The first Australian General, Carpenter was born in 1872. He worked variously in property, training, editorial and administrative work in Australia and the United Kingdom.
What was discreetly described as "a conflict of loyalties", in honest criticism to Bramwell, resulted in his re-appointment to Australia to take up the editorial work (from 1927-1933) he had left two decades earlier. His humility and faithful service during that time stand out as hallmarks of his character and leadership.
Aged 67, Carpenter was elected General on 24 August 1939 by 35 of 49 votes.He assumed command on 1 November. It was Carpenter's weighty responsibility to encourage Salvationists as they entered the Second World War, both as combatants and non-combatants.
Carpenter retired in 1946 and died in 1948, aged 76.