Orlando’s Hidden Treasure…A Legend
COMPILED BY JALESSA CASTILLO, TIMES STAFF WRITER
ORLANDO - It has been seven years since we’ve heard from Reverend Dr. Vivian Carrington, a pioneer and community worker in Florida. During that time she has been engaged in immense collegiate studies and has triumphed as a graduate from Rollins College on May 13, 2017.
“At age 76 this was the most difficult challenge I’ve experienced in my life,” shared Dr. Carrington.
Despite the insurmountable deterrents of a seven-year chronic illness, she pushed through. In many instances, that perseverance nearly caused her death.
“The last semester at Rollins College was most difficult for me,” she shared. “I attended Rollins for seven years before receiving my degree because I was in the hospital almost as much as I was in the classroom.”
Knowing that her mother would not quit, Dr. Carrington’s daughter, Angie Carrington who is a nurse, took a leave of absence from her job to go to school with her mother to monitor her health.
“She made sure I took my medication on time and I ate three to four meals every day,” said Dr. Carrington.
This incredible woman’s dedication, passion, and endurance moved her to graduate, while the average person would have surely given up with the resolution of the task being impossible but Dr. Vivian Carrington does not know how to “quit.” It was a sheer exercise of the unbeatable character of will, undoubtedly attributed to a historical competitive spirit which pushed her to success. Her experience can be read about in the book “Treasures In Affliction” on Amazon Kindle, which includes a live account one on one interview.
“I never had obstacles to make me want to give up, because I am a true competitor. I always finish goals I pursued in life,” she said. “But my advice to older women when considering choosing another career is to move with caution. Your health is more important than the goal you are trying to pursue.”
Dr. Carrington’s history goes back as far as when she was eleven years old and delivering newspapers for The Florida Sun’s first owner, Herbert Bradshaw. Then later for the second owner Mr. James Macon, a retired school teacher in Orlando. Her experiences working in the community extended from being a reporter for Stone magazine owner, Bobby Wilcox to being a contributing writer for The Orlando Times. Her article was called, “Tips from Vip”.
Dr. Carrington volunteered at the Dr. P. Phillips hospital on Church Street, with Doctors James R. Smith and Dr. Mark Cox. The present name for that facility is Guardian Care. Dr. Carrington also served as Minister and Counselor for Florida Hospital for thirty-four years.
However, her extensive career extends far beyond those mentioned above. In 1976 she was the first missionary to volunteer counseling services to female inmates which she did for a total of 18 years.
“My advice to young people is to be serious about their education first, so that the choices selected will not become a struggle for them as they journey toward higher goals,” said Dr. Carrington.
Her contributions to the community continued with her experience as a Lifeguard and Swimming Instructor for the Carter Street Pool, the first public swimming pool for African-Americans in 1966. She also lent her teaching talents to the YMCA, the Boys & Girls Club, Katie Way Park, Cat Catagon’s Homes for kids, the C. R. Smith Center, John Young Pool, the Dr. Hawkins Park in Washington Shores, and even her own back yard in Winter Park, Florida. To add to her far-reaching resume, she also taught as a Licensed Water Safety Instructor for the Central Florida Chapter of the American Red Cross for 58 years.
While working in the community for years she became a licensed cosmetologist and owned two beauty salons. As her talents and interest progressed she attended Gupton-Jones College in Atlanta, Georgia where she graduated as a Licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer, and later became an owner of Carrington & Jones Funeral Home on Bruton Blvd. Furthering her education she graduated from United Bible College and Seminary in 1991, received her Doctorate degree in the ministry, and became a pastor of Christian New Life Ministry, Inc. from 1991 to 2014 in Maitland, Florida.
“I faced obstacles as a woman pursuing success and it was not always easy, yet I accomplished everything I set out to do, and did it without regrets,” she said. “God made women strong. They will abide and endure. Anything they put their heart and mind to achieve can happen. We, as women, overcome.”
It is by God’s grace that she has used the vast variety of gifts she was given. She was always devoted, rendering many multi-tasking services in the community. Dr. Carrington has diligently spent a lifetime of service helping others. We are thankful that all her efforts have shown the tenderness of God, a shining example of his compassion to all of humanity, and giving of herself as a servant to the people. Maintaining an impeccable reputation due to her respect and kindness shown over the years is commendable.
She remains humble knowing that everything she has done in life she owes it all to God. Dr. Vivian Carrington currently attends “The Church at North Orlando, TCNO” in Winter Park, Florida under the administration of Pastor Moises Aguayo.
“Each sermon I hear is powerful and healing to my soul,” she declared, “I thank God Almighty for giving me the fortitude, desire, and the will to complete all of the tasks I've faced in my lifetime. I felt I could do anything with faith and God on my side.”
Dr. Carrington is a legend, a “Treasure” in the community. One encounter and you will never forget her “presence.” Stories of her life challenges turned into victories will inspire as well as empower you toward inner greatness and can be found on Amazon kindle under Vivian Carrington. When God made her, He “broke” the mold.