Bayside Pastor Sherwood Carthen Dies

SACRAMENTO, CA (September 25, 2013) – Sherwood C. Carthen, founding pastor of Bayside of South Sacramento and chaplain for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, died at 2 p.m. today of a heart attack. He was 54.

“Pastor Sherwood Carthen was a powerful preacher, champion of multi-ethnic ministry, but more importantly a dear friend,” said Pacific Southwest Conference Superintendent Efrem Smith. “I will miss him greatly.”

Bayside of South Sacramento (BOSS), a satellite church that partners with Bayside Church in Granite Bay, opened in 2005.

Phil Oats, a minority owner of the Kings, released a statement saying, “[Bishop Carthen] was an outstanding preacher, but an even better friend to all. All of the Sacramento Kings extend their sincerest condolences to Charlene and their family, to BOSS and the Bayside Family, and to the many, many people and families he blessed.”

He was active in local and national issues. He founded Our Family Community Foundation, a para-church ministry specializing in wellness, wholeness and faith. He also serves as chair of stakeholders for the National African American Tobacco Education Network and led efforts to create Be Free Indeed: Tobacco Tools for the African American Church.

Carthen also served as president of Black Employees United for Equality, which was designed to assist African Americans and minorities with upward mobility. He also served two years as the vice president of the board of directors for Interfaith Service Bureau.

He is survived by his wife, Charlene Carthen, and children, Anthony and Siobhan.


News Obituary


  • Just want to thank God for allowing Bishop Carthen to speek into my live and my family. Bishop you will be miss here in Phoenix, Arizona. I will never forget the times shared with you and my sis Charlene. Charlene my prayer and my mother’s prayer are with you. We will keep in touch. Love Rosalyn and my mother Marjorie Renfro.

  • I was deeply grieved to see this news recently—I was privileged to work alongside Pastor Sherwood and this church on several occasions around racial righteousness issues and always walked away learning more and being encouraged. Bishop used the phrase, “We are building the bridge as we walk on it,” when he talked about the ongoing work and weight of being advocates and actively engaged in being a diverse and faithful body. I have heard many echo his statement, and know countless people followed the wisdom he brought to leading and modeling reconciliation and standing in the gap for so many in his community. My prayers are with his family and his church and all those whose lives he touched. His legacy is a powerful one, one that our church prayed for just today, that his leadership, faithfulness and vision would continue to be lived out by others and that all that God has done in his life will continue to be evident as a witness to God’s call on his life.

  • Sherwood was most definitely one of Granite Bay Bayside’s all time favorite preachers, speakers, and friends. We were blessed to hear his powerful messages, especially the one he gave in our church a few weeks ago. We love you, Sherwood. You will be missed by Bayside, the Kings, and everyone whose lives you touched! One thing is for certain——Jesus had better plans for you and was ready for you to go Home.

  • I was a young preacher when first introduced to him. He was the first preacher I had the pleasure of meeting who literally could preach with no notes. He would read a few scriptures and would never go back to his Bible. It was like God had an umbilical cord attached to his spirit and would intravenously feed him the word! Great man and will always remember. He was a Cadillac of a man and a Mercedes Benz of a gentleman!

  • Bishop, you will not have to say, “Amen!” all by yourself anymore. I will miss you. You took me under your big wing when I needed to be cared for and encouraged. Christ’s peace to your family and the BOSS family.

  • Tribute to the Late Pastor Sherwood Carthens, Bayside of South Sacramento Church

    ‘Behold, a man who walked amongst the multitudes with character and purpose,
    Living a legacy of God’s own approval,
    The God who called and chose him,
    Smiled upon his life’.

    Sherwood knew that he was inadequate to do the job assigned to him. It was too big, but he understood that God continually reduced him for the purpose of increasing his work through him. Sherwood discovered that as he gave the life of Christ to others, he felt his vessel often empty and momentarily saw his flaws——but he found in Jesus Christ, the great treasure that mercifully filled his empty space. He knew that every pain and challenge was the price he paid for being a son of God. He wrote in his book, Soul’d Out, “When we know God is for us we can be content. We know we’ll come out okay, no matter what hits us.”

    Sherwood also spoke these words and wrote them and all who knew and loved him can be comforted by them. “Some things we’ll never understand. If we want to live a life of contentment, we need to let go of our desire to understand everything that happens to us and let God be in control. We need to get to a place where we will yield to God and trust in his decisions. I am reminded of the old hymn we sang in church when I was a boy, that went. . . We’ll understand it better by and by.”

    On page 91, of Sherwood’s book, Soul’d Out, he wrote, “Well, when you yield to God, you can truly relax because you are in God’s hands. He will never leave you or forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6). Sherwood, a man of God who knew God, was not forsaken. He is in God’s hands.

    We will miss you and in our mourning, we will remember you preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the highest blessing to give and the greatest blessing to receive.

    The Women of Purpose, International Ministries has been blessed by Pastor Sherwood. We pray comfort and strength to his wife, Charlene, his children, grandchildren and his entire family. I am especially thankful that God chose Sherwood as one of my spiritual sons. He signed in his book for me, “Mom, God brought you in my life at just the right moment. Thank you.”

    Our gratitude to our Lord, Jesus for placing Pastor Sherwood in our lives.

    Love and Gratitude,
    O. Virginia Phillips, Ph.D.
    Founder and President
    Women of Purpose, Int’l

  • Sherwood… Wow, what a loss for us, and gain for heaven. Fantastic man of God, such passion and joy in the Savior. Bless the Bayside family as they mourn the loss of this terrific player in the kingdom.

  • All I could say was “Lord, why?!?!” When I found out Bishop Sherwood Carthen had departed this life and received his reward in eternity. I remember the first time I went to Bayside of South Sacramento (BOSS). It was January 2008 (when BOSS was at Sac City) and I remember seeing Bishop step up to preach and he had on a Dallas Cowboys pullover. I knew at that very moment that BOSS was the church for me. And, then came the preaching. Lord the preaching. The more Bishop preached, the more I shouted “preach!” Never had I heard preaching like that. I knew I wanted to learn more about BOSS and that opportunity was extended to me via the New Members class. Bishop and Pastor Dave answered all of my questions—especially about the Evangelical Covenant Church and, in true BOSS fashion, they fed us. And, I continued to attend. Bishop Carthen always had a “word” for me (us). Bishop amazed me because he always preached where we were at. It was like he was experiencing our day-to-day struggles right along with us. I remember when the previous CA governor rolled out the furlough program and when I got to BOSS, Bishop was preaching about furloughs. No one else was even directly addressing that from the pulpit. Then, I remember going through a very rough time and going into BOSS on a Saturday night for church (I really thought I was cool for going to church on a Saturday night) and seeing Bishop Carthen illustrate the concept that “nothing goes passed God’s desk without his stamp of approval” meaning that nothing that happens or has happened to us is a fluke. It’s all part of God’s master plan for our lives. I remember attending a BOSS Women’s Conference on a Friday night and Bishop was the speaker. It was like Bishop had seen what was going on in my life. He preached right where I was at, speaking on and to the problems I was experincing. Bishop had tears streaming down his face as he obeyed the Holy Spirit. And, when I finally yielded to God’s calling, Bishop Carthen gladly wrote out a pastoral recommendation to support my entrance into seminary and provided the opportunity for me to lead a small group out of my home. I thank God for the ministry of Bishop Sherwood C. “Amen All By Myself” Carthen! Bishop also taught me to recognize that no matter how we feel, God is Sovereign. My heart, thoughts and prayers are going out for Sis. Charlene, Ant and Sio. May God’s Holy Spirit hold you all up during the days, weeks and months to come. And, to my BOSS family, let’s all pray for one another’s peace and understanding of God’s master plan.

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