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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Carrick, John Lee

by R. Hargus Taylor, 1979

27 July 1886–3 Feb. 1972

John Lee Carrick, clergyman and educator, was born in Davidson County, the son of Christopher Columbus and Nancy Elizabeth Thayer Carrick. His paternal ancestors appear to have migrated to North Carolina from northern Virginia during the early years of the nineteenth century.

Carrick received his elementary and high school training at Churchland School, Davidson County. He was awarded the B.A. degree from Wake Forest College in 1913 and, subsequently, the B.D. from Crozer Theological Seminary, Chester, Pa., and the M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. Chowan College conferred an honorary D.D. upon him in 1935 in recognition of his services to the churches and to the college's board of trustees.

Carrick's early years, before his enrollment at Crozer Seminary, were spent in a succession of brief pastorates with Baptist churches in Rowan County (Trading Ford, 1908, 1910, 1912–14; Calvary, 1909; Enon, 1909, 1914; Rockwell, 1909) and in Chatham County (Sandy Branch, 1911–13; Rive's Chapel, 1912, 1913). Upon the conclusion of his studies in Pennsylvania, he served churches in the Virginia counties of Surry (Moore's Swamp, 1918, 1919); Isle of Wight (Mill Swamp, 1918, 1919); Northampton (Lower Northampton, 1920, 1921); and Southampton (Boykins, 1922, 1923; Branchville, 1922, 1923) and in the City of Newport News (Orcutt Avenue, 1924–26). In 1927 he was called to the pastoral charge of the congregation of the Blackwell Memorial Baptist Church, Elizabeth City, where he served until 1935. In the latter year he was called to the pastorate of Jackson Memorial Baptist Church, Portsmouth, Va.

On 11 June 1937, Carrick was elected to succeed Roy R. McCollough as president of Chowan College. The trustees of the institution had voted in February 1937 to close the school at the end of the academic year because of annual operating deficits, which had been accumulating and absorbing part of the small endowment fund. However, at a special meeting of trustees and friends of the college on 16 April 1937, it had been decided to continue operation of the institution, but with the curriculum limited to a two-year, or junior college, program. It was to this situation that Carrick was invited, with instructions to secure a faculty and a student body. Faced with continuing financial crises and an enrollment of only seventy-seven students at the beginning of the fall term in 1940, Carrick submitted his resignation as president of the college on 11 Nov. 1940, the resignation to be effective with the conclusion of the current term.

Thereafter Carrick continued as pastor of Baptist churches in Hertford County (Mt. Tabor, 1938–41) and Gates County (Reynoldson, 1941–43; Roduco, 1941–43) in North Carolina and Nansemond County (Great Fork, 1944), Westmoreland County (Colonial Beach, 1945–49), and King George County (Round Hill, 1945–49) in Virginia. He concluded his active pastoral ministry with Rive's Chapel Baptist Church, Chatham County, which he had served previously while still a student at Wake Forest College. He lived in retirement in Siler City after 1953.

Carrick was a Mason and an independent in politics. He was married to Myrtle Burgwyn Teague on 12 June 1917. They had no children.

He was buried in a family plot in Oakwood Cemetery, Siler City.


Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Chowan College (Murfreesboro), 1937–41.

North Carolina Baptist State Convention Annuals, 1908 ff..

Joseph Roy Parker, The Ahoskie Era of Hertford County (1939).

Virginia Baptist General Association Annuals, 1908 ff.