Randal Carter Butts, Jr. was born to Rachel and Randy Butts on Aug. 2 1980 in the small town of Lumpkin, Georgia. A shy, quiet boy, Carter proved to be respectful, diligent, and notable affable at an early age. He refined these qualities during grade school and on into high school where he excelled in academic, athletic, and social endeavors.
Effortlessly, he gained the respect and affection of all who knew him. Wrestlers who faced him in the mats marveled at his skill, discipline, and strength. Teachers took notice as he rose to the top of his class. Anyone else would likely call him their friend and the happiest person they’d ever met. If you asked Carter about himself, he’d break into a grin and tell you about Jesus.
The gracious love of Jesus overwhelmed Carter during his mountain-top adventure at Frontier Ranch, Young Life’s premier summer camp for high school kids all over the country. He returned home during the summer of 1998 with an insatiable hunger to know more about his savior. He had a presence about him that was nothing short of contagious.
Carter attended Georgia Tech, where he studied architecture and quickly became a Young Life leader to kids in the Atlanta area. He felt a distinct calling to bring kids face to face with Jesus Christ, just as his leaders had done for him only a few years before. Carter spent countless weekends at Sharp Top Cove, a new Young Life camp much closer to home. In those mountains he found a place where he could build deeper relationships with his club kids as well as offer his love and time to those from other schools.
Carter was drawn away for a time to study in France, where he refined his architectural and artistic talents into a style that was all his own. He created countless sketches and models of structures he would one day design. In memoirs, Carter recorded a particular dream, to one day design and build “an uncompromising chapel”. That dream never saw fruition in Carter’s lifetime, however, for he was called home to the Lord he so passionately followed on Oct. 22, 2006.
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