A Dozen Years On, Departing Pastor Sees Jericho’s “Glorious Result”
Sometimes it’s good to acknowledge the fact that we can be wrong! I well remember arriving in Danbury nearly 12 years ago and meeting up with Bill Beattie to discuss some of the work that was going on with Pathways Danbury. He shared the dreams he had for a future Jericho and explained the ministry that was going on with mentoring teenage guys within the local Danbury community. I famously uttered the words, “This sounds great … but it will never work!”
You see, Bill and I have something in common. He originated on the streets of Philadelphia, and I originated on the streets of London. In other words, we were both city kids. My experience said that mentoring in the way that he was describing it would never work. Bill knew in his heart that it would.
History has certainly proved him to be correct. It’s also proved him right on a number of other things. You have only to look at the ministry on Spring Street, the work going on among the homeless through Good Samaritan Mission, the local churches becoming more socially active, the exciting growth of The Academy providing education for those for whom that would have been such a challenge, the work of the Samaritan Health Center, the way Hopeline, Young Life, Athletes of Christ, Amos House and Bethany Christian Services have each served the community, and then of course Pathways Danbury and Naomi, the mentoring counterpart for girls. It’s incredible to see what God has done.
Just from one little acorn, a mighty oak can grow. And, oh, how that has happened in Danbury! Was it through just one man? Of course it wasn’t. It was through so many people, so many churches, all those volunteers — and at the heart of it some people who committed their lives to seeing God do the impossible. The Jericho Partnership has been the glorious result.
One of my great disappointments about leaving this area is going to be the danger of losing touch with one of the most exciting Christian ministries in the U.S. today.
After more than 11 years as Senior Pastor at Walnut Hill Community Church in Bethel, Rev. Dr. Clive Calver is moving on, relocating to North Carolina and going back to global ministry work through World Relief and other organizations.