Each year, the Charlotte Presbytery sponsors the Outstanding Older Adult Award and encourages each church to nominate an individual. This award recognizes those who have exemplified positive images of aging, personally and in the life of their congregation and community. By their example, they serve as role models to all the generations growing older with a sense of God’s grace.

This year, Jim Calder is the recipient of the award from Trinity.


Jim Calder – Credit: Charlotte Observer

When asked to summarize his activities since retirement, long-time Trinity member Jim Calder simply responds that he steps in “whenever anything needs doing.” That is, of course, an major understatement. Currently he is serving a second term on Session since his retirement, making a total of six terms at Trinity. He has been Clerk of Session and repeatedly chaired the Buildings and Grounds and Stewardship Committees. When not on Session, he remains active on ministry teams, such as the Pastor Nominating Committee and Long Range Planning Committee. Jim was a commissioner to the General Assembly.

Church is not Jim’s only ministry. As a Rotarian, he has been President, board member and committee chair of the Providence Rotary Club, which named him Distinguished Rotarian. He was Lt. Governor of District 7680. One highlight of his Rotary Club experience was a mission trip to Peru.

As a member of Trinity’s Habitat for Humanity siding crew, Jim was on Habitat’s board. He is still active with Habitat.

Trinity Presbyterian Church houses the Shepherd’s Center, thanks in part to Jim’s efforts. Jim was recently featured in an article in the Charlotte Observer about the programs and services to the elderly offered by Shepherd’s Center. As a board member and the main handyman, Jim works to keep senior citizens independent in their homes by performing simple home repairs, or more complicated ones such as adding a safe porch railing…just doing what needs doing.

Jim is not one to shy away from challenging assignments. Currently Jim is a member of the Mecklenburg County Board of Equalization and Review. This board is the first stop for a taxpayer who cannot resolve a dispute with the county assessor over a property tax assessment or exemption.

Jim and his wife Ruth Ann now call Sharon Towers their home. The choice of retirement communities was natural, since Jim is a former chair of the Board of Directors there.

Whatever is going on at Trinity, in the community or at Sharon Towers, both Jim and Ruth Ann Calder are front and center, humbly making life better for those around them…doing what needs to be done.