"Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works
and glorify your Father which is in heaven." ~ Matthew 5:16
Dr. James Earl Caldwell’s favorite scripture, above, was the foundation of his career and track record of accomplishments as an innovative and effective Community Leader and Builder. He was equally exacting, persistent, focused, and efficient.
James was born June 26, 1951 in Newberry County, Pomaria, South Carolina to Vera Mae Caldwell and Robert H. Caldwell, also of Pomaria. He was a product of the New York public school system, and attended New York Community College. He served dutifully in the United States Army stateside and overseas in Germany, completing a 6-year tour of duty, and was discharged with honor.
James currently served as President of the 77th Precinct Community Council, Inc. Over the past 17 years under his leadership, the 77th Precinct Community Council evolved into one of the most, if not the most, productive and engaged precinct councils in the City. His tenure as President afforded him the opportunity to meet and form working relationships with pastors, legislators, business owners, local professionals, and hundreds of residents. Being an advocate and spokesperson for community residents is what drove James and his commitment to the community.
He also served as the Board Chairperson for the North Crown Heights Family Outreach Center (NCHFOC), illustrating his commitment to family preservation and helping people conquer the challenges of alcohol and drug addiction. While his military background and extensive work with the Police Department reflected his values of law and order, his compassion and understanding for complex factors that fuel despair, disillusionment, alienation and the need to escape reality among people, especially those who have been oppressed and marginalized by our society, helped him lead in this position.
James, in addition, was President of the Brooklyn House Community Relations Board. Brooklyn House serves as a halfway house to assist males and females recently released from prison, to integrate back into society. In his words, “No matter the reason why a person serves time, once they are released, they often need support and hope that can guide them towards their goal of being productive citizens.”
James also served as President and CEO of Brooklyn United for Innovative Local Development (BUILD) for 9 years. Many residents received jobs and training through BUILD Programs. Because of the community support and work of James, we now have Barclays Center where many Brooklynites are employed.
In 1994, James served as Chairperson of the Ryerson Street Veterans Committee which successfully stopped the loss of vital services to over 3,000 Black and Latino Veterans in Downtown Brooklyn. James’ advocacy strategy included chartering buses to Washington, D.C. so that Veterans could bring the matter to Secretary Jesse Brown. The Veteran Outpatient Clinic is located at 40 Flatbush Avenue Extension.
James attributes his ability to be involved successfully with so many community activities to his late wife and friend, Shirley, to whom his recent Honorary Doctorate Degree in Humanities, conferred by the Anointed by God Ministries, is dedicated, and who has always believed in his efforts to serve others.
We thank God for the time he gave us with James. He will forever be in our hearts.
James is preceded in death by his father Robert H. Caldwell; his grandfather Jimmy Caldwell, his grandmother Bernice Williams Caldwell, his loving Aunt Beatrice Williams King and Uncle Isiah King. He leaves to cherish his memory, his mother Vera Caldwell (Brooklyn, New York), his brother Larry Doby Caldwell (Pomaria, South Carolina) his sister Valerie Caldwell (Woodhaven, New York), his loving aunt Barbara Jean Suber (Pomaria/Columbia, South Carolina); cousins near and dear to him: Isiac King, Jr., Curtis Bernard Suber, and John Kenneth Lane (all of Pomaria, South Carolina), Stanley Williams (Harlem, New York), and many, many more; and several close friends in the New York City Police Department.
The family of the late James Earl Caldwell wishes to acknowledge, with sincere appreciation the many prayers, comforting messages, floral tributes and other expressions of kindness and concern evidenced at this time in thought and deed. A more personal acknowledgment will be made at a later date.
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge will award to me on that day -- and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” ~ II Timothy 4:7-8
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