Heritage


bethel_chapel_resized_221x220_Resized_152x151.jpg

Baptists have always been pioneers, wherever people are you will usually find a Southern Baptist presence. Early in the 1880's Rev. W. C. Busby was walking in West Hannibal and happened upon a group of Southern Baptists with no Southern Baptist Church in the area to attend. So things were put in motion for a "Baptist Chapel" to be located in "West Hannibal". For years a Sunday School was conducted at the newly formed Bethel Baptist Chapel. Then on October 4, 1887, Calvary Baptist Church was born. The church began with 32 charter members and the first building was located on the corner of Hope and Locust streets. 

cbc_1912_resized_286x265_Resized_166x154.jpg

In 1893, the church purchased some land and built a temporary building at Hope and Willow. In 1898, the church voted to build a new building and from 1899 until the building was completed in 1912, the church members saved money and personally participated in the building of the sanctuary. Every evening after work the men of the church, aided by their wives, made concrete blocks for the new building. As a matter of fact, volunteer labor at Calvary Baptist Church is as old as the church is! Every facility that has been built has had church members' time, money, prayer, and personal sweat involved!

cbc_1955_Resized_139x135.jpgCalvary's history is an exciting story of evangelism and God's mighty power working in and through his people. In 1937, during the church's Golden Jubilee (50-year celebration), it was noted that the pastor, Rev. E. C. Abernathy, (1930-1937) led the church in seeing 518 people baptized. In 1934, 1,489 people attended Sunday School on Easter Sunday. The church also attained the highest average Sunday School attendance for any year (1937) of 579 people. By 1937, 1,656 people had been baptized at Calvary Baptist Church and the current membership was 793. This was an average of one new member each week since the church had begun 50 years earlier.

During the pastorate of W. J. (Billy) Heriford (1948-1962), "Brother Billy" baptized 894 people! Calvary has continued to grow and see people "born again" into the kingdom of God. 

original_bldg_resized_249x188_Resized_209x158.jpg

In 1975 the church purchased 10 acres on West Ely Rd., and on January 12th of 1981, Calvary moved into our present location. At the 100th Anniversary Celebration in 1987, it was noted that approximately 4,000 people have been lead to Christ and baptized at Calvary Baptist Church Forty-seven men have been called of God, ordained, and sent out to preach the gospel. 

church_directory_289_Resized_215x162.jpg

God continues to write exciting pages in the history of Calvary Baptist Church. In 2012 Calvary celebrates its 125th anniversary. As we look at the last 25 years, since the 100th anniversary celebration, many evidences of God's continued grace and blessings are easily observed.

Calvary has added 1,586 new members during the last 25 years, 629 of them by salvation and subsequent baptism.

Calvary started and completed two major building campaigns; in 2003 a new sanctuary was built, and in 2008 a new children's building was completed. All of the nearly $2 million dollars in building costs have been completely paid off by the grace of God through the sacrificial giving of the members of Calvary, and the church is debt free.

In addition to reaching new levels of financial giving to SBC missions, a new atmosphere of mission's involvement has captivated our hearts as Calvary members have gone and continue to go on multiple mission trips locally, regionally, in North America and all over the world each year.

Today Calvary has a beautiful campus and facilities, plenty of space to grow for years to come, no debt to service, continues to see people born into the kingdom of God, and embraces a "hands on" approach to "living missionally" through mission opportunities around the world. Our future is bright and filled with hope in God. God is continuing to show His mighty power and continuing to work through His people of Calvary Baptist Church.