“Is this real?”
That was the question Rev. Kelvin Walker repeatedly asked God. It sounded a lot like Moses’s, “Who me?”
But the surreal became reality when Rev. Walker, lead pastor of Bedford Community Church in Bedford Hills, NY was officially named the C&MA Metro District Superintendent-elect this month. It was a milestone for the denomination: He is the first African American to hold this position in a region and in the C&MA.
Not surprisingly, in Kelvin’s swirl of disbelief, it was his wife Doni, the mother of their six children, who could see the natural progression leading up to the appointment. Without question, his resume displays all the appropriate credentials. He’s an alumnus with a Nyack College bachelor’s degree in music, an Alliance Theological Seminary (ATS) master’s degree of professional studies, and a doctoral candidate in the ATS D.Min program, which he hopes to complete this December. Licensed as a C&MA worker since 1988, Kelvin has served as the Nyack College campus pastor, an adjunct professor and ATS chapel service coordinator. As he winds up his pastoral role at Bedford Community Church, he is currently president of the Association of African-American Pastors, Consecrated Women, and Licensed Workers of the C&MA; a member of the C&MA Board of Directors; and a member of the C&MA President’s Cabinet.
“Are You in this?”
This was another question Kelvin had for God. He shares that prior to the Metro District Conference when candidates could be nominated, God’s silence was deafening. Eventually, he heard, “I only want your ‘yes,’ no matter what the outcome will be.” The outcome: His name was the only name submitted.
As he prays through initiatives for his district, a key element of Kelvin’s vision is what he calls, “Kingdom collaboration.” He explains that he wants “to see the Metro District being present at the table to be a part of a movement with partnering organizations, to bring what only we can bring and that someone else cannot.” Within the approximately 120 churches in the Metro District, he is aware that so many of these pastors already think collaboratively. He adds, “I’m really excited to lead a group of churches that are spirit-filled, Bible-preaching, renewal-seeking, healing-believing, risk-takers for the Kingdom.”
Already at an advantage with like-minded colleagues for any team effort, the new DS says enrolling in the ATS Doctor of Ministry program could not have occurred at a better time. He describes the experience as “transformational.” With each course he took—on topics like soul care, analyzing leadership failures, mentoring leaders and others that connected the Kingdom to all pillars of society—he says, “My soul expanded.”
Graciously crediting his alma mater, Kelvin says, “I’m thankful for Nyack and ATS’s investment in me and I look forward to the Metro District investing in Nyack/ATS.”
Photo credit: Stephanie Reindel