The Heart of Kernersville

by NJ Clausen

Happy October Everyone! This month I have the pleasure of introducing you to a woman who has made a positive difference in many ways for many people, Carol Fulton.

Born and raised right here in Kernersville, Carol grew up in a three-room shack with no indoor plumbing. There was land for farming, and Carol smiled as she shared that she called it the ‘Ponderosa.’ On Carol’s childhood farm, there were cows, pigs, horses, and chickens. She recalled her mother canning fruit and vegetables for the winter months. Carol’s father was the first in the family to own a television set, so after working in the tobacco fields on Saturday, all the cousins and uncles would come down and enjoy watching TV outside while old tires burned to keep the snakes away! Days like this would also include hand churned ice cream made by her Daddy.

While riding horses was enjoyable – they had over a dozen – Carol’s favorite activities were reading and listening to music. As the middle child, she liked being by herself. Carol remembers reading books on everything from business and finance to personal growth. Carol also mentioned how she always liked it when the family got together with all the shared food, laughter, and fun that was a part of the gathering. 

At East Forsyth High School, Carol liked English class for the poetry, reading, and writing, but she loved sports. She was All County for Volleyball, Basketball, and Softball but she also played on the tennis, track, cross country, and speedball teams. Carol was also one of the first African American women in the Anchor Club.

When asked about her first job, Carol laughed as she recalled having to work on the farm for many years before getting a paying job at 16 years old. When talking about the lessons learned from working on the farm, Carol was clear that even though the work was hard, she learned work integrity. She also learned that she could make it through any situation because there was always something rewarding afterwards. Carol gave the examples of working a row of tobacco and finding a watermelon at the end to split open and enjoy, as well as the family getting together at the end of the day.

After graduating, Carol went to UNC-Greensboro. She stayed on campus the first year, however, the second year she was able to stay at home and rode to school with one of her brothers who went to AT&T. After her sophomore year, Carol joined the Army Reserves and did one more year at UNCG. She later graduated with a degree from High Point University. Carol stayed with the Army Reserves for over 40 years, where she achieved the rank of Command Sergeant Major. She was called up for active duty during Desert Storm, spending 6 months in Fort Jackson, where she processed those who were going overseas and then when it was over, processed bringing them back home. Even years later, many of her group remain in touch. On top of all this, Carol also worked at Sara Lee in the Bali Division.  

In the late 1990’s, Carol was at her window, looking out at some deer and questioning her role in a hurting world. She felt drawn to the subject of teen moms and registered the name ‘Children of Zion OutReach Ministy’ in Winston-Salem. Carol turned in her resignation letter at Sara Lee, which was timely as her father had become ill, and she helped her mother take care of him until he passed a few months later. After that, Carol says that God opened up the door for ministry work. She started working out of Winston and used the house she had built to bring teen moms together for a meal and to talk about how to raise their children safely.

The ministry started growing, with about 2,000 people showing up at the park each year where they would receive food and clothes, hear a message from the Word, listen to music, and even sometimes be baptized. Carol started doing outreach in the different recreation centers in Winston-Salem for the young moms and their babies with the help of her daughter, growing to include families and others in need. Her ministry has been supported by donations and churches. In 2007, Carol was ordained as a Pastor by Masterbuilders, a network for church leaders around the world. Carol continued this ministry until she returned to Kernersville. For the last several years, she has been leading the Kernersville Christian Ministers Fellowship, which includes around 13 different churches and denominations. 

Carol says that getting to know Jesus on a personal level is the best thing that has ever happened to her, and it is her hope that others also get to know Him on a deeper level. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *