Reverend Leonard George Carr Biography

Dr. Leonard George Carr was born in the Commonweahh of Virginia on October 25, 1902. Both his grandfather and his father were pastors. ln 1917, his family moved to Pennsylvania.

The Reverend Leonard George Carr was educated in the public schools of Philadelphia and as a high school student, he served as President of both the Student Council and the Community Club. He completed his college and seminary work at Temple and Lincoln Universities. Rev. Carr graduated from Lincoln University with honors in 1933 and in 1950 they conferred upon him the degree, Doctor of Divinity. Pastor Carr also received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Virginia College and Seminary where he delivered the commencement address in 1953.

On September 6, 1921, he married Lora Beatrice Brown. Mrs. Carr worked side by side with her husband in the church’s infancy. Pastor Carr began his ministry as founder and pastor in the depths of “The Great Depression.” However, he was a beacon of inspiration, a courageous leader, and a shining example of Christian living.

On March 13, 1952, Pastor Carr married Mrs. Juanita LaNina Matthews following the passing of his first wife Lara Carr. This union was blessed with a daughter, Leonita Janet.

Under the direction and leadership of Pastor Carr, Vine Memorial Baptist Church made liberal contributions to foreign missions. A Mission Station in Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa was founded while Pastor Carrr was servingon a commission to West Africa, in 1950. The school was named Vine Memorial Baptist Training School.”

Pastor Carr was recognized for his leadership skills. In 1936, he was elected President of the Baptist Minister’s Conference of Philadelphia and Vicinity and in 1943, he was elected President of the PA Baptist State Convention. A few of his other leadership roles included Co-Chairman of the Negro College Fund, Vice President of the New England Missionary Convention, Secretary of the Carver Loan and lnvestment Company, one of the founders of the Opportunities lndustrialization Center (OlC), Vice Moderator of the Keystone Association, and the Treasurer of the National Baptist Convention, U.S.A., lncorporated.

Dr. Carr was an official in many civic, religious and inter-racial organizations in Philadelphia. He was a member of the Phi Beta Sigma Fratemity, the Elks, and the Prince Hall Masons. Pastor Carr was also the recipient of numerous awards and honors.

On June 17, 1976, our beloved Pastor Leonard George Carr was called home from labor to reward after serving as the Pastor of Vine Memorial Baptist Church for 44 years.