G. S. “Mack” McCarter is the Founder and Coordinator of Community Renewal International. A native of Shreveport, Louisiana, Mack holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Religion from Texas Christian University, and a Master of Divinity Degree from Brite Divinity School. He is an Ordained Minister in the Disciples of Christ (Christian Church) denomination.
Before returning to Shreveport to begin implementing his vision for community renewal, Mack pastored Christian churches in Texas for 18 years. In 1991, Mack moved with his family back to his hometown to establish and to launch his vision of a method for renewing lives and whole cities through restoring the relational foundation upon which all communities rest. With the unmatchable support of Judy, whom he met at TCU and married in 1967, as well as many friends and supporters, Community Renewal International was begun in 1994.
The mission of Community Renewal International is to partner together with God and one another to make our world a home where every single child, no matter their age, can be safe and loved. Over the span of 25 years of work, there are now more than 50,000 “We Care” team members in all 50 states and 41 nations. Ten cities in the United States are reproducing the model of connecting caring people, changing lives, and transforming communities. And a full model is dynamically established in Cameroon, Africa.
CRI has been recognized both nationally and internationally as a model for reconstructing both the foundation as well as the actual infrastructure of society through developing a system of loving relationships. And as the representative of the CRI team, Mack has been honored on their behalf as Social Entrepreneur of the Year from The Manhattan Institute, Louisiana Public Citizen of the Year from the National Association of Social Workers, Distinguished Alumnus of the Year from Texas Christian University, Distinguished Minister of the Year from Brite Divinity School, National Citizen of the Year from the National Conference on Citizenship, and Doctor of Letters Degree (Honorary) conferred by Nyack College/Alliance Theological Seminary. Mack has also received the 2019-2020 Lumen Christi Award from the Catholic Extension.
Mack and Judy live in Shreveport, Louisiana, and in Washington, D.C., where they continue the work of spreading the Good News of God’s Love for the world through Community Renewal International. They have two children: a daughter, Nancy, and her husband, Steve, and a son, David, and his wife, Kelli. And they have four terrific grandchildren: Kate, Collin, Emma Clair, and Jacqueline.
Founder & Coordinator
Welcome to a journey we call Community Renewal and thank you for taking the time to learn more about us. I hope you will join with us on this walk to build safe and caring communities in cities across the nation.
A lifetime of ministry taught me this truth, which led to the creation of Community Renewal International in 1994: Cities rest on a foundation of relationships. When relationships disintegrate, a city begins to sink.
Criminal activity, domestic violence, child neglect, substance abuse, high school dropout rates and other problems are all symptoms of a society with a fundamental lack of caring relationships.
Community Renewal International works to restore the foundation of a safe and caring community by rebuilding the system of caring relationships. It’s a large task and, indeed, no one individual or organization can tackle it alone. But by working together, we can reverse the process of disintegration which has destroyed every prior civilization in history.
We are fulfilled only as we serve others. We are complete only as we give ourselves to others. And we are perfected only as we seek to love others. This is our task: to become other-centered rather than self-centered.
Over and over again I hear a cry going up. From the wealthy and the poor, from the powerful and the dependant, from the global and the provincial, I hear groans with sighs too deep for words. The world today is crying out for a miracle.
I believe with my whole heart that all of us working together in community renewal are a miracle. Day by day, more and more caring partners are joining in this march of living with a dedicated purpose to stop the disintegration of our cities and grow a new model of community. This is much like starting a new technology – a social technology. It takes real sacrifice, but I know with your help we can succeed.
God bless you for joining this great miracle.
Mack’s list of honors and awards includes:
- Humanitarian of the Year Award – Arthritis Foundation (1995)
- Ralph Waldo Emerson Award – All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church (1997)
- Hometown Heroes Award – KSLA Channel 12 (1998)
- Liberty Bell Award – Shreveport Bar Association (1998)
- Hall of Fame – C.E. Byrd High School (1999)
- Pete Harris Unity Award – National Conference for Community and Justice (1999)
- Hand in Hand Award, in appreciation for sharing your vision on race and cultural relations –Greater Shreveport Human Relations Commission Youth Council (2000)
- New Century Leaders in Shreveport The (Shreveport) Times (2000)
- The Harry Blake Award, in recognition of trailblazing commitments to humankind and contributions for African-American empowerment –
Mount Canaan Missionary Baptist Church (2001)
- The Red Mass Honoree of the Year – The Red Mass Society, Catholic Diocese of Shreveport (2001)
- Samaritan of the Year Award – Samaritan Counseling Center (2003)
- Social Entrepreneur of the Year, honoring contemporary individuals who have found innovative, private solutions for America’s most pressing social problems. –The Manhattan Institute (2005)
- Louisiana Public Citizen of the Year Award – National Association of Social Workers, Shreveport Region (2005)
- Angel Award, presented to “an extraordinary individual who donates his or her time and talent to help Louisiana children.” – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana (2006)
- Dan Burt Bill of Rights Award – Northwest Chapter, ACLU of Louisiana (2006)
- Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award – Texas Christian University (2007)
- Mr. Shreveport Award, for exceptional contributions to the Shreveport community – Optimist Club of Shreveport (2007)
- Omar M. Bradley “Spirit of Independence” Award – The Independence Bowl, Shreveport, Louisiana (2007)
- Sacred Heart Humanitarian of the Year Award – Sacred Heart Catholic Church (2008)
- Layperson of the Year – Louisiana-Mississippi-West Tennessee District, Kiwanis International (2011)
- Layperson of the Year – Kiwanis Club of Shreveport (2011)
- Difference Maker of the Year – Difference Makers Award, Shreveport, LA (2012)
- Sister Margaret McCaffrey Award for outstanding service to the community – Christian Service Program (2012)
- Christian Leadership Award – Centenary College, Shreveport, LA (2013)
- Distinguished Minister of the Year – Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, TX (2015)
- Citizen of the Year Award – National Conference on Citizenship, Washington, DC (2018)
- Doctor of Letters Degree – Alliance University (2019)
- President’s Hall of Distinction – Alliance University (2019)
- Lumen Christi Award – Catholic Extension (2019-2020)
- Doctor of Humane Letters – Centenary College (2022)
- Opus Prize Finalist – Opus Prize Foundation (2022)
- Opus Prize Laureate – Opus Prize Foundation (2022)