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Posted: November 6, 2009 12:00 a.m.

Walking with integrity

The Rev. Chad Caldwell at Journey Church helps worshippers connect with God

Photo by Brittany Thomas/

Don't stop believing: The Rev. Chad Caldwell, right, with his wife, Lori. Together they run the ministry at Journey Church, where they constantly try to find ways for themselves and others to find a deeper connection with God.

The Rev. Chad Caldwell, senior pastor of Journey Church, has a sense of urgency to build God's kingdom. 2008 proved to be a difficult year with the loss of his brother, Jeff, who died in a car accident in March and in the transition and restructure of the church, formerly known as Passion Community Church.

"I look for a lesson in everything that touches my life," said Caldwell. "Secondly, we have to make every minute count. My brother had accepted Christ and was baptized eight months prior to the accident. God gave Jeff an opportunity and he took it. God knew that Jeff's time was coming up. He needed to do some things in his life to change and to draw closer to God and he did those things. We need to take those opportunities because we are not promised tomorrow."

Caldwell moved from Covington, Ky., at age 6. He graduated from Newton County High School in 1996 and earned a degree in Biblical Studies and a minor in preaching from Atlanta Christian College in 2003. Caldwell interned at Eastridge Community Church and served as pastor of missions until November, 2005.

Caldwell married Lori Marie Bailey in 2002. They have two children, Ethan and Emma. He describes his wife and ministry partner as a great gift - an administrator, organized and compassionate.

He served as youth pastor at Passion from August 2006, until he assumed duties as senior pastor in November 2008. His ministry team consists of lay minister Keith Davis and wife Kaylee who leads worship; Andy Butts, children's ministry; Kathy Porter and Cassandra Butts, co-chairs of the missions committee; and Amy Mitchell who heads up women's ministry.

Caldwell named three people who have mentored him and kept him accountable - his mother Janet Caldwell, the Rev. Scott Moore and the Rev. Foster Warnock who opens his home each morning to Caldwell for discussion and prayer.

"Chad is a great example of a pastor who loves the mission Jesus gave the church," said Moore. "He desires to see all Christians live the life Jesus modeled... loving God and loving his/ her neighbor. He also desires to see all people know Christ as Savior. I love his sincerity and his passion for God, his word and this community. Chad walks with integrity."

Journey Church is a Christ-centered community church that focuses on connecting, growing, serving and reaching others for Christ. Caldwell took inspiration for Journey's motto from the book "Simple Church: Returning to God's Process for Making Disciples" by Thom S. Rainer and Eric Geiger.

"We all need to connect with God, grow as disciples, serve and reach out to others," said Caldwell. "It really resonated with me. We try to live life together because we are all on a journey. We are to rally around and support each other as a family."

Journey accepts people from all walks of life and backgrounds. It is a casual environment that feels like an extension of your living room. Their "come as you are" attitude makes Journey the perfect place for people who simply want to connect to a Living God in a relevant way.

Journey is service oriented. They support Willing Helpers Food Bank and had a successful canned food drive in October. In November and December, funds will be collected for the giving tree to help a needy family. The day after Christmas, members will be at local dumps helping people with their trash.
Caldwell hopes churches will combine their resources for families who are struggling financially.

"Let's work together and put our personal preferences aside and focus on what unifies us and that is the cross of Christ," he said.

For those looking for a home church, Caldwell extends this invitation, "If your life isn't perfect, if you have things that you struggle with, come to Journey. God is working things out within us constantly. We are a group of real people who want to follow Christ and to build God's kingdom. I guarantee you will be loved if you come here."

Morning worship is at 11 a.m. followed by midweek prayer services on the first and third Wednesday. Journey Church is located at 1150 Monticello Street in Covington. For more information, visit www.lifejourneytogether.org or call (770) 783-2220.


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