Rev. Calvin Lincoln Rigdon
United Pentecostal Church International
1927 ~ 1995
The story begins in a small, tan, frame house. Whether colored by paint or dust blown from the fields, I do not know. The house of which I speak stood outside of Naylor, Missouri, not far from the communities of Pig Ankle and Possum Hollow. It was the first house north of the church, of the shotgun variety typical to that part of the country. It had a small fron porch and set just a few feet back from the road leading to Success...Arkansas. If you drove by the "Rigdon place" with your windows down, you could almost reach out and touch it. Behind it, and to the side of it, stretched the fields. It was not unusual for them to be white, bearing a rich harvest of cotton.
Charlie and Lula Rigdon must have had great expectations for their firstborn. For some reason they did not name the lad after fellow sharecroppers, landowners, or even local businessmen. They, instead, chose to name him after two United States presidents. Calvin Coolidge was then the nation's president and that id from where the first name comes. Since the lad was born on February 12, Abraham Lincoln's birthday, it just seemed right that Lincoln should be his middle name. Little did his dad, Charlie, know as he sat in the dim darkness, that little Calvin was destined to touch both the top and the bottom of life, tasting both the best and the worst that it had to offer. That was the beginning. Calvin's young life was shaped by the godly character and righteous living of his mom and dad.
At the age of 17, calvin began his ministry. He preached his first message at a rally in Greenfield, Illinois, in 1943. Preaching was to become one of Calvin Rigdon's choice pleasures. He soon developed into an exceptional preacher of the Word.
A general license was issued to Calvin in 1943 by the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus christ. After participating in the merger of the P.C.I. and the P.A. of J.C., he graduated from Apostolic Bible Institute in 1946. He accepted the position of pastor in Grayville, Illinois, in 1947 and served there for two years.
calvin Rigdon enjoyed the privilege of occupying several positions of leadership at both the local and national levels. He served as Conquerors' president of the Illionos District for 5 years, from 1946 to 1951, when he was elected to be the international president of the General Youth Division of the UPCI.
Following the 1960 General Conference, Calvi Rigdon resigned as general youth president to become the pastor of the First Pentecostal Church in baton Rouge, Louisiana. He served as presbyter on the Louisiana District Board for ten years. He was also editor of the Louisiana Challenger for more than eight years, editing 98 consecutive issues.
From 1971 until his retirement in 1991, Calvin served the UPCI at the World Evangelism Center, hazelwood, Missouri, in several executive positions. In 1990, he chose to conclude his letter of resignation from his final offical position held in his much loved United Pentecostal Church International.
Calvin Rigdon passed away from this life on January 10, 1995, at the age of 68. As he slipped away from life into that place of eternal rest, he began to speak. "What's the name of that river?" "Who built that bridge?" "Do all these properties belong to her (the Bride)?" After that, he never again interacted with anything or anyone in this life for he had already crossed over the bridge prepared for him into his reward.