The Rev. Kelvin Sauls was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. He brings to Holman United Methodist Church years of experience in, and passion for congregational vitalization for community transformation. A bridge-builder for cross-cultural and multi-ethnic congregational development in racially diverse communities, Rev. Sauls is excited about God’s plans and promises that come with his appointment to Holman. In his 16 years of ordained ministry, he has served both local churches and general agencies in the UMC. Prior to his appointment to Holman, he served as Executive Director for New Ministries in the Cal Pac Conference, Assistant General Secretary for Congregational Development & Racial Ethnic Ministries at the General Board of Global Ministries in New York, NY, and Director for Congregational Transformation at the General Board of Discipleship in Nashville, TN. He provided pastoral leadership with small, medium and large congregations in Oakland, CA (Downs UMC), San Francisco, CA (Jones UMC), and Abingdon, VA (Charles Wesley UMC). While doing his graduate studies, he served as Associate Director of the Wesley Community Center in Dayton, OH, and on the Campus Ministry Staff at The University of Dayton.
Rev. Sauls completed his undergraduate studies in religion, political science & sociology at Hiwassee College in Madisonville, TN and Emory & Henry College in Emory VA. His graduate studies include the completion of a Masters of Divinity at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH, and the course work for the Doctor in Ministry at San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, CA. He is currently writing his dissertation in the area of congregational revitalization for community transformation.
Rev. Sauls is an ordained Elder in the California-Pacific Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Throughout the United Methodist connection, he is a mentor, coach and advocate in the areas of transformational spiritual leadership, multi-cultural/ethnic/racial/lingual congregational development, community/economic development, justice ministries for equality & dignity. While Senior Pastor at Downs UMC, he was a catalyst in the creation of the Downs Community Development Corporation (DCDC). The corporation was responsible for the development of the Bishop Roy C. Nichols Senior Housing and various community development initiatives serving all generations. Rev. Sauls’ global ministry through missions, leadership & congregational development include: THE CARRIBBEAN REGION – Haiti, The Bahamas & The Republic of Dominica; THE AFRICAN CONTINENT – South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire (The Ivory Coast), Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Senegal, & Mali; SOUTHEAST ASIA – Cambodia, Laos, Thailand & Vietnam; SOUTHWEST ASIA/THE MIDDLE EAST – Israel/Palestine.
He is involved in various community justice initiatives throughout the United States. He is co‑founder of Black Alliance for Just Immigration (www.blackalliance.org
) and the Priority Africa Network (www.priorityafrica.org
). Rev. Sauls serves on the Board of the Directors at The Koshland Fund (San Francisco Foundation – www.sff.org
), The Faith & Money Network (www.faithandmoneynetwork.org
). Within the United Methodist Church, he currently serves on Board of Directors of National Justice for Our Neighbors (The United Methodist Committee on Relief/UMCOR –www.umcor.org
) and the Convocation of Pastors of Black Churches . Within the Western Jurisdiction, Rev. Sauls serves as Secretary for Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR).
A published writer, poet and percussionist, Rev. Sauls has a prophetic & progressive, restorative & transformative vision of faith communities being holistic multi-cultural/racial/ethnic/lingual centers of wellness, vitality & wholeness. He brings passion & compassion, hope & commitment to partner with lay and pastoral leaders at Holman as a strategist and catalyst in transformative ministries, and the creation of innovative, disciple-growing faith communities to be missional and relevant for “the present age” and to the glory of God.
He is married to Rev. Judi Wortham-Sauls, a gifted preacher, teacher, and retreat leader who is passionate about pastoral care, ministry with women, and quilting. Rev. Judi is an ordained Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.