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70th Reunion
Tuesday, 6/11/2024

12:00 pm until 4:00 pm
Tavistock Country Club
Friends, children, spouses invited to help us celebrate our last reunion
Send $35 to Mark Sibley, 134 Cider Press Drive, Mullica Hill, NJ 08062 by June 1.
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Third Tuesday of every month September through May/June, except December. Contact us for the location.

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2019 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

Reverend Calvin R. Woods 

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According to his schoolmate, Karen Havens, Rev. Calvin R. Woods was a leader from an early age.  Growing up he was widely recognized for his friendliness and good character. Rev. Woods attended Haddonfield schools graduating from HMHS in 1957.  While attending HMHS he was elected president of his class in ninth grade. Mrs. Havens noted, “This was just a foreshadowing of what Calvin Woods would accomplish in the future and the many lives he would touch along the way.”

Calvin R. Woods was born on November 8, 1938 in Saddlertown, New Jersey, and began his academic career by graduating from Haddonfield Memorial high School in 1959. He matriculated at Glassboro State College where he earned a Bachelor of Arts majoring in history, and mathematics.

Upon graduation he began his teaching career in the Cherry Hill Public School system where he served as teacher and Department Chairperson of Mathematics at the middle school level. He also coached middle school track and basketball.  His fellow department chair, Mark Pinzur described Calvin as having, “a stellar reputation as a teacher and administrator”.  Catherine DeHoratiis, a teacher Calvin mentored at Brainerd Middle School, said, “He carried out his role with great grace”, acknowledging his skill as a teacher of mathematics, his leadership style and his enormous compassion for his students and his colleagues. Catherine added, “It was as though everything in his second career as a minister carried over to his work as a teacher and administrator.”

Calvin Woods might well be worthy of this recognition for his dedication and commitment to the children of Cherry Hill but his was a life of dual commitment and service. He was called to the ministry while completing his undergraduate studies at Glassboro State College and embarked on an equally distinguished career in the ministry.  After earning his bachelor’s degree, he completed the United Methodist Pastoral School at Wesley Seminary in Washington, DC. He went on to receive a Masters degree from Glassboro, as well as completing additional graduate studies at Rutgers University in Camden and in New Brunswick, Temple University in Philadelphia, Gordon Conwell seminary, and Wesley Seminary in Washington DC.

Reverend Woods began his pastoral duties in 1965 at Solomon Wesley United Methodist Church in Blackwood and St. Johns United Methodist Church in West Berlin. In 1968 he came to Camden as pastor of the Parkside United Methodist Church. In 1971 his pastorate at Parkside was joined with the St. John United Methodist Church of West Berlin, thus beginning a 46 year odyssey serving both St. John and Parkside United Methodist Churches, two growing congregations. During those years he coached basketball at the Neighborhood Center and formed an inner-city Basketball League at the Broadway U.M. Church. He also created an after-school tutoring program for children and youth at the Parkside Church. Pastor Woods retired in June of 2011.

While Calvin Woods may have retired from teaching and from his ministry at Parkside, he has never retired from his life of service. He took on new challenges as pastor of the New Beginnings United Methodist Church at 6th and State Streets in Camden.  His ministries are many, including health and wellness programs, a food pantry, Sunday worship, nursing home care, counseling, and Bible Study. He remains an active Board member of Respond Inc., a Camden non-profit serving both the city and the county.  At Respond, Reverend Woods sets policy for child care, senior care, the homeless, housing and adult training.  Wilbert Mitchell, Executive Director of Respond said,  “Reverend Woods is a giant of a man. His work has enabled Camden City residents to become self-sufficient, and economically independent. He brings pride and hope to disadvantaged children, individuals and families.”

Joseph Conway, School Administrator at Camden’s Promise Charter School, writes that he has known Rev. Woods for the past twenty years.  He states, “Reverend Woods has served as Board President of our schools, commencement speaker at our building openings, religious and counseling voice for our families, and visionary leader in Camden.  He is an essential member in every capacity of our school community.”  Mr. Conway praised Reverend Woods for his commitment to the Camden community.  “His passion for volunteerism, social justice, grass roots organization and urban planning and development are all part of what Rev. Woods has done for Camden.  He is committed to the community, the parents and especially to the children of Camden. This is evident in all of his work.” 

The Haddonfield Alumni Society is proud to present a Lifetime Achievement Award Medal to Reverend Calvin Woods.

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