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Meet Wil McCall of Dallas Leadership Foundation in Central Dallas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Wil McCall.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
In 1999 this job found me. I had recently left the business world to follow a ministry call to serve but I didn’t know where. I didn’t feel especially called to congregational work but felt my full-time vocation should be in the world of ministry. During a week-long prayer and fasting time to discern what the Lord would have me do, I still felt I should leave my job in the business world but didn’t have clarity on what to do or a ministry work opportunity to fill. On Tuesday of my fasting week, my phone rang the person on the other end asked if I would be interested in working at Dallas Leadership Foundation. The job he described was exactly what I wanted to do. It felt like the Lord had designed a job specifically for me. Since 1999 I’ve been working with local leaders throughout Dallas to improve their communities.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Although it has been a wonderful journey, the road was rocky at times. When I first took the reigns of the organization, it was much smaller. Growing a young not-for-profit has its challenges. Shortly after I became the President, the staff consisted of me and one other person from a staff of four. It was not easy finding donors, staff and good program partners but with God’s grace and hard work we made it this far. Shortly after I became President, I distinctly remember a board meeting where our financial prospects were so poor we had to decide if we were going to shut down. After a lengthy discussion, and the board checking my resolve and commitment to see the organization through its crisis we decided to continue. We also struggled to change our systems, clarify our brand, hire good people, and increase our pay in order to keep good people. Upon reflection, every one of our struggles made us better.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Dallas Leadership Foundation – what should we know?
A by-product of our trusting relationships is a program called Transform Dallas. In 2015 a few churches asked Dallas Leadership Foundation to be the backbone of a city-wide workday with several church partners. These churches worked together to bring tangible benefit to front line non-profits by bringing hundreds of volunteers to their communities. Each year churches meet for about six months to plan the work-day event and build relationships with one another. Over the years the following churches have partnered to plan the event: Concord Church, Fellowship Dallas, Friendship West Baptist Church, Highland Park Presbyterian Church, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship and Preston Crest Church of Christ.

This year we will be working on June 8th in several communities. Fellowship Dallas, Friendship West Baptist, Highland Park Presbyterian and Preston Crest Church of Christ are leading the charge to serve refugees, seniors veterans and youth. There will be block parties, installation of safety systems for seniors, we will be planting community gardens, painting homes and much more. This work isn’t a one-day event we are highlighting non-profits that the core churches and Dallas Leadership Foundation partner with throughout the year and there are opportunities to continue your service when you find a program you like.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Transform Dallas is completely about building relationships. We take a personal approach to honoring the communities served and towards serving one another in the planning process. It’s our secret sauce to effective community work.

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