The Rev. Andrew Carpenter, a man of deep faith and moral convictions, became rector of Llanview's St. James Church in 1991. His father, retired General Sloan Carpenter, came to Llanview in 1992 and fell in love with Viki Lord Buchanan while researching a book about her father Victor Lord’s life. General Carpenter, who had been diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, wanted to mend fences with his estranged son. Andrew used this time alone with Sloan to try to make him face the truth about his other son, Andrew's gay brother William, who had died of AIDS several years earlier.
Andrew befriended Viki’s daughter Megan Gordon, whose husband Jake was being unjustly held in a Middle East prison. Megan, who suffered from a deadly case of lupus, instantly appreciated Andrew's wisdom and advice, and they shared a deep friendship. Andrew went to the Middle East to find Jake, shooting and killing the evil military leader who was holding Jack captive. Though he loved Megan as more than a friend, he stepped aside to give Jake a final goodbye with his wife before her tragic death.
Andrew became an innocent victim of homophobia when he befriended a troubled teenage boy, Billy Douglas, who came to Andrew for counseling. Troublemaker Marty Saybrooke started a rumor that Andrew was a homosexual -- and was making advances on Billy. As the ugly rumor spread throughout the town, Andrew was urged to quell the growing hatred by proclaiming his heterosexuality. Proudly defiant, Andrew refused, arguing that one's sexual preference was not a matter of public knowledge. Eventually, Marty's charges were refuted. When Andrew arranged for the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt to come to Llanview, he met with resistance from some angry parish members and his father, Sloan, who objected to Andrew's desire to add his brother William's name to the quilt. Through impassioned reasoning, Andrew was able to win over his father, and he helped to turn Llanview from a community of fear and hatred into one of tolerance and acceptance.
Cassie Callison stood by her boyfriend, Andrew throughout the homophobia ordeal and they were married in January, 1993. After Cassie suffered a miscarriage, the Carpenters adopted a child, William "River," who was abandoned on Christmas Eve, 1993 by his natural mother. Beth Garvey. When Beth changed her mind and claimed the child, a distraught Cassie suffered a nervous breakdown and bitterly rejected Andrew. For comfort, he turned to Marty Saybrooke and soon was overwhelmed by sexual feelings for her. Andrew nearly betrayed his marriage vows, but Marty's strength and reasoning prevented the couple from acting upon their feelings. When Beth Garvey died of a killer virus in the summer of 1994, River was returned to Cassie and Andrew. Andrew was dealt a sad blow when his father, Sloan, died of Hodgkin's Disease early in 1995.
In the spring of 1997, Cassie and Andrew's marriage broke up after Cassie confirmed her husband's suspicions that she was having an affair with her fellow newspaper reporter, Kevin Buchanan. Even though Cassie and Andrew divorced, they tried to remain friends for the sake of their son, River.
Andrew came to Cassie's aid when, after a tragic accident, Cassie began to lose touch with reality and had to be sent to a psychiatric hospital in Switzerland.
Andrew returned to the scene when Todd Manning and Blair Cramer were to be married in November 2001. Blair spilled the truth that her "dead" baby was Todd's, the baby which, unknown to her, Todd had actually given away! Todd returned with the baby, saying it was "an adopted child." Andrew performed their real ceremony and also baby Jack's christening.
Andrew remained in the background for years, but resurfaced in late 2008 after Marty Saybrooke was discovered alive after being declared dead a year earlier. Marty had lost her memory and was taken advantage of by Todd Manning, the man who had raped her back in college. Andrew shared with Marty their complicated history and told Marty she had emerged stronger than ever from her ordeals, but Marty soon relapsed into her former party girl lifestyle. In November 2009, Andrew officiated at a mass gay wedding that had been orchestrated by gay rights advocates who were campaigning on behalf of mayoral candidate Dorian Lord, Andrew’s former mother-in-law, who herself married a woman in an ill-advised effort to secure the gay vote. In early 2010, Andrew accompanied Cassie to Dorian’s home to share the sad news that Dorian’s sister Melinda had died, seemingly of natural causes.