Susan and Chip Carter moved to the Wilmington area (Leland) in June of 2014. They had previously lived in Charlotte and Raleigh. When Chip retired from a 42-year commercial property and casualty insurance brokerage career they moved from Raleigh, first to the small town of Mount Gilead, N.C., where Chip’s parents had lived from 1969 until their deaths in 1987 and 1991.
Over the years they had made many friends there when visiting Chip’s parents. They felt that a small town (population 1,200), with a strong sense of community and a lot of long-time friends would be a good place to retire. They set about restoring and renovating a 1916 Craftsman cottage-style home, making it suit their needs in retirement.
Although they were very active in the small community, in December 2013 they admitted to each other they just had not been able to get over the lack of close by amenities.
They both liked coastal areas. After several years of searching from Savannah, Ga., to Oriental, N.C., they found themselves coming back to Wilmington. Chip’s dad was originally from Wilmington and he had several clients in the area.
After finding their home in Leland, the next step was to find a church. First, they did a review of every Episcopal church in Wilmington. They learned quite a bit just from that exploration. They visited St. Paul’s first and were impressed by the warm welcome they received here. The next Sunday they visited another local church, and just didn’t get the same feeling of warmth. So, the third Sunday it was back to St. Paul’s, where they have been since June 2014.
Chip has served on the vestry twice now and been junior warden during both tenures. He is also a Eucharistic minister and visitor, as well as a lector. Susan has volunteered to help the parish administrator one day per week answering phones, etc., for four years.
Unfortunately for St. Paul’s, they have recently decided to return to Raleigh in 2023 to be closer to their son, Rob, daughter-in-law Laurie and 17-year-old grandson, Jackson. The toughest part of their decision to return to Raleigh was leaving St. Paul’s and the many friends they have made here.
They promise they will come back to visit from time to time to get their “beach fix” and “St. Paul’s fix.”