Community of Christ Names Apostle-Designate

By: FireTag
May 14, 2011

I wrote last week on the vacancy occurring in the Apostolic Quorum of the Community of Christ due to the resignation of James Slauter in order to assist in caring for his grandchild. As noted by Rich Brown in a comment to my earlier post on the vacancy, the President of the church has now designated Apostle Slauter’s successor in a Letter of Counsel that will be formally considered at the 2013 World Conference.

Barbara L. Carter is the Apostle Designate. According to the bio for her current church assignment, she was assigned as field apostolic assistant to the Northeast Field effective September 2008. Her bio further states:

A full-time minister since 1994, she has previously been Sierra Pacific Mission Center President, San Francisco Bay Stake President, bishop [Chief Financial Officer] for the South Central States Region and stewardship commissioner for the Southeast Region. She holds the priesthood office of high priest.

A native of Lincoln City, Oregon, Carter holds a master of arts in religion from Park College, Parkville, Missouri; a master of education in counseling from Wichita State University; and a bachelor of arts in psychology from Graceland University, (the Community of Christ’s “equivalent” of BYU) Lamoni, Iowa.

Prior to accepting church appointment, Carter was the Citizen Review Board Coordinator for the State of Oregon Judicial Department.

Barbara (Tooze) Carter is married to Charles (Charlie) Carter, and they currently live in Newark, DE. They have one daughter, Chelsea, a recent graduate of Graceland.

Barbara will assume administrative control of the entire Northeast Field (US East Coast to Illinois and the Canadian border to Southern Virginia) when Apostle Slaughter leaves. Some other Apostolic Assignments will be shifted to cover the HQ-related tasks Slauter was performing.

Apostle Linda Booth will serve as acting President of the Quorum until they can elect new officers in September. Apostle Designate Carter will attend all quorum discussions until her approval by the World Conference, and her administrative authority over the NE Field is unquestioned. I have no idea what issues of church law might come up if some non-administrative emergency occurred before 2013 that required the priesthood authority of an ordained Apostle.

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9 Responses to Community of Christ Names Apostle-Designate

  1. Bishop Rick on May 14, 2011 at 8:18 PM

    FT,

    If the prophet were to pass away, would that make Linda the new prophet, or does the CoC use a different method for choosing the next prophet?

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  2. FireTag on May 14, 2011 at 8:59 PM

    No. In our denomination the prophet has the right to name his own successor, from any High Priest. Most often that has been in a letter set aside before the prophet’s death. When President W. Wallace Smith chose to pass on the “mantle” before death, he named a “Prophet Designate”, Wallace B. Smith, publicly and began an intense period of preparation for his successor. (This is probably the prototype for Apostle-Designate Carter. If the Prophet declines to name a successor, the Quorum of Twelve brings the recommendation, from among any High Priest, to the World Conference. The current president, Steve Veazey, was named by the latter procedure.

    The actual succession in the RLDS tradition has been, in relationship to Joseph Smith as follows:

    son, grandson, grandson, grandson, great grandson, Secretary to the First Presidency (a staff office, not a member of the Presidency), President of the Quorum of 12.

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  3. Mike S on May 14, 2011 at 10:26 PM

    FireTag:

    Thanks for the update. I’m always very interested in what you write on the CofC. I’ve even ordered several books, etc. to learn more based on what you have said in the past.

    I know that things will never change in the LDS Church, but I do like (envy) several things in the way that the CofC has worked out succession.

    1. I like the ability for someone to “retire” when/if circumstances make sense. Having leaders of diminished faculties still in charge seems to put things into a “holding pattern”.

    2. This sounds a lot like a blurb in the LDS Church News for new church leaders / mission presidents – listing offices the person has held and prior occupations. I like the background in religion, education and counseling.

    3. I really like the idea of women having a much more significant role in the administration of the CofC. I’m certain there is a different perspective that cannot be there when it is a body of 100% men. Even if they were absolutely compassionate, understanding, etc., men will fundamentally never understand women’s issues the same.

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  4. MH on May 14, 2011 at 11:04 PM

    Thanks for the update FireTag!

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  5. mark gibson on May 16, 2011 at 3:12 AM

    FireTag:

    When fielding questions from LDS members about the RLDS president/prophets, I usually get raised eyebrows when I mention their track record:

    Three prophets resigned: W.W. Smith, W.B. Smith, and G. Macmurray, the latter actually resigning from the church.

    Frederick M Smith threatened to resign, but the conference wouldn’t accept it.

    During Joseph Smith 3rd’s administration, a group of dissatisfied members tried to get his younger brother David H. Smith to take over.

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  6. FireTag on May 16, 2011 at 1:31 PM

    Mark:

    Welcome back.

    William Wallace Smith, and Wallace B Smith RETIRED, not resigned. So will Steve Veazey when he reaches retirement age. It’s standard practice for us since we instituted (for good or bad) a corporate annuity system to support full time appointee ministers in their old age.

    Grant MacMurray resigned, but not from the church. You can ask him yourself. He blogs here:

    http://grantamused.blogspot.com/

    F.M. Smith’s threat occurred because the leading quorums used their “checks and balance” powers to doubt a proposed revelation in the 1920′s that seriously changed the authority of the First Presidency vis a vis the other quorums. We worked it out.

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  7. gibson on May 17, 2011 at 2:49 AM

    W.W. Smith presented to the conference a letter of resignation (used to be appendix F) in the D&C, but I guess that’s just splitting hairs.

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  8. CH on May 17, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    Thanks for the update in an ever-changing church administration at C of C. Am curious how the members of congregations in the Norhteast area will adjust to yet another apostle in their region.

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  9. FireTag on May 17, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    Mark:

    Yes, he did, and then after his son was ordained, he continued to hold the position of Prophet Emeritus as an honored title for the remainder of his life.

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