Despite no electricity (though a generator was connected to have lights) and unreliable water, the students and staff — under the effective hospitality planning of Wendy Platt — held a surprise banquet in honor of Larry and Susan Carter, outgoing ACC president, on Thursday evening, 18 October, two days following a damaging storm on campus.
Larry and Susan Carter committed three years to Manzini Bible School at the request of its overseeing congregation. That was 2003. After nine and a half years, the Carters are retiring from their full-time service as self-supporting administrators.
Much has changed during Larry’s presidency including the development from a preacher’s training school to African Christian College, accreditation affiliation with ACTEA, and the construction of various buildings including the farm building and library.
Larry and Susan devoted their time, hearts, energy, and resources to seeing African Christian College move towards its vision of equipping African men and women for excellent service in God’s kingdom.
Larry will remain the president of the college until the end of 2012, but they return to the USA a few days following the banquet to complete some other tasks before retirement on that side. The Carters plan to return to ACC in 2013 as volunteers and servants and continue their commitment to its growth and development. (Replacing Larry as president is his son, Brad, which makes return trips even easier to see grandchildren).
The banquet program included remarks from the various constituencies of African Christian College. Kurt Platt, academic dean, spoke on behalf of the faculty. Sydney Mhango spoke on behalf of the staff. Maciniso Ndaba gave thanks from the Tree of Life workers. Second year student Tsitsi Nherera (Zimbabwe) shared thoughts and appreciation from the students. Two trustees, Kerry Lowery and Jenene Marnach, were in attendance and Jenene shared appreciation from the Board of Trustees.
After receiving gifts — including letters from all current student families sharing memories and thanksgiving — Larry and Susan also shared some thoughts, memories, and thanks for the ways they have been blessed since arriving on campus almost ten years ago.
The atmosphere was exciting, fun, and thankful as everyone enjoyed a fantastic special meal, singing together, the presentations, and fellowship.
— See more pictures from the event in our Appreciation Banquet photo gallery.