Doug Carragher was born on September 19, 1961 in Putnam, Ct. He was the second son and the fifth child of Mr. and Mrs. Francis W. Carragher. He was raised as a Roman Catholic and was sprinkle baptized as a baby. His first communion was at age seven and then at the age of twelve was confirmed into the faith. At the age of seventeen he joined the United States Army and was then married on October 8, 1983, to Miss Deborah Andrews. Even though they were raised Roman Catholic, Doug and Debbie moved from one ecumenical faith to another and yet still felt like something was missing in their lives. So on December 24, 1986, Debbie advised him to go and speak to the local priest about the overwhelming emptiness. That night Doug walked the two blocks from his home to the Catholic Church and after knocking on the parsonage door, a woman finally answered. After Doug requested to speak to the priest, she said,”Do you know what day it is?” After some discussion, she simply stated that she would try to get him in next week. Right then he decided that he would never step foot in a Catholic Church again.
For seven more years he struggled to fill the void that was in his heart. In June 1993, he reported to the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy. While he was there, they paired him with a Ranger Buddy named Willie Vernon Watson. Willie was different from the rest of his fellow students because he was always smiling and relying on the Lord to take him through life and not on his own strength. On October 14, 1993, Doug asked Willie what made him so different from everyone else. He then answered as he always had many times before, “If I died right now, I would go to Heaven!” These words resonated in Doug’s mind as he tried to get some sleep that evening. The next morning he reported with Willie to take an Army Physical Fitness Test. Willie failed his push-ups and was complaining of weakness. After their run, Willie died right there in Doug’s arms. That same day through the testimony of an Independent Baptist Chaplain, Doug came to accept the Lord as his personal Savior. No one had ever told him that he could know for sure that he was going to Heaven. This chaplain showed him I John 5:13 and then led him through Romans 3:10, 6:23, 5:8, and 10:9,10. After Doug made a profession of faith, the chaplain advised him to visit with the Independent Baptist Pastor Bob Stewart of Hill Crest Baptist Church.