Summertime Stories, feat. the lovely Carla Sewell Bluitt!

Carla Bluitt moved to Greensboro from Maryland in 2007. Her enjoyment of networking has been key to her success in the Triad, as she and her family moved here knowing no one. It wasn’t long before she went to a local church’s vendor networking event and found herself right next to Julius Koonce’s IT company’s table. After having trouble with their computer, Carla and her husband, Leonard, became Julius’ customers and later developed a strong friendship with Pastor Julius and his wife Tammy. When Julius became the Executive Director of Christians in the Marketplace, Carla didn’t hesitate to get involved. She was a conference workshop speaker for two years, then joined the advisory board, and in 2017 Carla was asked to lead the Monday morning prayer group.

Carla grew up in a pentecostal church in Baltimore, Maryland, where the pastor was Caucasian and the congregation was primarily African-American. It was there that she really learned to embrace diversity and watched her parents serve wholeheartedly in evangelism and counseling ministries. Her parents later started their own church, New Solid Rock Fellowship Church, where she and Leonard are both currently enrolled in the ministerial training program. In addition to working with CIMP, Carla has served as a BSF group leader and is active with a local women’s prayer fellowship. A central part of Carla’s Christian testimony is that she grew up in the church, but she didn’t fully surrender to Jesus Christ until after graduating from Howard University.

Carla and Leonard both received their MBA degrees from Howard University for graduate school. They met as undergrads, Carla at Towson, in Maryland and Leonard at Bloomberg, in Pennsylvania. Their relationship began as a friendship, and for a long time Leonard would jokingly ask how he could get into the family. What happened next? Well, you guessed it… they ended up getting married!

The Bluitts have 4 children: Brendi (22), who is working on Master’s in Communication Studies; Bethany (20), who is finishing her bachelor’s degree in Animal Science at NC State this fall; Braeden (18), who just graduated from Northern Guilford High School and going to UNC Charlotte to study Mechanical Engineering; and Benjamin (16), who is going to be a junior at Northern Guilford. They are grateful that Carla was able to be a stay at home mother during their children’s younger years.

In 1999, in between changing diapers and feedings, Carla started a marketing firm called Unique Marketing Tools, offering graphic design services and custom printed promotional products. The company has since been rebranded as BluPrint Promos and is exclusively online.

In 2007, Leonard Bluitt was working for a risk management headquartered in NC which is what initially brought them to the Greensboro area. Years later, he ended up purchasing two Allstate agencies and merging them into one location in the Winston Salem area, and Carla obtained her life and health insurance sales licenses to assist in the office when needed. Carla clearly demonstrates her belief that work is a huge part of our worship, and she tells people regularly that going into your job with that mentality equips you to stand firm when trials come.

One of the most pertinent trials the Bluitts have faced began when their oldest daughter Brendi was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Brendi was treated at Brenner Children’s Hospital and has been cancer free for several years! Knowing that God had and still has them in the palm of His hands was what carried Carla, Leonard, and their kids through that journey.

Now that her kids aren’t “kids” anymore, Carla works full-time in the area of business development for a local company. She shared that she has a young co-worker, who is also a believer, and whom she mentors. They have been able to pray with each other and discuss spiritual things during the workday. Carla said their lifestyle choices are noticeably “different” from some of their colleagues which often gives them an opportunity to share their faith. She made it clear how important it is to “keep our ears open for opportunities to share Christ because they’re everywhere”.

One of Carla’s guiding principles in life is to rely on Proverbs 3:5, which says that we can “Trust in the Lord with all (our) heart and lean not on (our) own understanding; in all (our ways submit to him, and he will make (our) paths straight.” What a joy it is to work and serve Jesus Christ alongside Carla Bluitt! 😄

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