Who We Are


Our Vision Statement expresses well who we seek to be as followers of Jesus Christ:  

Calvary Baptist Church is a Christ-centered community of faith devoted to the worship of the Living God. Committed to a deeper understanding of God's word, we aspire to grow personally and communally, to become a sanctuary for all God's people, and to pour out God's love in the local and global community.


We seek to enact this vision through Calvary's Kingdom Concept--the place where our collective gifts, passion for Jesus and opportunities for God overlap:

Calvary Baptist Church exists to glorify God and make disciples by building relationships through missions.  



Browse through this website to witness how God is shaping us as individuals, families and a community of faith for His purposes and our neighbors. 


Our History

Calvary has a unique, wonderful beginning. We were formed when two churches decided to merge. This happened in 1928. The present location was the location of Provident Heights church. The Brook Avenue church merged with Provident Hts. and Calvary was born! 


Pastor A.J. Holt became the pastor, and served as pastor for over 30 years. Our chapel is the original Provident Heights sanctuary. The present Calvary Sanctuary was built in 1954, under Dr. Holt's leadership.


The neighborhood has changed quite dramatically over the 86 years of Calvary's existence. We have changed too. Our people come from not only within our neighborhood, but also from every part of the Greater Waco area.


Calvary has remained in its location for all of its 86 year lifespan, and is committed to minister in the name of Jesus, and with the love of Jesus, right where we were started.


An Expanded History


1928

February 5 - Joint Sunday morning business meeting of Provident Heights and Brook Avenue Baptist churches to formally consolidate the two churches into one, taking the name of Calvary Baptist Church; two-week revival begins; 1000 members

February 6 - Women’s Auxiliaries meet and merge

April 1 - A. J. Holt of Mart called to be pastor of newly formed church; first pulpit committee had 19 members

November - Church budget for 1929 is $19,985.00


1930

December - Lottie Moon Christmas Offering goal is $250


1931

April – 874 in Sunday School for pastor’s 3rd anniversary


1935

June - New plan of giving—tithing— presented to membership for 3-month trial (“Tithe Plan is being implemented by Baptists throughout the South”)


1937

June - New, two-story brick educational building built (now bldg. B); auditorium remodeled; baptistry moved from in floor to above choir area

October - Deacons begin visiting church members who are “negligent” in church attendance


1940

September – Angel Martinez leads 8-day Young People’s Revival

November - Fluorescent lights installed in auditorium


1941

May - Wednesday night supper - 10¢ a plate

September – Boiler converted from coal to gas


1942

September - Church buys $1000 War Bond


1943

November – Service flag purchased honoring those in military service


1944

May – Calvary’s monthly wartime allotment of sugar is 15 lbs; coffee 12 lbs.


1946

September - Church runs buses to Baylor to pickup students on Sunday


1947

New nursery building open house; called Babyland; 1st separate nursery in Central Texas


1948

March - Auditorium air conditioned [1st in Waco]

June – Baptist Standard sent to every home in the church


1950

December - Mission giving to all causes totals 41% of 1950 budget


1952

January - $37,000 given in tub offering for new sanctuary

November – Church borrows $100,000 for new auditorium

December 14 – Groundbreaking for new sanctuary


1953

May - Deacons meeting canceled for evening of the 11th due to tornado in downtown Waco

May – Pipe organ approved for new sanctuary for $35,000

December – Church budget for 1954 of $100,000 approved


1954

Jan 24 - First worship service in new sanctuary; this building remodeled three times since then

December – First New Year’s Eve Watchnight service in new Fellowship Hall


1955

March - All educational buildings air conditioned


1957

May – New 24’x40’ auditorium started for Calvary’s East Waco Mission


1958

July - Nursery added to and air conditioned

May 31 – Dr. A. J. Holt retires as pastor after 30 years


1959

January - Watson house and property at 1801 Bosque purchased for $30,000 for a youth center

March - 904 in Sunday School; 387 in Training Union


1960

April - Kyle M. Yates is interim pastor

June - Deacon of the Week plan implemented


1963

February – 1963 budget of $109,957 is oversubscribed with 803 pledge cards turned in; 445 sign as tithers


1964

October - Property Committee charged with looking into installing restrooms on main floor of the church; (actually happened in 1990)

December - 64 deacons at Calvary


1965

September - Fellowship Hall designated a fallout shelter

November 18 - First issue of The Calvary Tower published


1966

May - Daniel Vestal preaches youth-led revival services


1968

February - Bill Glass is speaker at Baptist Men’s breakfast

June - Church holds 3 Vacation Bible Schools in Laredo


1969

March – Pastor Emeritus Dr. A. J. Holt dies


1970

August – Spanish Sunday School and worship services begin; Herman Martinez is associate pastor


1971

October – Major remodeling voted on – nursery, sanctuary, adult class areas, and fellowship hall


1972

July – Dr. Bob Patterson called as interim pastor


1974

February - The Palermo Brothers and Evie Tornquist are in concert

May - Deacon-Family Ministry program implemented

May - 170 preschoolers and children participate in regular Wednesday Club Program activities


1975

June - Stained glass baptistry window dedicated

July – Joel Gregory leads Adult Vacation Bible School


1976

March – Electric chair lift installed to Fellowship Hall


1977

May – Sheldon Curry in concert

September - Top of tower split by lightening (cut stones replaced)


1978

February – Calvary celebrates its 50th anniversary

December - 1st “Hanging of the Green” service


1979

June – Church cook Ida Munson honored for 25 years of service to Calvary

November - 1st Waco “Singalong Messiah” at Calvary

November - Church adopts 1980 budget of $250,000


1980

March - 400 youth attend Calvary Chapel service featuring praise group “Glad”

November 2 - 1450 in Sunday School for “Mighty Things Sunday” with Dale Evans





1981

October - Ann Kiemel leads seminars for women

November - Grant Teaff teaches Senior Adult SS


1982

June – 366 enrolled in all church VBS

August - Joel Gregory preaches as supply pastor

September - Kurt Kaiser in concert


1983

September – Tape ministry for Sunday morning worship begins


1984

June - All church mission trip to Brownsville and Matamoros for VBS (5 schools)


1985

February - Grant Teaff speaks at Men’s Prayer Breakfast


1986

March – Robert Sloan is speaker for Mid-Winter Bible Conference

September - $13,570.00 given to Mary Hill Davis Offering for State Missions

September - Twila Paris in concert; Neal Jeffrey leads in revival


1987

September - Billy Crockett in concert


1988

February – Calvary celebrates its 60th anniversary

December – 557 in Sunday School


1989

January - “Making All Things New” renovation plans voted on

January - 185 in College Sunday School

March - $578,000 pledged for “Making All Things New”

May – Tower hit by lightening; chapel organ damaged by water


1990

May - Calvary receives Keep Waco Beautiful award for landscaping in “Making All Things New” campaign

May – Newly designed cross logo makes first appearance on worship bulletin

July – Dr. Winfred Moore called as interim pastor

August – Denominational Affairs Committee appointed to evaluate Calvary’s financial relationship with the SBC

October - Calvary members build Habitat for Humanity house in 2 weeks

October - Church honors Ervin Warren for 50 years as church organist


1991

August - Lightning strikes the tower; sanctuary roof and balcony and main floor damaged

September – Church invites Dr. Herbert Reynolds to address all Waco Baptists concerning Baylor, the BGCT, and broader Baptist issues

December - Lightning again strikes tower sending portions of it through the sanctuary ceiling


1992

March – “Foundation for the Future” campaign kicks off to retire $240,006 in debt

June - “Run for the Border” all church mission trip to Mexico

November – Long Range Masterplan Committee presents 5-year goals for Calvary

December - Foundation for the Future pledges for debt retirement reach $240,000

December - Giving to the budget for the month is $51,844


1993

April - Spanish Mission officially established again

October - 463 in Sunday School for high attendance Sunday

August – Worship services held at downtown Hippodrome Theater due to air conditioning unit explosion

October – Knape House renovated for youth activities


1994

May - Promise Keepers wake-up call rally meets at Calvary

Aug 28 - Church begins two morning worship services (8:15 and 10:50)


1995

April - Church returns to one morning worship service

May – Central air and heat added to Knape House

December - 1848 lbs. of food collected by Sunday School classes for Calvary food pantry


1996

January – Meals on Wheels at Calvary has served 4,446 meals since being formed in 1995

February – Missions Development Council formed

June - Youth dessert auction raises over $2200 for programs and activities

September - S.H.A.R.E. kicks off on Sunday evenings (service, home groups, alternatives, relationships, extras)

November - $23,676 given for “Prove the Lord” tithe offering


1997

June – Bill Treadwell hired to be facilitator of revisioning process

June - Mission trip to work in Appalachian Outreach

July – Brad Creed becomes interim pastor

September - Calvary adopts its new dream statement and begins revisioning process


1998

January - Church gets an e-mail address

March - Sunday evening worship only on 4th Sundays; discipleship groups meet on other Sundays

May - Rev. Julie Pennington-Russell called as 10th pastor of Calvary (begins Aug)

June - Revisioning Committee proposes changes in administrative structure of church

October - Daniel Vestal preaches

October - New look Calvary Tower produced


1999

March - Budget for 1999-2000 set at $526.000

March - James Dunn preaches in morning worship

July - Mission trip to Nava, Mexico

September - Sunday School revisioning takes place

December - Fran Porter retires as Minister to Senior Adults and Minister of Pastoral Care


2000

February – “What If” Sunday brings in $29,000 in offering

May – Church census/survey taken

June – 2nd Nava Mission Trip held

August – Calvary English Classes ministry begun

October – New members classes begin


2001

January – Update on Revisioning Plan presented; ministry team structure outlined

March – Beginning of church fiscal year changed to October 1; six-month budget adopted

June – Global Missions Offering for 2001-02 set at $19,000


2002

January – Demolition of the Activities Center and exterior work on Knape House approved

February - Randall Bradley called as part time minister of music

April - Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual adopted

September – First regular annual ministry conference held


2003

January – Phase II Renovation Plan presented and approved; includes Knape House renovations, asbestos abatement, landscaping, painting and carpeting, pagers, parking improvements, phone updates, and playground changes

May – Church by-laws approved

July – Creation of Build Team and Finance Team to begin planning for Phase III Renovation


2004

January – Volunteer position of ministry associate for neighborhood outreach created

May – Build Team makes presentation of preliminary master plan, renovations, and new construction

September – Child and youth protection policy for the church approved


2005

January – Church votes to renovate existing buildings, add new parking, and build new children’s building

January – RSI Church Services Group hired to create and conduct fund raising campaign; named Beyond Belief Campaign

May – $1.5 million pledged in Beyond Belief campaign


2006

January – North Waco Family and Community Ministries, Inc. created as a non-profit entity to allow outside groups to give and support a children’s education building; five-member board selected

September – Build Team presents plans for renovation and new construction

October – Knape House slated for demolition; new office complex to be built

November – CBF Global Missions goal for Calvary set at $3000


2007

February – Discernment Team and Prayer Team created to study and lead congregation in what it means to be a member of Calvary

May – Julie Pennington-Russell announces resignation

August – Hulitt Gloer elected as interim preacher

September – Wednesday night suppers resume after absence of several years

November – CBC Website Task Force created to redevelop church website


2008

January – Planning meeting for summer mission trip to Nava, Mexico

January – Annual Women’s Retreat

January – Celebrate Recovery program begins

February 10 – Calvary celebrates its 80th anniversary