A church service in southern Iowa offered a more personal glimpse into the life story of Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson Sunday morning.
Lead Pastor Chuck DeVos at LifePoint Assembly of God in Osceola told his congregation that Carson’s visit — with 35 minutes of mic time at both services — was not a campaign stop.
“Dr. Carson is not here to campaign today,” DeVos said during his introduction. “We’re not saying go vote for Dr. Carson. We’re saying here’s a man who walks humbly before his God, who has an incredible message not only for us but for our country.”
Still, the retired neurosurgeon, a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, had no trouble garnering support, according to Sunday attendees at LifePoint.
Carson shared wisdom for a successful career and marriage — proudly stating in one service that the only woman he’s slept with is his wife of 40 years Candy, who joined him at the church. He also told the congregation what it was like growing up poor in Detroit.
“I hated poverty,” Carson said. “It always felt like we were on the outside looking in.”
Stories about anger issues and a reputation for being “stupid” in the classroom echoed scenes from “Gifted Hands,” a Hollywood film based on Carson’s life story.
Carson recalled seeing people with gunshot wounds in the street and believing he would die in his 20s. He described a pivotal moment when he spent three hours locked in the bathroom as a teenager.
That’s where he repented of his anger and selfishness, pored through the Book of Proverbs and emerged changed by God, he said.
“When I came out, my temper was gone and I’ve never had a problem since,” he said.
He highlighted two stories that helped direct his life: Booker T. Washington’s autobiography “Up from Slavery” and the biblical story of Joseph from Genesis.
Both depict men of principle rising from oppression and slavery to power and influence, despite unjust circumstances, Carson said. And neither Joseph nor Washington played the role of victim.
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