Calvary Baptist Church
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Beginnings. In the early 1930's, Pulaski Heights Baptist Church of Little Rock voted to organize a mission with a vision to serve the areas of Forrest Heights, Cammack Village, and Kingwood. By 1932, a small congregation of members was meeting in the homes of some of the earliest faces of Calvary. As membership grew, the group sought larger accommodations. A move to the corner of Kavanaugh and North Pierce was soon underway. At this location, the West Calvary Baptist Church was formally organized as a church in March of 1937, with 42 charter members. Reverend Otto Sutton, Calvary's first pastor, was elected to serve in July of 1937.
Calvary Baptist Church. In 1939, the membership voted to drop the word "West" from the official name and the church became Calvary Baptist Church. In that same year, members of the church led by G.A. Casey did most of the work themselves and constructed a frame sanctuary building seating 250 at a cost of only $7,500. Under the leadership of pastor Wilbur Herring, the members moved into a temporary Sunday school building while construction on the church’s educational building was in the planning stages. A two-story frame structure named Calvary House, was donated by the Kroger Company for use as a Sunday School/Training Union meeting during this period. Under the leadership of Rev. Lawson Hatfield’s, called to serve Calvary in 1951, the Education Building was completed.
Early Buildings. In the early 1950’s, Calvary entered the "Ten Thousand More in 54" campaign-a campaign which began efforts to construct a new, larger sanctuary to accommodate the growing congregation. In 1954, Rev. Riley Munday was called as pastor, and construction began on the current sanctuary the following years. Construction on this facility was complete in December of 1956.
Continued Growth. Over the next two decades, Calvary would continue its growth under the leadership of several pastors. In the late 50’s, construction of the three-story building, which presently remains on the north end of campus, was completed. Calvary continued to expand its ministries, and in the mid 70’s, under the leadership of Pastor Phil Lineberger, and the singles and international ministries were established.
The early part of the 1980’s saw the construction of our current southeast Education building under the leadership of Clyde Glazner. Our Family Life Center was completed in 1990, under the pastorate of Dr. Randall O’Brien.
Calvary Today. Our current Pastor, Dr. Ed Simpson, was called to Calvary in 1997. Since that time, phase one of Cast the Vision has been completed, bringing a new youth and children’s facility to Calvary. Then in the spring of 2011, Calvary saw the fruit of many months and even years of planning and prayer as a new Worship Center was opened. As Calvary revitalizes its facilities our purpose-Changing Hearts, Renewing Minds, Joining Hands-continues to shape our efforts as we aim to reach our neighborhood, city, and state.