JAMAICA, NY — Rev. Dr. Calvin Rice, a native of Union County and a graduate of Sims High School is being elevated to the Episcopal office of Bishop in the Berean Fellowship of Churches headquartered in Columbus, Ohio on April 6, 2018 at 6:30 p.m. The ceremony will be held at the New Jerusalem Worship Center located at 122-05 Smith Street, Jamaica, N.Y., where he has served for the last 13 years.
Before going to New Jerusalem, Dr. Rice served for 20 years as Senior Pastor of the First Central Baptist Church (FCBC) of Staten Island where he grew FCBC from 35 to more than 2,000 members. He also founded the First Central Housing Development Corporation (FCHDC) which restored two residential buildings and converted an abandon supermarket into a 15,000 square feet family life community center. In addition he served as the Executive Director of Staten Island Communities United, a not-for-profit charged with distributing $2.5 million in funding to five communities on the North Shore under a NYS Family Preservation grant.
During his tenure in Queens, Dr. Rice has successfully led the effort to complete a nine million dollar construction project on the church. In addition to completing the church building project which doubled the size of the facility, the membership and attendance has increase by 40 percent.
Dr. Rice also founded and serves as the CEO of the Rochdale Early Advantage Charter School, a Pre K- Grade 5 a publicly funded education institution housed in the lower level and administration wing of the New Jerusalem Worship Center complex. The school which opened in 2010 has a current enrollment of 319 students and was recently listed as a “Rewards School”, an honor given to only 155 schools in the entire state. He is currently planning a $5 million expansion to increase the enrollment to 430.
He has served as a member of Mayor Bloomberg’s Economic Development Task Force and Staten Island Borough Presidents Anti-Bias Task Force. He received recognition from The New York Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators for his Community and Economic Development work. Most recently, Dr. Rice was awarded “The Vernon M. Dougherty Distinction in Ministry Award”, the highest honor granted by the New Theological Seminary’s Alumnus. He has also received countless proclamations from the Governor of New York, three NYC Mayors, two US Senators and five NYC Council persons.
Dr. Rice has held more than 12 Board positions and served as chairman of four, he has been featured in more than thirty newspaper and magazine articles and has received more than 75 awards and honors for his work, including the coveted “Living the Dream Award” from American Broadcasting Company (ABC). In 1994 Dr. Rice was inducted into the Staten Island College “Hall of Fame” and was the first living African American to have a New York City street in the Borough of Staten Island named in his honor. He has preached throughout the United States of America, Canada, the Middle East and South Africa.
He has licensed and ordained 40 sons and daughters in ministry, including seven who currently serve as senior pastors. Dr. Rice is a NYS certified chaplain and served for twenty-two years as Protestant Chaplain at the South Beach Psychiatric Center, Staten Island.
Pastor Rice’s academic achievements include a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Economics from the College of Staten Island and a Master’s of Professional Studies from the New York Theological Seminary. He completed graduate studies at the National Theological Seminary of Baltimore, MD and The Postgraduate Center for Mental Health of NYC in conjunction with Hebrew Union Seminary. He has also attended The Catawba Bible College of Rock Hill, SC and holds a certificate of study from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem Israel.
He is married to the former Willie Mae Rogers of 114 Standpipe Street, Union S.C.