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King University News :: King Alumnus Jeremiah Caleb :: Actor, Author, Activist

For Jeremiah Caleb, life is extraordinarily busy. In addition to his bi-coastal acting career in New York and L.A., he is the author of a newly published novel, a pastor of a church near UCLA, and an activist for the impoverished living in the slums of India.

Of Indian descent, Caleb was born in Singapore to missionaries. Much of his childhood was spent in South Wales in the United Kingdom. “East Tennessee was always close to my father’s heart. He moved us here in 1995 to provide me with a steady education while he continued to serve in the ministry across Southeast Asia.”

In 1999, Caleb came to King College with hopes of one day becoming a writer. “Micah Crews had just graduated from King and went to work for the school. He helped me secure scholarship funds which made it possible for me to attend King. I was very attracted to the small Christian college atmosphere. I remember standing in front of the FAB (Fine Arts Building) and knowing I definitely wanted to perform in it. There are probably only three or four theatres of that style in the entire country.”

Caleb studied both English and Fine Arts while at King. After accepting his first theatre role on campus, he was hooked. He then performed in every play offered at King along with community theatre at Theatre Bristol and the Kingsport Theatre Guild. “As a student, in addition to acting, I had the chance to direct and choreograph; basically, anything I would not have had the chance to do at another school, I got to do at King. In the real world, it normally takes ten or twenty years to gain that type experience, but, at King, I just got to jump right in.”

After graduating from King in 2002, Caleb moved to New York City to train at the American Musical Dramatic Academy. Though living the life of a struggling artist in Manhattan, his passion for performing was too strong to turn away it. After being signed in 2005 to a talent agency, he landed his first national commercial for Kellogg’s Honey Crunch cereal.

Since that time, Caleb moved to Los Angeles, Calif., and contracted bi-coastally with Colbat Sky Entertainment. His acting credits include the television show “Outsourced” and most recently commercials for cars.com and Buick. He can also be seen in the 2012 film release of “A Dangerous Place” alongside Kristen Dalton.

Caleb’s most recent venture is the release of his first book, “He Walks With Me,” a biographical novel based on the life and journeys of his father. “My father has always been an inspiration to me. When I was 25, my father died two weeks before I graduated from King. The professors were wonderful. They just kind of wrapped around me; I had a really great community at King at that time. A few months after graduation, I found myself in New York. After finishing acting school, I wanted to do something meaningful rather than something commercial. So, I decided to film a documentary based on the life of my dad or at least obtain research for a book.”

Caleb’s father was Hindu, born into the Brahmin caste in South India. His father was disowned by his family at the age of 15 when he became a Christian.

“I went to India for the first time in my life. For forty days, I traipsed through the slums with clothes like his father would have worn and just a backpack. I wanted to get into his skin, to experience the same smells and sounds. Out of that came a lot of interviews and information. Then I began to write.”

Caleb’s book “He Walks With Me,” was 10 years in the making. It takes the reader on a journey set at the brink of World War II through six decades. He writes of his father’s journey from the slums of India, East Asia, to England, and on to a small town in East Tennessee. It is a story of miracles, relationships, romance, and ultimate tests of courage. “Now that this project is complete, I hope to produce a new novel every summer moving forward.”

Caleb’s time visiting the slums was life-changing. He has since founded the Caleb Hope Foundation. “When I returned from India, I had this nagging thought of why me. Why did I get to live in the land of freedom? The answer I came away with was that I was given the chance to do something about it. I brought together artist friends who would put on cabaret shows. The ticket sales would then go to support children in the slums to provide them with hope. As the project grew we developed the non-profit organization to continue helping those in need, in the slums of India. We now have two main projects – one in Delhi and one in South India.”

In addition to his acting and foundation ministries, Caleb is also a minister, serving as a pastor of the Kairos Westwood Church near UCLA campus.

To learn more about Caleb’s work as an actor, author, and activist, visit www.jeremiahcaleb.com