“If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”-1 Peter 4:11 KJV
Information courtesy of the Howell family
Pastor Emeritus Calvin C. Howell Sr., 88, went home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012 surrounded by his loving family. He was born Aug. 13, 1924, to his parents the late Pearl (Cole) and George Howell in Holly Springs, Miss. He was the last surviving child of 13. He was a U.S. Army Veteran and served in World War II and received an honorable discharge at the rank of sergeant. He later married his childhood love, Magnolia Jeannes on April 6, 1946. They were married for 63 years before her death in 2009. To that union four children were born: Maxine, Calvin Jr., Ernestine and Nancy.
The Rev. Howell had a call on his life to become a preacher at the age of 22. He did not want to answer the call and decided to move north to Michigan, to “avoid” the call. For a short time he worked at General Motors. He later moved his family to Fort Wayne in 1957, where he worked at Mike’s Car Wash and Kunkle Foundry. He served as a deacon at Progressive Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of the late Bishop Jesse White. He finally answered the call to preach and delivered his first sermon around the age of 36 at the New Bethel Baptist Church, under the leadership of the late the Rev. R.C. Davis. Later, he was called to pastor at Community Baptist Church of Fort Wayne; leading that congregation for a short time. He was an active participant during the Civil Rights Movement.
In May 1965, the Rev. Howell was called and elected as the fourth pastor of the Providence Missionary Baptist Church, here in Fort Wayne. He and his wife served faithfully for 41 years until his retirement in 2006. He was honored with the distinguished title Pastor Emeritus during this time. Pastor Howell loved and enjoyed being the Shepherd of Providence. He led the congregation with a quiet strength and his only desire was to “preach the Word” and lead souls to Christ. Through the ups and downs, he was determined to stay faithful and by doing so he touched many lives.
In 1998, he was honored by the Fort Wayne Ministerial Alliance as “Pastor of the Year.” He held various positions within this organization as well. He also served at second moderator and other positions with the Northern Indiana Missionary Baptist Educational District Associations, under the moderator, the late Dr. Samuel Walker Jr.
Pastor Mozell Davis remembers, “Pastor Howell was not only a preacher, he was the preacher’s preacher. He was a great influence in my life. He took me under his wings as a brother and a true friend. He would tell me when I was wrong even though sometimes it would hurt. He would reply, ‘Okay, Bud? you known I’m telling you the truth.'”
Pastor Davis recalled that Pastor Howell often quoted one of his favorite scriptures:
“For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.”
Pastor Davis said he would reply, “I will be ready!”
Mother Polly Taylor, long member of Providence, has many precious memories of Pastor Howell.
“Pastor Howell was a God sent man. He was a man of peace and not confusion. He was a friend and pastor to me? always encouraging me during my darkest hour to keep praying and to stay in the church,” said Mother Taylor.
Pastor Howell was truly a country man at heart, not being impressed with the “flashiness” of material things and “city life.” He was a man of many interests, including enjoyed playing, watching baseball (the Chicago Cubs were his favorite team), and was an avid gardener. He also enjoyed fishing, hunting, other recreational activities and watching westerns. He was a devoted family man, a provider and spiritual leader for his family.
Surviving are his devoted daughters, Maxine Files, Ernestine (Clark) Hamilton and Nancy Smiley; daughter-in-law, Jean Howell all of Fort Wayne; 14 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; one great-great grandchild; and a host of other family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his son, Calvin Howell Jr.; parents, George and Pearl Howell Sr.
A Homegoing Service was held Saturday, Dec. 8 at Providence Missionary Baptist Church with burial in Lindenwood Cemetery.
Arrangements were by Carmichael Funeral Services.