Pastor Carlo F. DeStefano

 

   I was born October 16, 1948 to Carl and Vincetta DeStefano. I am the oldest of three children and I was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware in an area called “Little Italy.” My father walked out on our family when I was about nine years old and never returned.  It was a real struggle for my mom to raise three children on her own. 

 

   I went to St. Anthony’s school until eighth grade and then to Wilmington High School and
graduated in June, 1967.  As a teenager I began to run around with the wrong crowd which led to a lifestyle of drinking and eventually drugs. Heroin became my god. I had never heard the Gospel message that Jesus loved me and died for me.

 

   I worked for three years right out of high school and was let go because of heroin addiction. I was in and out of jail several times for possession and use of narcotics.  In October, 1970, I was arrested for possession and distribution of drugs. My cousin Joe Deramo, who is a born-again Christian, came and bailed me out of jail and I went to live with him.  I lived and worked with Joe for 16 months during which time my court case was postponed several times and the court system enrolled me in the Methadone Program. Joe attended Fairwinds Baptist Church and was there for every service so naturally I was expected to attend also.

 

   At first I didn’t want to attend church but as I continued to go, the Spirit of God began to work in my heart, convicted me of my lost condition, and I received Christ as my Savior on November 25, 1970.  My life verse is a reflection of God's changing power in my own life.

 

IICorinthians 5:17,

 “Therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creature, old
things are passed away; behold, all things become new.”

 

   In February, 1972, I was called to court and they dropped all of my charges because the officer that had arrested me was arrested for drugs.

 

   While I was attending Fairwinds I met Deborah Britton who was Pastor Britton’s daughter.  We began to see each other and Debby and I were married September 23, 1972.  Two years later the Lord called me to Tennessee Temple University where I studied for the ministry.  When I graduated in May, 1978, we returned home to Delaware and I became principal of Fairwinds Christian School.  In 1995, I became the Assistant Pastor of Fairwinds Baptist Church and in January, 1997, the Senior Pastor.

 

   My wife and I have three children.  Heather, our oldest is married to Shane Niland and they have two daughters, MacKenzie and Madison.  Heather is my secretary at the church.  Our next in line is Mandy.  She met her husband Matthew Higgins at Pensacola Christian College and they have four children, Brittany, Michael, Caleb and Micah. They live and minister at The Hope Children’s Home in Tampa, Florida. Our son Anthony is currently living and working in retail in New York.  All three children have graduated from our Christian school.   

 

   The Lord has truly blessed me with a wonderful wife, children, grandchildren and ministry.  To God be the Glory.

 

   It has been my privilege and honor over these many years to minister here at Fairwinds Baptist Church as Principal, Assistant Pastor, and now Senior Pastor. What a blessing it is to minister to people and see what God can do in their lives as a result of them placing their trust in Christ.