Madam Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute a spiritual and community leader as he retires from the ministry. Reverend Carnell Hampton has been a tremendous light in Clarendon County during his 45 years at Melina Presbyterian Church and his daily guidance will be sorely missed.
Reverend Hampton grew up in the Mayesville community of Sumter County, and graduated from the historic Goodwill Parachoial School. He chose to return close to home following his graduation from seminary at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina to serve at Melina Presbyterian Church. He built the church into the center of the Gable community, expanding its membership and its missions. He has lived next door to the church and been an active member of the community throughout his career. Over his more than four decades in the ministry, Reverend Hampton has made innumerable contributions to the community, the state, the Presbytery, the Synod and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
I want to personally thank Reverend Hampton for his friendship and support. Just six weeks after my election to Congress in 1992, he and the Melina Presbyterian Church Family welcomed me into their worship service and congratulated me on behalf of the community. His care and concern for the community extends beyond the church walls, and he let me know he expected me to represent the community well. I have worked hard to meet his expectations.
Reverend Hampton is married to Carrie Edwards a native of Spartanburg, South Carolina and the couple has one son Jermaine Carnell, a daughter-in-law Hollie, and two grandchildren Nathan and August.
Madam Speaker, I ask you and my colleagues to join me in congratulating Reverend Hampton on his retirement. He has touched countless lives and left an indelible mark on this community. His service to Clarendon County and the Presbyterian Church will be long remembered, and hard to replace. I offer my best wishes as he enters this new phase of his life, and know that he will continue to be an important part of the community.
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