On Saturday the 8th of November about 600 people flowed to the newly refurbished Grand Station Conference and Events Venue, that is known to many in attending as Wolverhampton (Low Level) Station when they came to Wolverhampton from the Island of Jamaica and beyond.
Its refurbishment was very fitting for one of Wolverhampton spiritual gems in the community as well as one of the original building blocks for the Church of God of Prophecy UK.
Apart from being a much-respected community leaders and minister to so many over the years. Many who know Bishop McCalla will know him for his very charismatic dress sense of African gowns, but more for his love of early American dress style of very loud colours at times but very stylish suits, and shoes, ties. Shirts and hats.
In addition, with his recent accident, he can know be seen with a complimentary cane. Therefore, it was no surprise when Bishop McCalla turned up for his Birthday Celebration dressed the way he did.
Bishop McCalla was born in Bois Content, St Katherine and he represents that generation of Jamaican, that was born in Jamaica that was taught Gods words from infancy, for that reason Bishop McCalla gave his heart and soul to God when he was just 16 years of age.
And by 17 his ministry started with one of his first responsibility as a youth leader and teaching the young ones who came to church. Bishop McCalla first spiritual mentor was Mrs Blesilda Douglas who was the senior minister at the Bible Church of God, before it came under the now known, Church of God of Prophecy.
In coming to England as a young man, it was not long before he established himself as a Pastor, and being given the opportunity to be the Senior Pastor at Red Cross Street in 1963, Wolverhampton.
Under his leadership, the church grew from 27 to 108 members and in 1965, they purchased the Methodist Chapel on Waterloo Road, Wolverhampton.
Bishop McCalla ministry has taken him to Aberdeen Street, Birmingham as well as fulfilling various roles for Church of God of Prophecy, but his greatest joy must be, being an active Minister in Africa, and watching the seeds he helped to plant to be what it is today.
In 2008, Reverend Bishop Theophlilus Augustus McCalla was awarded in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, by being made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) for his outstanding service to the community and his contributions to the field of social housing. Including his years of leadership ministry within the church; locally, nationally, and internationally.
With all of his Ministry Bishop McCalla was blessed with a large family of children and a very loyal Wife, Mrs Jerona Phyllisia McCalla who has stood by him, and allowed him to continue his ministry for these many years, so it was sad to see that she could not share in this happy and a milestone for Bishop McCalla, since she is currently unwell as we speak.
The evening was hosted by Mr Earl Lynch a motivational speaker, professional trainer and developer of people in his own right, who guided the evening with various speeches including one from Bishop Wilton R Powell, OBE and COGOP National Overseer for the UK and France.
Including some fundraising for one of Bishop McCalla African charity projects. In addition, he also made sure everyone in attending, was fed a three-course Caribbean meal, with personal service for each table.
During the evening of entertainment, music was delivered by some very fine voices, along with background music for much of the evening by members of the COGOP musical professional live band as well as a Saxophonist who played much of the night.
However, for me the highlight of the night was listening to the Angelic voices of Bishop McCalla 20 plus Grand Children, singing in his honour.
The evening finished off with some personal words from his children and a cutting of a well-decorated cake, for which I am still waiting to taste some of it. As we concluded the night Bishop McCalla was given the floor for the last words of the night, where he thanked those involved that made such a lovely evening possible, and as the man that he is, he gave some thought to his very loyal wife, who was too ill to attended his 80th Birthday Celebration.
On reflection, you will not see many Birthday Celebration on the grand scale we all was so previlege to experience since not many Kings and Queen's will have such a gathering at such an outstanding venue.
Apart from thanking Angela Denton for being there as always for me, I would like to give a special shout out to Mr Nelson Douglas, one of the West Midlands best known Documentary Photographers, for helping me out on the night, since in his own right he has done a few documentary assignments for Gloucester Street Church, Wolverhampton as well.
(Not all information was at my fingertips when I wrote this blog, so in the future, there will be some additional information added for historical purposes)
Please view the gallery and musical slideshow of images taken on the night....
The Church of God of Prophecy (UK)
The Church of God of Prophecy (UK) is a Christian Fellowship in the Pentecostal and Evangelical traditions, originating in the USA over a hundred years ago. Once established in the UK with thirteen members in Bedford in 1953, the Church was given impetus by the migration into the UK of thousands of Caribbean people during the 1950s and 1960s.
Today we are one the largest Black-majority congregations in the UK, with a presence in most major towns and cities and a growing multi-cultural membership.
GRAND STATION - CONFERENCE & EVENTS VENUE WOLVERHAMPTON
For further reference to the historical background of Wolverhampton (Low Level), station please check out some of the following links from...