Meet the Old South Staff


Quinn G. Caldwell, Associate Minister

On Sunday, August 28, 2005 called Quinn Caldwell, as Old South's Associate Minister.

It is the joy and privilege of the Associate Minister Search Committee to introduce to Old South one of the most gifted and exciting young ministers in the United Church of Christ and recommend him to the membership as our new Associate Minister.



Cornell University, Ithaca NY   Bachelor of Science w/ Distinction
Natural Resources (major), 1999
Union Theological Seminary, NYC NY  Master of Divinity, 2003

Ministerial Training and Credentials
Ordained into the UCC    October 2003
Chaplain Intern, Beth Israel Hospital NYC NY Clinical Pastoral Education, 2003

Recent Employment History
Pastoral Resident, Wellesley Congregational Church   August 2003 –  June 2005
Quinn served for two years in this unique training program modeled on the medical residency programs in which future medical doctors must participate. Paid for by a grant from the Lily Endowment, Quinn was tutored in the practice of ministry under the guidance of one of the most respected ministers in the United Church of Christ, Martin Copenhaver, Senior Minister of the 1000+ member Village Church (UCC) in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

During his two years there Quinn led a mission trip with Charles Street AME Church (Roxbury) to Ecuador; helped plan and launch a contemporary worship service; introduced and led Our Whole Lives/Sexuality and Our Faith curricula for 7-9th grades; helped launch the workshop rotation model in church school; introduced a monthly communion service for residents of a retirement community; added a mentoring component to the church’s confirmation program; helped the congregation to engage in direct-action campaigns around contemporary issues.

Administrative Assistant, CrossCurrents, NYC NY  2000 – 2003
In partnership with clergy and laity, planned and led programs and worship services for grassroots interfaith (predominantly Jewish-Christian) family network. Aided in editing and production of quarterly, scholarly religious journal.

Seminary Intern, Presbyterian Welcome, NYC NY  2001 – 2002
Worked as a community organizer with the local chapter of a national organization advocating for removal of provisions in the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s Book of Order that effectively bars gay and lesbian persons from ordination.

Community and Civic Activities
Volunteer at World Trade Center site (NYC) September 2001; US Peace Corps Volunteer in Bolivia; former full-time volunteer for the Finger Lakes Land Trust, Ithaca NY; Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America; Precinct Partner for Move On PAC; contributing member of National Resources Defense Council, Nature Conservancy, National Wildlife Federation, World Wildlife Fund and Sierra Club.

Urban Ministry     Quinn is experienced in urban ministry, both from his years in New York City and through his ministry in association with the Historic Charles Street AME Church in Roxbury.

Ecumenical Activities     Monthly meetings for worship and reflection with pastoral residents of Charles Street AME Church in Roxbury and Wellesley Village Church; served on Development Committee for Roxbury Renaissance Center; planned UCC/UUA joint teacher training for Our Whole Lives program; worked with Jewish and Christian families in an Interfaith Community.

Special interests and hobbies   Quinn has a passion for the natural environment and its care. He enjoys camping, hiking and kayaking. He is an avid and eclectic reader.

Personal Quinn shares his life and home with his partner Terry Howell.  Terry has an animal science background, and is currently a scientist working in biotechnology.  They share their home with two dogs and a cat.

Q & A from the floor of the Congregational meeting as recorded in the minutes:

Q:  Describe one or two things that inspire you in breaking open the Word of God for preaching.
A:  The most fun, Quinn finds, is delving into an old, musty, archaic language about weird times and weird places.  He reads the text several times, studies, and talks with friends and colleagues.  Especially in the conversations, he becomes excited about the text.  Then, he jokingly added, there is always

Q:  What do you feel called to do at Old South that was different from your ministry in Wellesley?
A:  Quinn noted that he had trained for urban ministry at Union.  He felt that Old South was poised to be involved in the life of the city, in issues of economic disparity and racial problems.

Q:  Compare your call to ministry to the call of Moses, as discussed in this morning’s sermon.
A:  Both calls, Quinn said, came out of nowhere, but he experienced no theophany.  Studying environmental science on the path to becoming an environmental lawyer, Quinn reported the repeated conviction that he should become a minister.

Q:  Does your earlier study of environmental science inform your understanding of social justice?
A:  Yes.  Quinn noted the correlation between racism and environmental issues, with dumps and bus garages located in poor communities of color.  He added that the non-human world deserved justice.

Q:  What is the greatest challenge you foresee in a church as diverse as Old South?
A:  Quinn replied that whenever one reached out to different people across the borders of our lives there was a chance that God might surprise us by doing something new.

Q:  Please comment on the declining membership and financial difficulties of mainline denominations.
A:  Quinn replied jokingly that if hired, he would fix these problems.  More seriously, he added that something new was called for.  As people looked for confirmation that the spirit of God was alive, they might find it reflected in our welcome.  Quinn noted that some pentacostal and charismatic churches had grown.  He said that church finances were closely related, quoting that where your treasure is stored, there your heart will be also.

Q:    How do we pull more members in from the city?
A:  Citing the Marathon banners hung from the tower, Quinn said our corner offered opportunities to invite city dwellers to participate in the Gospel’s call, noting the special challenge of reaching city dwellers of his own generation.

Q:  Please give an example of a person, other than your parents, who helped you to grow.
A:  Quinn acknowledged that there had been many, but cited the pastor of his home church, who had proclaimed Christ’s gospel amidst contention, affirmed Quinn’s calling to ministry, and shepherded him through the In Care process.

Several members expressed their thanks to the Associate Minister Search Committee and their anticipation of Quinn’s ministry among us.  Jeff Makholm read the Terms of Call, approved that morning by the church Council, subject to the Membership voting the call.

Moved, Seconded, and Voted that the Members of Old South Church in Boston approve the unanimous recommendation of the Associate Minister Search Committee to call the Reverend Quinn Caldwell as our Associate Minister, effective September 1, 2005.  (Unanimous.  One affirmative vote by proxy was received.)

 The Reverend Quinn Caldwell was welcomed by a standing ovation.  He introduced his partner, Terry Howell, and closed the meeting with prayer.

      Respectfully submitted,

      Lawrence R. Bowers, Clerk

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