Rev. Jevon Caldwell-Gross
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The Rev. Jevon Caldwell-Gross is the Senior Pastor of The Mark Montclair: St. Mark’s United Methodist Church located on the corner of Elm St. and Fulton. He is a native of Detroit, Michigan and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kalamazoo College, a Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and is in the process of completing a Doctorate of Ministry in Transformational Leadership from Wesley Theological Seminary. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees at Kalamazoo College and contributes directly to policies and procedures there by serving on the Academic Affairs and Advancement committees. Serving in this academic leadership capacity at his alma mater as it increases its enrollment, diversity and endowment has been invaluable experience in leadership and change management.Prior to moving to Montclair, Pastor Caldwell-Gross and his family resided in Atlantic City. It was there that his love and talent for community organizing was cultivated and displayed. Not willing to limit his leadership to just the congregation he established the first Freedom School in Atlantic County. This innovative literacy initiative was successful in serving 70 young scholars in a holistic effort to build the next generation of leaders through education, social action, and community awareness. This mission was led by his deep seated conviction that "We often spend so much time teaching kids what to learn, but rarely do we help them develop a love of learning."
The great success of Freedom School led to the founding of Seeds of Hope, a Community Development Corporation that provided a safe community space that included expansive urban gardening, a community amphitheater and a playground. This was a communal effort that brought together many facets of the surrounding religious, educational, business and political community to achieve a common goal. At the groundbreaking celebration, the community garden was a sign to the entire community of what was possible when people work together.
Rev. Caldwell-Gross' leadership further extended to residents of the community as the city reeled from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Along with a coalition of other community leaders, Rev. Caldwell-Gross led a concerted effort to help initiate a nonprofit organization that rebuilt homes and stabilized the displaced.
Throughout his work as a pastor and community developer, Rev. Caldwell-Gross is guided by the belief that any and every community is stronger when every voice is heard and valued. "The challenge for humanity is not a deficiency of resources, but a depletion of love and understanding. We will always be stronger together than apart."
His life is further enriched by his marriage to Nicole Caldwell-Gross as they delight in their two beautiful children: Joshua Alexander and Olivia Grace.