When I reflect upon the person known as Melba Denise Goode McCallum, I find myself humbled by all that I am and all that I aspire to be, for I am truly blessed by the Lord. I started life as a daughter and sister, growing up in the Method community of Raleigh. I was the 11th child in a family of 12 children with parents, Alexander and Mary Goode, who loved the Lord and were strong disciplinarians. Those same values became the foundation of my home when I became a wife to Benjamin F. McCallum, Jr., mother of Erickia, Bellonora and Benjamin III and grandmother of Troy Jr., Brianna, Aveiene and Benjamin IV.
My love for God, family and church began at an early age, as church played a vital role in my family’s life. The sound of spiritual hymns from the radio filled our home on Saturdays and Sundays. Although we were AME Methodist, I enjoyed “church” and often attended the Holiness and Baptist churches in our community.
Our family motto was “one can give without loving, but one cannot love without giving.” This and the scripture “Matthew 25:35-36 (For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink …) provided me the foundation and platform for service in mission and ministry.
Christianity, mission, spiritual discipline and commitment have always been a part of my life and God has used this foundation to bless me with so much more. When I am not spending my time in mission activities, I am enjoying time with my family. The precious moments that I spend with my husband, children, grandchildren, siblings and extended family and friends are what keep me grounded. My greatest days are those when we are all together, sharing stories and laughing about our yesterdays as we embrace today and look forward to our tomorrows.
I have been blessed to travel and it has become a hobby in my life. I have traveled throughout the United States, Caribbean and abroad. Each trip allows me to cross the paths of others and spread the Gospel in unique ways. I have seen the profound effect of how a smile and kind word can impact the lives of others, just as I have experienced how much renovating homes, teaching the Gospel, and extending the grace of Jesus can give hope to the least of God’s people. Through traveling, God has given me the opportunity to share His love.
This is my story, this is my song, for all that I do and all that I am is because of the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ in my life. Whether I am in my office writing grants, in the field doing ministry or holding one of my grandchildren, I know that I am walking in the will of God, who orders my steps everyday and who is truly the author and finisher of my faith.