The staff of Pruitt Funeral Home in Royston did a superb job and carrying out the wishes of the family. The casket was brought in the sanctuary of the church prior to the beginning of the service, and they moved the family wreath of beautiful flowers to the right, and opened the lid of the casket for the congregation to view Brother Raymond Carr.
Mrs. Sue Hearn, wife of the Rev. Mr. Keith Hearn, played the piano as people came into the church and were seated. She is an excellent pianist and played the great hymns of the church which were loved by Raymond and Sue Carr. We sang all stanzas of the hymns starting with "To God Be the Glory," "The Eastern Gate," and "Amazing Grace." The Rev. Mr. Bert Synan, pastor of the Peniel Pentecostal Holiness Church, led the singing. Raymond loved the way Pastor Synan led the singing. Mrs. Sue Hearn played the piano for our singing.
The first minister to speak was the Rev. Mr. Keith Hearn, a former pastor and conference superintendent of the Georgia Conference. He and Raymond Carr had served on the conference board for 12 years. However, Raymond served as the treasurer for many years. He was a honest and humble man, and always a gentleman. He never lost his cool in any of the board meetings or other places. Keith and Raymond and their families were the best of friends and Keith shared from that rich personal relationship. Keith knew all of the children and family members. On one occasion Lori, his daughter, introduced him just prior to his preaching. She said, "What you see and heard today from my father is what you will see in our home." What a testimony.
The second person to speak was the Rev. Mr. Lawrence Johnson. He was born in Athens, Georgia, and was a member of the First Pentecostal Holiness Church in Athens, later renamed Tarkenton Memorial Church, and now is called Christian Life Worship Center. Lawrence, like Raymond, was a bi-vocational minister, and yet served on the conference board with Keith Hearn and Raymond Carr. Lawrence is a master in doing funerals. He spoke of death as a gift from God giving examples, and of God's timing in all such events in our lives, including death.
Bishop Tim Lamb was superb in sharing about the life, ministry, and legacy of Raymond Carr. He said he checked his extensive files and one year Raymond reported more people who were saved and sanctified than all the churches in the Georgia Conference. He pointed out Raymond was at heart an evangelist and was always pointing people to Jesus Christ.
Before we sang Raymond Carr's favorite hymn, "The Eastern Gate," Pastor Bert Synan told us about the daily morning devotions of Raymond and Sue Carr. Sue would play a few stanzas of a hymn or Gospel song and give Raymond an opportunity to name the song. He got pretty proficient in naming the songs. We had to do that in a course at Asbury Theological Seminary in a course called "Hymnology." Then, Sue would take requests from Raymond what he wanted to sing. She said he always asked for "The Eastern Gate."
Do you remember in the former Great 100 Voice Choirs led by Lonnie Rex at General Conferences and the Sunday School Conventions when we sang "The Eastern Gate." That song was loved and then sung in churches all across the United States and overseas following those conferences for years to come.
You can see and hear Lonnie and Betty Rex playing "The Eastern Gate" on twin concert grand pianos and other songs that will thrill you soul by Clicking Here.
The Memorial Service came to a close when we sang all four stanzas of "Amazing Grace" led by Pastor Bert Synan and the benediction he pronounced.