Myrtle Beach pastor gives addicts dignity in death by paying for cremations

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – The last thing Tim Carter remembers during his overdose was screaming out to God promising that if he lived, he’d spend the rest of his life serving.

Four days later, he woke up and dedicated himself to becoming a pastor.

“I actually walked the beach with Christ in that coma,” Carter said. “And that day, my whole life changed. God told me what I was to do, where I was to go, what I had to walk away from.”

Since his February 2018 overdose, Carter has stepped away from the cocaine he used to get through long work days. He formed Sonshine Recovery Ministries, which runs a thrift store in Myrtle Beach, and No Addict Left Behind, a home for people recovering from drug addictions. 

His mission expanded last year after he got a call that his friend, James, had been found dead from an overdose. James didn’t have any family members he was close to, and a sibling couldn’t afford to give him a funeral. 

So Carter stepped in, and since then, he’s paid for another five burials for people who were homeless, addicted to drugs, or who would have been left to an indigent funeral. 

“They deserve the same thing we do,” have said. 

It costs between $600 to $1,000 for the ministry to pay for a burial for someone who went through its addiction program.

No Addict Left Behind has a house in Georgetown County and will be adding a second one in Lake City. Once it’s open, the Lake City home will have space for 16 men, and there will be room for 10 women at the Georgetown County location. 

To date, the ministry has helped get 189 people off the streets. 

Carter doesn’t want anyone to be forgotten. One of his first jobs was at a crematorium, where the ashes of unclaimed people would go on a shelf. Once there were 1,200 boxes, the state placed them all in a burial plot. 

“We aren’t going to let you just lay there and ain’t nobody claim you, and you become a box on the shelf to get an unknown grave whenever they get enough to fill a hole,” Carter said. 

Last month, Carter responded again after 46-year-old Brian Roseman was found dead in the woods behind a Dollar General store in Socastee. His body had been in a homeless camp known for drug use for about 18 hours before it was reported. 

His mother, Cathy Godsey, said Roseman was addicted to painkillers until a few years ago. He’d stayed with Carter in the recovery program, and commonly went to feed people without housing. 

Godsey remembers her son as a man whose family was his entire world and always said, “Momma, I love you,” before bed.  

“Normally, he had two shirts,” she said while standing near where his body was found. “He would give a homeless person one of his shirts.”

Without Carter’s help, she said Roseman would have had a “pauper’s burial.” Roseman looked up to Carter, going out with him to feed those in need.

“Brian thought there was nobody like Mr. Tim, because he was always giving, and not trying to take,” she said. 

Carter, a veteran and a biker, looks to the Bible’s directive to feed and clothe those in need.

“Christ washed our feet,” he said. “The least I can do is give them a compassionate burial, no matter who they are…whether you were on drugs, or you were in recovery.”

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