Carol was the youngest of four children who lost her mother as a toddler and whose father suffered from alcoholism and was unable to parent. Carol’s chaotic early years were marked by frequent transition as she moved from home to home, first with an aunt and uncle, then four different foster families. As a young teenager she finally settled into the Morgan family, whom she calls her “spiritual family,” a special pastor and his wife at Morley Wesleyan church in upstate New York, the church at which she says she first felt loved. It was at this church that she first learned of Hephzibah Children’s Home and dreamed of going there one day.
Carol thrived in the Morgan family and met her husband Loren Gage, who eventually became a Wesleyan pastor. Years later, when the Gage’s youngest daughter was nearly grown, Loren and Carol were clearly called by God to serve at Hephzibah Children’s Home. They worked for four years in the senior girl’s dorm and fell in love with the girls and with Hephzibah. During their time there they cared for a total of 20 girls. After their service to Hephzibah was completed in 2001 and the Gages returned to the pastorate, they kept up with many of the girls who were in their care. They have celebrated successes and marriages with some and continued to pray for those who struggled.
When Carol learned of the plans for Hephzibah to sell its Macon, GA property, and revision of the ministry, it was an emotional time. Her heart was attached to that beautiful place and to the many she had served alongside there. When Carol shared her powerful and emotional testimony at a special service at Morley Wesleyan Church in the summer of 2018, the Northeast District Superintendent Dr. Karl Eastlack was present. Afterward, he came to explain to her that his wife, Rev. Anita Eastlack, was serving on the new Hephzibah62:4 Board. God was continuing to expand the work of Hephzibah through a new ministry model to transform the lives of vulnerable children in communities across North America! That assurance meant a great deal to Carol.