A result of this burgeoning relationship was growing into a monthly service in which members of AGWF would facilitate a worship service. The service included songs rendered by the choir, preaching words of encouragement by the AGWF pastoral staff and serving communion to residents. Pastor Carroll and the members of AGWF also served the residents during special holidays with gifts, services and plays. The AGWF family continues to provide these services today despite moving to a new location.
Because of his dedication to the Word of God and to God’s people, the AGWF family will honor Pastor Carroll with a weekend of celebratory services. There will be a banquet on Saturday, Oct. 19, and special services on Sunday, Oct. 20, at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., to include his family, pastoral friends and other special guests.
Pastor Carroll taught that believers had an obligation to serve others, not to be served. And after over 30 years in the ministry serving God’s people, it was with much prayer and thought that he decided to retire. Pastor Carroll will remain at AGWF as Pastor Emeritus.