Survivor brings message to Troy

Published 10:06 pm Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Austin Carty, best known for being “the Christian guy” on Survivor: Panama, will bring his message of “Life, Faith and Figuring It All Out” to Troy today.

Carty will speak at 8:29 p.m. at the Claudia Crosby Theater of the campus of Troy University about his book, “High Points and Lows: Life, Faith and Figuring It All Out.” Carty’s book is being positively reviewed by and Barnes and Noble.

The program is an outreach event for the 8:29 College Ministry of First Baptist Church of Troy and the student-led ministry, “Momentum.”

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The public is encouraged to attend.

Bobby Jon Drinkard, who is also an alumnus of the popular television reality show, “Survivor,” is a friend of Carty and said Carty’s book is a funny and irreverent account of his fumbles along the way to finding the courage to be himself.

“I met Austin about four years ago at a Survivor charity event,” Drinkard said. “Austin was on Survivor a season after mine. We are both from the same neck of the woods, and we both love the Lord so we immediately hit it off. We have always kept in touch. When he told me about his Southeast book tour and that he was going to pass through Troy on his way to Atlanta, I just knew we had to get him to make a stop in Troy.”

Carty’s book tour includes 30 cities throughout the Southeast and as far away a California. The book tour began on Jan. 28 and will conclude, for the most part, on March 20.

He was in Jackson, Miss., over the weekend and will be the guest speaker in Fairhope before arriving in Troy tonight.

“I’m a speaker as well as a writer,” Carty said. “I was self-published when I was 21 years old, and between that time and the time Pelican (publisher) picked me up, I had about a million rejection letters for my work.”

Carty said it was by “accident” that he became an inspirational speaker and author.

He was doing a Survivor trade show and he followed his talk with a question and answer session.

“It was surprising that more questions were asked about Jesus than about anything else,” he said. “So, I saw a need and started to speak at churches and to youth groups. Before long, I was speaking at Saddleback Church.”

For Carty, speaking about his faith was almost as natural as breathing.

“I grew up in North Carolina in a Christian family and attended a Christian high school,” he said. “I played soccer at a Christian university. My faith has always been an important part of my life. I read a lot of books on faith and often wished that my faith was as devout – and that I had it as together – as it was talked about in those books.”

However, Carty wanted to read about the doubts, fears and struggles facing those his age. So, once he gained enough life experiences of his own, he felt compelled to write about the pressures and stresses he has encountered.

“In the book, I don’t claim to have all the answers,” he said. “I just relate my own experiences – my struggles, fears and doubts – so that those who are going through similar circumstances can know that they don’t have to go through them alone.”

There is no charge for the event and the public is invited.