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Rev. James W. Carter, 74, Norwalk Resident

NORWALK, Conn. – Rev. James W. Carter, of Norwalk, died Tuesday, March 15. He was 74.

He was born Nov. 7, 1941, in Keyport, New Jersey. As a young man, he was actively involved in civil rights and pastored in several churches, including as associate minister at Shiloh Baptist in Trenton, New Jersey. After a trip to Africa and the Middle East in the mid-1980s, he felt compelled to focus on community and activist ministry. His work included the founding of Mustard Seed Ministries in Red Bank, New Jersey, and La Soul, a company created to provide employment to recovering addicts and alcoholics. La Soul, a nationally recognized company, produced gourmet pies and ingredients for Ben & Jerry’s Apple Pie Frozen Yogurt.

After moving to Connecticut in 1998, he became the executive director of the Council of Churches and Synagogues of Southwestern CT and later the executive director of the Norwalk Children’s Foundation.

Rev. Carter is survived by his wife of 22 years, Mary Peniston; stepdaughter, Nora Bendana; sisters Arline Stewart of Sarasota, Florida, and Vicki Key of Princeton, New Jersey; his daughter, Yvonne Renay Carter Jones; grandson Douglas P. Kemp; and great-granddaughter Jordan Renee Kemp, all of Bear, Delaware; his son, James Warner Carter, III and his wife, Tracy; granddaughter and grandson Brianne Leigh Carter and Trey Warner Carter of Cartersville, Virginia; son, William J. Watson and his wife, Natasha Taylor-Watson; and granddaughter Kamryn Annmarie Watson of Lawrence, New Jersey.

He was predeceased by his father, James Warner Carter Sr.; his mother, Marion Ellen Carter; and his two brothers, William Carter and Charles Albert Carter.

Friends are invited to greet the family Saturday from 10-11 a.m. in the Norfield Congregational Church, 64 Norfield Road, Weston. A funeral service will begin at 11 a.m.

He can be honored by making a donation to the Rev. James Carter Memorial Fund for Social Action at Norfield Congregational Church in Weston.

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