Houston pastor honored for 30 years of service

June 10, 2012 8:20:20 PM PDT
Houston Mayor Annise Parker proclaimed Sunday "Pastor Kirbyjon H. Caldwell Day" in recognition of the local reverend's 30 years of service to his church and his community.

Senior Pastor Caldwell is known nationwide for having given the invocation at President George W. Bush's inaugurations and serving as spiritual advisor to several high-profile people, but it is his ministry in Houston that has changed countless lives forever.

For three decades, Caldwell has led the flock at Windsor Village United Methodist Church. He transformed the church from a 25-member congregation into the 17,000-member powerhouse it is today, making it the largest United Methodist Church in the country.

"I never thought 30 [years] would come, and as a matter of fact, it's still soaking in," he said.

He not only preaches the gospel; he also preaches about business. His philosophy: that helping others succeed economically is the obligation of every believer.

"It's truly the hand of God. Only the hand of God could make the impact that Pastor Caldwell has given the vision for the community," church member Denise Coleman said.

Caldwell left a Wall Street job after receiving a call to the ministry, and he took his business background straight to the pulpit.

Under Caldwell's leadership, the church family and the Pyramid Community Development Corp. developed the Power Center -- a 24-acre, 104,000 square foot multi-purpose complex in southwest Houston -- to create jobs and show residents how to generate their own wealth.

"As the members have grown personally and spiritually, the members have also sought to change the community," Caldwell said.

Within the Power Center, his ministry has built two schools, housing, a medical clinic, classrooms for community college students, low-cost office space, a conference center, a bank, and more.

"I'm so thankful that we have been blessed by God to build homes and build business to the Glory of God," Caldwell said.

Also a prolific writer, Caldwell has authored "The Gospel of Good Success: A Road Map to Spiritual, Emotional and Financial Wholeness" and co-authored "Entrepreneurial Faith: Launching Bold Initiatives to Expand God's Kingdom." The books expand on his beliefs that God wants believers to be successful and to put their faith to work in their communities.

"[Caldwell] is there because he is doing something," said Andrew Burks Jr., a Houston city councilmember. "He's not one of those caretaker pastors. He's one that is always growing, involved in community as well as he pays attention to the needs of the community."

The pastor isn't finished yet. He plans to continue creating entrepreneurs using scripture as a compass on the road to success.

"The joy I have inside right now is absolutely indescribable," Caldwell said. "I'm thankful."

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