This Southwest Orlando minister uses his own life experiences to inspire positive changes in prisoners.
As a youngster in Baltimore, Maryland, Paul Cabell never envisioned he would grow up to become a minister. Even though a career in the ministry wasn’t in his life’s plan, his mother made sure to make church a part of his life through Sunday school, the church choir, and Bible study. But as Cabell got older, his life began to steer him away from the religious foundation his mother had built. “As a teenager, I wanted to experience life to the fullest but the way I went about it was not always right.”
At age 18, Cabell decided to make a life change. “After graduating high school, I began seeking an alternative to the streets of Baltimore. I yearned for more positivity and discipline so I enlisted in the U.S. Army.” Through the military, Cabell traveled the world. After three years in the army he returned home after receiving a call that his parents, Lillian and Robert, had taken ill.
During the time that Paul was caring for his parents, he found himself reconnecting with God and the church. After his parents passed away, Cabell says he “answered the calling” and began devoting his time to becoming a minister. A few years later, he married his wife Gloria and relocated to Orlando. In 2003, Cabell became a licensed Baptist minister at the Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in Winter Garden under pastor Dr. Larry G. Mills. “Four years ago, when Pastor Mills asked his ministers to volunteer at the 33rd Street (Orange County) jail, I immediately accepted.” Dr. Mills says, “Paul is a young minister God has placed under my tutelage who teaches me. In Paul I see a devoted man to his ministry of teaching and counseling in the prisons and serving with compassion.”
Cabell conducts a weekly Bible study for the prisoners and preaches a sermon every third Sunday. Even with so many different cultures and faiths among the prisoners, Cabell aims to reach and inspire everyone he encounters. “I go there to be a light for these men who have lost their way. My job as a minister is to seek out those who are lost and help bring them towards a relationship with God.”
Paul also tries to inspire the men by sharing his own life experiences. “My life has not always been peaches and cream. I grew up on the streets of Baltimore and was subjected to a lot of negative things, but God delivered me from that. At one point or another, we all face some type of trial and tribulation. Sometimes in life you have to go through those experiences to find your calling.”