Mack Maurice Caldwell, Jr.

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Mack Maurice Caldwell, Jr.

April 11, 1923 - August 24, 2018

Mack Maurice Caldwell, Jr. Mack Maurice Caldwell, Jr. was born April 11, 1923 in Leavenworth, Kansas to Christian educator and pastor parents. As a teenager, Maurice began his lifelong fascination with Hispanic cultures. With a B.A. in 1944 from Missouri Valley College, he taught from 1946 to 1947 at Candler College in Havana, Cuba. He graduated with a B.D. from Drew Theological Seminary in 1948, having majored in Missions and World Religions. While serving as a pastor of the Church of God in Palmerton, Pennsylvania, he was ordained August 11, 1948. Maurice continued additional graduate courses at Princeton and the School of Religious Studies at USC.
Commissioned as a home missionary with the Church of God, Anderson, Indiana, Maurice began serving as a pastor for a Hispanic mission and church in L.A. After initially meeting Dondeena Fleenor while both participated as leaders in an International Youth Convention in Toronto, Canada, he married the love of his life on Dec. 22, 1951 at Park Place Church of God in Anderson, later the Caldwell's beloved home church.
As appointed Church of God missionaries, the Caldwells moved to Saltillo, Mexico in 1954 for 8 years, where they started "La Buena Tierra" seminary school.
Maurice was the editor of a Spanish ministry magazine, "La Trompeta," from 1954 to 1972. When the Caldwells returned to Anderson in 1962, Maurice was appointed director of Church of God Home Missions, working with Hispanic, Native American and African American church leaders and congregations.
In 1949 Maurice had been active in the Interracial Fellowship (which later became the Peace Fellowship) with then Anderson College dean Russell Olt, in race relations and peace and conflict resolution issues, and he became very involved in the Civil Rights movement.
One of the highlights of Maurice's life was meeting with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., first in 1957 in Montgomery, Alabama, following the successful Montgomery bus boycott. Later in 1963, Maurice spent the day with Dr. King, attending services at Ebenezer Baptist Church and being invited into his home and meeting his family in Atlanta, Georgia. Maurice was moved deeply by also participating in the August 28, 1963 "March on Washington," joining the immense crowds and hearing Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech in person. In 1965, when encountering racial opposition to prominent electrician Roosevelt Carter and family who were seeking to move to an exclusive neighborhood in Anderson, Maurice worked with the family and personally conducted the transaction for them, enabling the Carters to be the first African American family to purchase a house in that neighborhood.
In 1967 Maurice and Dondeena moved their family to Mexico City for 3 years of church planting, beginning with small group meetings held in their living room. Responding to a new missions focus, they moved to Brazil in 1970 to start a new seminary school, the "Instituto Boa Terra," to train Brazilian pastors and church leaders for ministry in Portuguese in a primarily German-speaking immigrant church area of southern Brazil.
When the Missionary Board invited Maurice to become the regional director of Latin American missions, the Caldwells moved back to Anderson in December of 1976. Maurice worked for 12 years as the Associate Secretary of the Missionary Board, overseeing Church of God ministries in his beloved Latin America. "Retirement" provided the opportunity for Maurice to become an adjunct Spanish professor at Anderson University where he had formerly served on the Board of Trustees for 15 years. He found great joy in also serving as the Associate Director of Anderson University's international travel service program, "Tri-S," and co-leading with Dondeena a total of 37 international service trips for countless students over two decades.
With a vision for peacemaking becoming more tangible, Maurice and Dondeena launched the Mack and Irene S. Caldwell Peacemaking Fund, named for Maurice's parents, at Anderson University in 1997. Reaching the million-dollar mark in 2009, the fund sponsored the Student Peace Initiative on campus and grew into the Peace and Conflict Transformation (PACT) program with increasing numbers of courses offered through Anderson University.
In 2000, Maurice and Dondeena returned to Belem, Brazil for a year in this port city on the Amazon as septuagenarian mentors to a local church community. For their outstanding lifelong servant leadership and ministry in multiple cultures near and far, both Maurice and Dondeena were awarded Honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees from Anderson University in May of 2003.
In a letter Maurice wrote about his life calling, he felt that ministry meant "sharing the love and grace of God with other persons, near and far away." He was compelled daily to demonstrate the evidence or fruit of the spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23: "LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, GENTLENESS, AND SELF-CONTROL." Maurice Caldwell's family celebrates his life as peacemaker, teacher, pastor, linguist, reconciliation specialist, cultural bridge builder, missionary, administrator, editor, world traveler and wonderfully caring friend to so many both near and far.
Maurice will be greatly missed as the beloved husband to Dondeena for 67 years; gentle gracious father to Tim Caldwell (Dr. Tianchu Shih), Carey Caldwell (Caryn) and Tamara Magers (Michael); and loving grandfather to Anton (Sommer), Kara and Tandra Caldwell, Christina and Addison Magers and Cayla, Calissa and Caleah Caldwell; and great-grandsons Jackson and Liam Caldwell.
In memory of Dr. Maurice Caldwell, memorial contributions may be sent to the Anderson University Caldwell Peacemaking Fund (1100 E. Fifth Street Anderson, IN 46012). A memorial celebration of life service will be taking place on Saturday, October 13th at 3 p.m. at Park Place Church of God, Anderson, Indiana, with pre-service visitation from 2 to 3 p.m.
Published on September 1, 2018
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