|Bettye Jo Crisler Carr|
September 29, 1926|
Greenville in Washington County, Mississippi, USA
|Died||July 7, 2007
|Children||Catherine Ann "Cathy" Carr
Michael Joseph Carr (born ca. 1967)
Glenna Faye Dunnington
Douglas Galen Carr (born ca. 1962)
Rebecca Jo Barnebey (born 1959)
Bettye Jo Crisler Carr (September 29, 1926 – July 7, 2007) was a preacher, a teacher, an author, a missionary, a mother of five, and a leader of the Girl Scouts of the USA. She was an English professor at Texas Tech University in Lubbock when she proclaimed her call to pastoral ministry, and became the first woman appointed superintendent in the Northwest Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. She served from 1989 to 1993 as superintendent of the Pampa district and in the administrative role of dean of the bishop's cabinet.
Carr was born in Greenville, the seat of Washington County in the delta section of western Mississippi, the only child of Joseph Neal Crisler and the former Bessie Esther Gilley. She graduated from Texas Tech and worked as a professional Girl Scout in the Texas Panhandle. She then spent five years with the Methodist Mission service in Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia), where two of her children, Michael and Glenna, were born.
A single parent, she supported her children with free lance writing. She wrote curricular materials for the Methodist Church Publishing House in Nashville, Tennessee and several devotional books with Imogene Sorley and advent calendars with Sorley and Donna Cash. The first of those books is entitled Bless This Mess and Other Prayers. Another is The Intentional Family.
Carr left Texas Tech and went on to pastor churches in the South Plains at Cooper, Levelland, and Crosbyton. She said that she considered herself a "pastor, not a woman pastor. . . . I think women are called in the same sense that men are called to be pastors. I think God regards us as people."
Another Methodist woman pastor, the Reverend Elizabeth Creson "Liz" Sisco, who retired in 2002 after eight years as pastor of Christ United Methodist Church in Levelland, recalled how a female member disapproved of Carr taking over the pastorate. "Eventually, she came to love Jo, and that church now has its fourth woman pastor," according to Sisco.
Carr died at home. She was cremated. Memorial services were held at St. John's United Methodist Church in Lubbock. Survivors included her children, Catherine Ann "Cathy" Carr, Michael Joseph Carr (born ca. 1967), Glenna Faye Dunnington, and Douglas Galen Carr (born ca. 1962), all of Lubbock, and Rebecca Jo Barnebey of Dallas (born ca. 1959), and six grandchildren.
- "Female pioneer in area Methodist churches, Jo Carr, dies at 80", Beth Pratt, Religion Editor, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Lubbock, Texas, July 9, 2007
- "Bettye Jo (Jo) Carr" (obituary), Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, July 8, 2007
- Jo Carr Papers at WorldCat
- Books by Jo Carr at Amazon