Former Mayor T. R. Carr of the St. Louis suburb of Hazelwood, Mo, and his wife Lucy early in their marriage served on the ministry staff of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. InterVarsity is a longtime ministry focused on reaching university students, and is sponsor of the Urbana Student Missions Conference (this year “Urbana 15”), thought to be the world’s largest student missions conference.
Beginning in Urbana, IL, a half century ago, the conference used the name “Urbana” (see www.urbana.org) after the city in which they met. The conference outgrew facilities there. Thus, in 2006 it moved to St. Louis – that first year in St. Louis named Urbana 06, continuing the great tradition of convening year end each three years between Christmas and New Year’s Day,
Mayor Carr and Lucy have become key volunteers and servant leaders in meeting and overseeing many of the needs of the thousands of students that come to St. Louis for Urbana.
You will enjoy … and be inspired … in T. R.’s warm and helpful explanation of Urbana. In it he notes that the conference requires scores of volunteers, indeed, a means of mission service in itself.
And, remarkably, 250 or so mission and otherwise ministry groups will be represented at Urbana, inviting the students to consider serving Jesus through their respective ministry organization.
The St. Louis locations of Urbana include the Jones Dome (where the St. Louis Rams play football), the Americas (convention) Center (under the same roof as the Jones Dome), and surrounding hotels.
I remember attending a public welcoming leadership event wherein the St. Louis Mayor extended a giant welcome to Urbana. The conference provides – during a holiday time – a boost in the local economy when hotels and restaurants otherwise have limited business. Urbana, for the week, changes all that. .
And the merchants – and others — welcome Urbana . Instead of the wildness that often accompanies many student gatherings, the mostly Christian, born-again students are courteous, hospitable, and considerate of the wellbeing of others … and the property of others.
Many current Christian leaders point to their Urbana experience as having shaped their lives and visions.
T. R. Carr points to the conclusion of each Urbana wherein the participants together observe a “Lord’s Supper,” right there in the NFL football arena, thus “,,,proclaiming the Lord’s death …!!
Tom Lin is an Urbana International Vice-President of InterVarsity, and the leader of Urbana 15. Earlier radio with Tom, titled … “Tom Lin leads Urbana 15 in STL; ‘World’s largest student missions’ conference!’ See www.urbana.org” … can also be accessed for anytime listening.
A bit more about T. R. Carr who serves as “sale and light” … and a good righteous moral compass … in public life in the St. Louis region. He serves or has served as …
· As Mayor of suburban Hazelwood;
· As University professor for 29-years, and a major department head for 15 years Southern Illinois University Edwardsville;
· As a member of the Ferguson commission to address issues in the 2014 crisis in Ferguson, Mo crisis, appointed by the Missouri Governor;
· As Vice-Chairman of the St. Louis County Police Commission;
· As mayor was strategic in bringing in a major shopping center in Hazelwood, known as St. Louis Mills, now known as St. louis Outlet Mall;
· With the departure of a major automobile car plant from Hazelwood, he provided leadership in developing a major industrial center as its replacement.
We thank God for Mayor and Mrs. T. R. Carr, Urbana volunteers, effective servants of God Himself!