Pastor Michel Faulkner
For more than 35 years, Rev. Michel Faulkner has dedicated his life to serving God and his community. Growing up in Washington, D.C., he was an all-star football player that became a freshman All-American and four-year starter at Virginia Tech., graduating with a B.A. in communications in 1980. After college, Rev. Faulkner played two seasons (1980-82) in the NFL, one season with the NY Jets. In 1983, Faulkner returned to VA Tech for his MA. Upon completing his Master’s degree, he became the Assistant Dean of Students at Liberty University in 1985 and was promoted to Vice President for Urban Ministry in 1987.
In 1988, Rev. Faulkner and his family moved to Times Square in NYC, to run a soup kitchen the Lamb’s Church. One year later, he joined the staff of Calvary Baptist Church in Manhattan as Pastor for Youth and Community Outreach, where he was ordained in December 1991. While at Calvary he also served as co-chairman for the New York City Board of Education’s HIV/ AIDS Task Force from 1991-1994
In 1993, Rev. Faulkner became the Senior Pastor of Central Baptist Church in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Under his leadership, the congregation grew from an average of 50 weekly attendees to over 400. He simultaneously served as the VP for Community Government Relations at King’s College from 1998 to 2002. He served on Mayor Giuliani’s Task Force on Police Community Relations and was a Commissioner for the City Charter Revision. June of 2002 to February of 2004, Rev. Faulkner served as World Vision’s Director of U.S. Programs in NYC, helping to give share to their 9/11 NYC response.
In June 2006, he left Central Baptist Church after 14 years, and founded the New Horizon Church of New York in Harlem, with the purpose of building bridges for the economically and socially disadvantaged in the name of Christ.
In 2010 Rev. Faulkner was the Republican candidate for Congress for Harlem’s Congressional district. In September 2015 Rev. Faulkner became a Republican candidate for Mayor, and in May 2017 switched to candidacy for Comptroller. He received 22 percent of the vote on November 8, 2017.
In February 2014 Rev. Faulkner lost his wife, Virginia, of 31 years to lupus. Together they raised 3 children in New York City, all of whom have graduated College. In March 2015, Rev. Faulkner married Dr. Sarai Padilla a practicing psychologist for more than 30 years, and has one daughter and three grandchildren.
In July of 2018, Rev. Faulkner became the Exec VP for CE National in Philadelphia. He oversaw the staff and vision of the Urban Initiatives. In June of 2019, Rev. Faulkner joined the Philadelphia Council of Clergy and serves as Executive Director, the oldest African American Clergy organization in Philadelphia. In March 2020 he became the Pastor for Outreach Ministries at Victory Church in Audubon, PA. He is a member of the Philadelphia Chapter of the NFL Alumni Association. He has authored 1 book and completed 4 marathons and has been a frequent commentator for numerous national and local media outlets including CNN, FOX News, and MSNBC.