Sr. First Lady Sallie T. Carey
In 1975, Reverend Newton Carey Jr., a member of Cosmopolitan Baptist Church, was called to pastor a small church in West Oakland whose membership had dwindled down to six members. With his wife Sallie T. by his side and their five children, Pastor Carey began his work to revitalize a dying church. An introduction to evangelism lit a deep fire inside of Pastor Carey and Mama Sallie, as members of the congregation that resulted in the implementation of many innovative evangelical programs at True Vine, most notably the Annual Block Party.
Evangelism soon became a required class at True Vine. Armed with a membership on fire for the Lord and ready to win souls, Pastor Carey and Mama Sallie created a curriculum for block parties, and the rebirth for True Vine was underway. They realized that sharing Jesus with a cold and hungry person was futile, so the block parties began with a free meal and free clothing. Then the attendees were ministered to through song and through the Word of God. The Southern Baptist Convention quickly noticed the tremendous pace in which True Vine was growing and invited Pastor Carey and Mama Sallie to train church leaders throughout the country on how to utilize this awesome tool in their own communities.
Pastor Carey and Mama Sallie have been widely recognized for their innovative style of sharing the Word of God and are highly requested speakers at conventions and churches all over the United States. Under the leadership of this dynamic team, the membership of True Vine has grown from six to over 1,600 souls. Although the past 25 years have not been void of adversity, Pastor Carey and Mama Sallie are victorious in Christ Jesus. They have endured the death of two sons and a church split, however they have come forth as pure gold.
The true spirit of God’s unconditional love is epitomized by the lives of Pastor Carey and Mama Sallie and in the lives of those who have been blessed by their selfless sacrifice, generosity and compassion. They took to heart God’s command to feed the hungry and clothe the naked and they taught us by word and by personal example how to love as Jesus loved. We thank God for all of the years of leadership, commitment and dedication of Pastor Newton Carey Jr. and Sallie T. Carey, for the legacy of love they brought to the City of Oakland and to the world.
Pastor Newton Carey Jr. and Mama Sallie T. Carey have now retired as Sr. Pastor and First Lady of True Vine and have passed the church on to their son Pastor Zachary E. Carey and his lovely wife Dr. Donna C. Carey. Although they have retired, they are both still very active today at True Vine where they are loved and adored by all.