Mt. Carmel History Church History: The Founding Families Rev. Fitzgerald was born and bred to the Ministry. His father, uncles, and cousins were very successful ministers.
The Church grew in numbers and thrived when Chris was at our church. There were many activities at the church and retreats at Elk Shoals. There were Men’s and Women’s softball teams. The UMYF was large and enthusiastic and well lead. They called themselves “The Thundering Herd.” Chris was young, but charismatic and multidimensional.
The congregation was attracted to Christ through him by his dramatic and passionate sermons which focused on the need for Jesus Christ to be actively involved in our lives and every day decisions. He committed each sermon to memory. Occasionally he would play the organ with similar passion and expertise to move and entertain us. He was very emotional and passionate about handicapped children. He often told a story about a doctor foretelling if he was born he would be handicapped and mother should consider having an abortion.
He started “Respite” program and gained support of the church in caring for severely handicapped children one night a week so their care givers could have a night to replenish and self care. Chris was never just lukewarm. He stood firmly against sin and had a difficult time accepting his parent’s divorce. Yet he and Mary got divorced while at Mt. Camel. The congregation was sympathetic and supportive.
Our love for him was not diminished. However, he left the ministry for a time to work full time with handicapped children in California. Thank God he has returned to be a pastor and continues to preach the love of Jesus Christ to his immediate congregation and television audience.
Written by: Judy Newberry, Historian Assisted by Julie Fuquay (January 2015)