What began as a risk, yet a calling, turned into the chiropractic practice Dr. Micah Carter now owns in Oklahoma City, Okla.
After marriage and college graduation, Carter started his professional career as a high school teacher, but his teaching stent ended after three years when he and his wife picked up everything to settle in the metropolis of Dallas. Being small town folks, the adjustment was no small feat, especially pursuing chiropractic school with no income and no promise of work for his wife.
“We totally trusted God that that’s what we were supposed to do. We had complete faith about it and were at peace about it,” Carter said.
Settling down at his cousin’s house just outside Dallas in Plano, Texas, God began unraveling his plan for Carter’s future in chiropractic care and the intricacies of how that plan would unfold.
It was a “seamless transition” as Carter described it, as his wife landed a job receiving an income near equal to what they both made teaching, they sold their house in Goodland, Kan. and they closed on a house in the Dallas metro.
The dream of becoming a chiropractor, a dream Carter avoided because he was a small town man, was coming to fruition.
“Faith is how I got here in the first place because I was a high school science teacher first,” Carter explained, as he continued to mention the situation was a “God thing” and no other explanation was needed.
While Carter knew chiropractic school was his dream and felt God’s blessing on the situation, he still found himself face-to-face with doubt. Entering any new phase of life, fear is a crippling factor, yet Carter’s cousin, a dentist, was blatantly honest about Carter’s situation—“yes, you can do this. It’s not that hard but it’s going to take time.”
Fear seemed a distant factor now as Carter flourished in his education.
While in Dallas, Carter discovered another love—his love for God and his faith, something he accepted years ago but didn’t believe was fully-mature or intrinsic in his life until he and his wife relocated to Dallas. “Our spiritual journey really took off at that point.”
Today, Carter owns Family Tree Chiropractic in Oklahoma City and has been practicing since 2002. He originally wanted the name to be “Agape Chiropractic,” but he said he couldn’t get the name to stick and some may not understand the meaning. He finally settled on “Family Tree” because he encourages care for the entire family from great grandparents down to the youngest toddlers.
Before All Else, They Gather To Pray:
Carter took time to share about his professional adventure and blessing while he missed the prayer meeting he conducts with his staff twice a day. His practice opens in the morning, breaks for lunch and then reopens in the afternoon. Before each opening of the practice he gathers the staff for prayer.
They pray for each other, for the practice and for the patients. Carter says they even pray for patients directly when they’re helping them recover from this pain and that ailment. However, Carter never forces the matter.
“I don’t push it on people because some aren’t comfortable,” Carter said. “I don’t want to be showy, but I want it to be clear whose practice it is.”
Carter has even noticed patients asking for referrals to other specialists and inquiring whether “they will pray with me before treatment or surgery.” Carter smiled as he explained the power of prayer in his practice and how it’s connected him with a strong network of specialists who uphold their faith as well.
Hiring for a Christian Practice:
Does Carter only staff his practice with Christians? Is it a Christian only zone? By no means does Carter want to exclude people from his staff or community of patients because they don’t agree with his beliefs.
Upon entering the practice it’s difficult to miss the Christian messages and themes as Christian music plays over the sound system and messages of faith fill the walls. People know the mission of the practice as Carter designed it with that intent.
When Carter hires new staff members, he’s genuinely upfront and personal about what he believes and what the practice embraces.
“We don’t search out and say you have to be Christian, I wouldn’t do that. But I tell them in the second interview, ‘look this is really God’s practice and we pray for all of our patients, we pray together everyday as a team and we take prayer requests as a team. I’m not going to require you to pray with us, but you’re more than welcome to.”
It’s an open invitation to join what Carter and his staff members advocate and believe, but it’s not pressure or exclusion from him or the others. Carter is simply honest and open to people making their own decisions.
Work Isn’t Really Work:
Carter joked as he stated that work isn’t work for him. Watching patients improve and heal is the blessing of his work. The fruits of his labor, and staff’s prayer, are evident in the people they serve, making work a worshipful experience for him, he said.
“It’s kind of hard to call it work,” he mentioned. “It’s easy to be joyful through what I do.”