Joseph Duggar announced his courtship with Kendra Caldwell, drawing the Caldwell family patriarch, Paul Caldwell, into the spotlight again.
This week, TLC released a teaser of Counting On Season 3 that showed how the courtship began. Joseph walks to Kendra’s father and asks to court his daughter. The father’s reactions to the 22-year-old’s courting suggestion not only earned laughs but also had many fans discussing the pastor’s looks.
“I have to admit that Kendra’s father looks very attractive at the promo photo on the fanblog,” says a comment on the Free Jinger forum post with Caldwell’s pictures. “And he looks so young- almost younger than Joseph. Damn it – I go and hide now.”
Joseph claimed that he met his future in-laws at church and had been talking to Kendra for six months before the Duggar family announced the courtship in March. Critics questioned the union, given the pastor’s reported stance on major political issues. Kendra and Joseph were later seen with the Duggar family during a visit to the Creation Museum in Kentucky. Awe-struck fans sought to know exactly how old the Arkansas pastor is. According to one post, he is 39. Some fans opined that Kendra’s parents remained relatively well-preserved compared to Duggars as they have fewer children (seven compared to the Duggars’ 19).
“Are you sure that’s Kendra’s dad and not her brother??? He looks so young!” another comment asks from a Tumblr page dedicated to the Duggar family. Fans on the page quipped that the pastor looks younger than Joseph and even the oldest Duggar family child, Josh. Hinting at the beliefs that the Caldwells share with the Duggar family, one fan wrote “Thats Kendra’s father? He looks young and hot what! But that doesn’t negate how they are.”
Paul Caldwell and the Lighthouse Baptist Church made news earlier this year when residents of Fayetteville claimed to have received pamphlets from the church that allegedly contained content offensive to the LGBT community. According to local news reports, the pamphlets stated homosexuality does not exist. Residents, who were offended, questioned the church’s motives and the use of children to deliver pamphlets door-to-door. The pastor said his church was simply reaching out to the LGBT community.
“Our church loves the LGBT community, hence the reason we have decided since Spring 2014 to reach out to them. This is just another avenue we are trying. To them it is simply a reminder that God loves them, and if I were to truly love them then I must tell them the truth.”
In 2014, Caldwell announced he would run for the office of state representative from Arkansas. A social media campaign was launched and revealed some of his views on hotly-debated issues, including procreation, which the Duggar family also holds.
“Paul Caldwell’s goals in Office: encourage job creation and small business growth by lowering the tax burden and reforming the tax code, work to slow the growth of government spending and regulation, and protect the lives of the unborn. Paul intends to focus on freeing families and businesses from excessive taxation, spending, and regulation, so that they can continue to make Northwest Arkansas a great place to live, work, and build a business.”
The campaign’s Facebook page continued to receive responses until Josh Duggar’s scandals came to light in 2015.
— Josh Duggar (@joshduggar) February 10, 2014
Critics dug up links between the Caldwells and the Duggar family, which led them to question the pastor during his campaign. Some had asked him to come clean about his association with Josh Duggar, while others suggested that he support the cancellation of TLC’s 19 Kids & Counting. After Josh apologized for molesting minors as a teenager, TLC cancelled the family’s show. The spin-off, Counting On, began with a focus on Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald’s marital lives after Josh’s scandals. Joseph Duggar and Kendra Caldwell’s courtship is expected to be featured on the show’s third season, which premieres on June 12.
[Featured Image by Duggar Family Official/Facebook]