McKinstry was present on September 15, 1963, at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham when white racists bombed the church. Carolyn’s four young friends were killed.
As a teenager, she felt her “calling” by attending the mass meetings and rallies at the 16th Street Baptist Church. She was among thousands of students hosed by firemen during the 1963 marches.
McKinstry survived a second bomb explosion that destroyed a large portion of her home in 1964. An “authentic child of the movement,” Carolyn believes that God spared her life on September 15, 1963, so that she could continue to live in service to others.
She is now a citizen of the world, and an ordained itinerant messenger of the gospel.