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. In 1980, Rev. Faulkner graduated with a B.A. in communications. 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 of 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 as assistant pastor for the Lamb’s Church. A little more than 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 he grew the congregation from an average of 50 weekly attendees to over 400. He simultaneously served as the vice president 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 New York City helping to give share to their 9/11 response in NYC.
In 2005, Rev. Faulkner founded the Institute for Leadership, to develop leaders and bring scalable solutions to difficult community problems. In June 2006, Rev. Faulkner left Central Baptist Church after 14 years and founded the New Horizon Church of New York in Harlem on the purpose to build bridges between 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 2017switched to a candidacy for comptroller. He was nominated by Republican, Conservative, Reformed and Independence Parties. He received 22 percent of the vote November 8 2017.
Rev. Faulkner has completed 4 marathons and is training for his 5th in the fall of 2018. He has been commenter for numerous national and local media outlets including CNN and FOX News.
In February 2014 Rev. Faulkner lost his wife, Virginia, of more than 31 years, to lupus. Together they raised 3 children in New York City, all have graduated college. In March 2015, Rev. Faulkner married Dr. Sarai Padilla. She is a practicing psychologist for more than 30 years and has one daughter and three grandchildren.