As a child, Pastor Carter spent his early years growing up in south Georgia; however, when he was about eight years old, his family moved to the Haines City area. There he spent the rest of his childhood and graduated from the local high school in town. After graduation, he worked in the local area and raced cars in his spare time. He quickly became a very successful race car driver and a well-known favorite throughout the central Florida area.
Around that same time Pastor Carter trusted Christ as his Saviour after the young lady he wanted to date insisted that he attend a fundamental Baptist church with her. That young lady, Sonja, later became his wife and they moved to the Winter Haven, Florida area. Pastor Carter attended Bible college in Lakeland, Florida then accepted his first pastorate in Gant Lake, Florida.
Three years later, in January of 1971, the First Missionary Baptist Church needed a new pastor and they called Mickey Carter to come take the position. The First Missionary Baptist Church of Haines City, Florida, had been started in 1959 and was meeting in a small building on one acre of land. For twelve years, the church went through the normal struggles of any new church in a small close-knit community.
After Pastor Carter accepted the pastorate there at First Missionary Baptist Church in Haines City, his first message was based upon Proverbs 29:18a, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." Thirty-seven people were present that day and since then, although the church has grown in attendance, it is still characterized by a vision, growth, and an intense outreach that is constantly expanding. In 2006, Sunday School attendance averaged over 1,500 a week with a high day of over 3,000.
Within the first few weeks of Pastor Carter's arrival at Landmark, an aggressive bus ministry was launched. This was the first of many programs that were started for the sole purpose of carrying the good news of the Gospel not only to Central Florida but throughout the world.
Throughout the years, various other programs have been instituted to carry out the church's commitment to aggressive evangelism, the infallibility and preservation of the Word of God, Christian education, and the preservation of our Baptist heritage.
Because of the church's commitment to Christian education, the Landmark Christian Elementary, Junior High, and High schools were started early on and have consistently provided quality Christian education to the surrounding area for more than twenty five years. This commitment to Christian education has also led the church to obtain, develop, and expand the Freedom Baptist Homeschooling Curriculum.
The vision and outreach of the pastor and the church have led to more than just a large bus ministry and a Christian school. They also include the building of Camp Glory (a beautiful 50 acre wooded Christian camp four miles from the church), the operation of a church radio station (WLVF 90.3FM - both Internet and airwave), the Senior Patriots ministry, Landmark Baptist Senior Retirement Village, and various other programs. This kind of growth and expansion has required many building programs, expansions, and renovations, including the church auditorium, classroom buildings, youth camp, sport fields, a gymnasium, cafeteria, and a variety of other facilities.
In 1979, the original name of the church was changed to Landmark Baptist Church. This change was based upon Proverbs 22:28 "Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set." Through the years, Landmark Baptist Church has remained strong in their commitment to standing firm as a lighthouse for all of central Florida and the greater surrounding areas.
During that same year, Pastor Carter was burdened to build a college dedicated to the same principles upon which the church was built - aggressive evangelism, preservation of God's Word, traditional Christian education, maintenance of our Baptist heritage, and the doctrine of the local church. Thus, Landmark Baptist College was started and for fourty years, LBC has successfully trained pastors, Christian school teachers, evangelists, missionaries, and other local church staff for service in the ministry of our Lord.
In 1993, the college published Things That are Different are Not the Same. This book was written by Pastor Carter in defense of the King James Bible and against its critics. The book was designed to be simple enough for the average layman to read and understand. Through the years, Landmark Baptist College has become a leader in the study and defense of the King James Bible, in a time when even many evangelicals are attacking the King James Bible.
In 1997, Landmark Baptist College moved forward in growth and expansion. The historic, ten-story Palm Crest Hotel in downtown Haines City was obtained and renovated for use as a college campus. The building is one mile west of the previous college facilities on Hinson Avenue. Since then, LBC has also obtained the two buildings of the former Holiday Motel (directly across the street from the Palm Crest Hotel) as well as the former First Presbyterian Church campus. These facilities have provided a greatly increased number of dorm rooms, enough classrooms to dramatically increase the class schedule, a beautiful chapel, social parlor, snack shop and recreation room, along with many other benefits.
Through the years, Landmark Baptist College has led the way in fighting for all Bible colleges in Florida that they may be able to retain the religious freedoms upon which many of them were originally founded. In 2002, a great victory was won when a major amendment was passed in the state of Florida, securing religious liberty for all Bible colleges across the entire state.