Pastor Lauren Denise Carpenter
Pastor Lauren Denise Carpenter, known as Denise to her family and friends has known the Lord almost her entire life. She ended up falling in love and marrying her high school sweetheart, Derrick Carpenter Sr. They went on to have 3 beautiful children. Together, they served the
Lord with all their hearts, souls, and might. They both attended Gabriel MBC, where they had gone all their lives. Even though they had been in church, both of them called to preach and schooled in the bible, they weren't prepared for what lurked around the corner.
In 1998, Denise was struck with something doctors still can't explain today...her organs started shutting down; she was having epileptic seizures; and her blood pressure was 218/190! Pastor Denise lost the use of all her limbs! She was paralyzed with pain. The doctors thought it might be AIDS (impossible), cancer, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis...you name it. The sad truth was they had NO idea. Pastor Denise lived in excruciating pain. The doctors treated her with 22 different medications and chemo. She lost her hair and broke out in abrasions all over her body. Her kidneys began to fail and her heartbeat became irregular.
Pastor Denise was in and out of the hospital constantly. She lived like this from 1998-2002. She finally ended up slipping into a coma and placed on a respirator. The doctors thought that she would never pull out of it, but she did. Finally they dismissed her from the hospital after a 40-day stay. There was nothing else they could do. By that time, depression was no longer knocking at the door, because it had set in to stay.
During this 3-year span, everything around them fell apart too. Her husband lost his job, they lost their home, and their teenage daughter got pregnant out of wedlock. They were being attacked from every direction. Desperate times called for desperate measures. In an effort to allow Pastor Denise to live out the call on her life as a minister her family left their life long church and connected with Pastor Walter and Rev. Elaine Walters and the St. Paul AME church family where they covered them with love and prayer. Later that same year Pastor Denise and her family visited and later joined a church called Immanuel House of Prayer; a church that's known for PRAYING people through these types of situations. Bishop D.K. & Pastor Alice Jones and the congregation at the church stood by their side and supported them through this 3-year ordeal.
In the midst of despair, God moved!!!! When Pastor Denise was dismissed from the hospital a final time, she slowly started to get better. Her former Pastor Rev. Clifton Russell prayed for her before she left the hospital and said it was time for her to Rise Up And Walk!