Calvary was re-opened as a mission in 1958. The mission grew
rapidly and by the summer of 1959 requested release from mission status
from First Baptist Church to become Calvary Baptist Church. Calvary
became a church on September 20, 1959, and celebrated the occasion with a
fellowship dinner at the Lions Youth Center. On 5 Oct., 1959, Calvary
was admitted to Hamilton County Baptist Association as a church
with 50 charter members.
Mrs. Sherman Hale
Fay Dean Kendall
W. L. Rodgers
Ruel D. Todd
LOST HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS
Unfortunately the early history of Calvary has to be in generalities,
because in 1984 in a house-cleaning effort, all of the early records were
discarded by a pastor’s wife. A large collection of historical data had
been assembled. The GA’s had transcribed interviews with some of the
charter members to include in a scrapbook of mementos, pictures, as well
as the church minutes written by Mrs. Irene Sims, the first church clerk.
I can only tell you that the minutes written by Mrs. Sims were
inspirational and a blessing to those fortunate enough to read them. There
were also video and audio tapes. If only I could recall more details told
by Willie Rodgers and his wife, Zula Elizabeth Stuckey Rodgers! Willie and
Zula were great encouragers to me and to many others.
A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO RUEL AND LUCILLE TODD for all of the help they
provided in writing this document!!!!! Thanks also to MARY HELEN DRAKE PAX
for generously providing access to current information.!!!!
During Harold Holcomb’s ministry, the east end of the
barracks/auditorium was remodeled to add a baptistry and a nursery. Soon
more space was needed so that construction began to add
classrooms/fellowship hall, a larger nursery, and bathrooms to the east
end of the auditorium. This construction of a new educational unit as
verified by snapshots made by Mrs. Irene Sims which are now archived in
Roberts Library, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth,
TX. Douglas Brown, pastor of First Baptist Church, Harold Holcomb, Ruel
Todd, and others participated in the ground breaking for the new
Calvary Baptist Church hosted its first HCBA Workers
Conference in July, 1960. Tables were set up outside and barbecue was
purchased. The women of the church cooked and cooked and cooked, being
determined that they could feed all of the guests. As with the feeding of
5,000, baskets of food were taken home.
Keeping their new church sparkling was an important
project of the entire church family. Members gathered to clean the pews,
WAX the floors, and then enjoy a fellowship meal together. The floor
attained a shiny and SLICK surface. At one service as Loys Landes was
helping take the offering, when he returned to the altar table one foot
encountered an exceedingly slick spot and he landed on his knees.
The first pews were slatted wooden benches. When the
First United Methodist Church replaced their pews, Seth Williams purchased
all of the Methodist pews for $75.00 and gave them to Calvary. This
certainly was an improvement even if the seats of some were cracked
necessitating careful attention as others sat down or stood up lest one
suffer a painful pinch.. Unfortunately this also caused a tear in the suit
pants of a visiting preacher, a professor at Southwestern Baptist
The 1970 Minutes of Hamilton County Baptist Association
recorded the fact that Calvary had had a dedication and had burned the
note for the educational building. "Hamilton, Calvary: Auditorium
bricked (to match the educational facility) and redecorated on the
inside." Hodge Wren donated the bricks for the auditorium. In 1975
central heating and air-conditioning were added to the entire building
with the help of a $3,000 Smith Loan Fund from the Baptist General
Convention of Texas. The original loan, made by Ruel Todd, Treasurer, was
made at First National Bank, January 6, 1975, for six months with 7 ½ %
interest. When the Smith Loan was approved, the loan from First National
Bank was paid in full on March 24, 1975, and Calvary had three years to
repay the Smith Loan at 3% interest per annum.
The residents of Buckners Boys Ranch in Burnet were
invited to be church guests on several Sundays. Again the ladies of the
church spent much time in food preparation to provide a home-cooked dinner
to the boys who appreciated it very much. The young men came attired in
suits, ties, and good manners.
J. C. Shirley was a very good teacher and attracted a
large group of Royal Ambassadors. Lucille Todd and Zula Rodgers had Girl’s
Auxiliary at the same time for girls.
In 1974 Calvary ordained its pastor, Stephen
"Steve" Lee and licensed Eddie Schulze as a minister.
The illness and death of little Karen Lee, Steve and
Sallie’s baby was a traumatic event for the entire church as the church
family gathered around to help with her care and to support Steve and
Sallie. During the last weeks of Karen’s life, Karen had to be held 24
hours a day. Later we rejoiced when Isaac was added to Steve and Sallie’s
On May 2, 1976, five girls--Julie Box, D’Ann
Weathers, Jill Cowan, Laverne Tubbs, and Becky Dotson--earned Adventure I
Awards in Girls Auxiliary. Joan Box and Martha Hicks were sponsors.
On October 4, 1976, Calvary hosted the Centennial
meeting of the Hamilton County Baptist Association. The 1977 minutes of
the 101st Annual Association meeting recorded the fact that Calvary had
voted to build a new sanctuary and educational facilities.
The first choir program began in 1977 under the
direction of Ray Weathers, Minister of Music. The first cantata, Night
of Miracles, by John W. Peterson was presented by the choir on 18
December, 1977. Ray Weathers directed the cantata and Jackie Christian was
the pianist. Soloist included Kirk Joseph, Annette Joseph, Richard Box,
and Jim Andrews.
In May, 1978, Jill Cowan was recognized for completing
her Queen with Scepter Step in Acteens. The GA’s who received
recognition were Mary Wright, Samantha Gregory, Jennifer Pendleton, Stacy
Christian, Julie Box, and D’Ann Weathers. Bobbie Nell Swinson was WMU
From at least July 2, 1978, the front cover of the
church bulletin included the architect’s sketch of the new church
While Ted Elmore was pastor, Miss Bertha Smith, a
retired Baptist missionary from Cowpens, SC, came to share her experiences
in China with Calvary. Although in excess of 90 years of age, Miss Bertha
was a dramatic and effective witness.
Calvary’s pastor, Charles Arandle "Randy"
Russell, was the 20,000th graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological
Seminary, in December, 1981.
The first wedding in the new building was that of Carol
Gables and James Sessions on 10 July, 1982.
The 107th Annual Session of the Hamilton County Baptist
Association was held at Calvary October 4, 1982--the second annual session
to be hosted by Calvary and the first in the new facilities on HWY. 22
East. The 111th Annual Associational Meeting of Hamilton Baptist
Association was held at Calvary on October 5, 1987. On October 5, 1992,
the 116th Annual Session of Hamilton Baptist Association was held at
A large GA/Acteen recognition service was held on May
23, 1984, for 12 GA’s and one Acteen. Sharon Benton was GA Director and
Darla Cole and Linda Curry were helpers. GA’s who received the awards
were: First Grade Adventure I--Melody Jones, Lorie Morrison, Dana Jo
Newsom, and Laura Shrader; Second Grade Adventure II--Windy Benton, Sheena
Christian, Mandy Headly, and Julie Nelson; Third Grade Adventure III--
Elizabeth George and Mandy Headly; Fourth Grade Adventure IV--Jennifer
Christian and Jenny Easterling; and Fifth Grade Adventure V--Michelle
Carson, Jennifer Christian, and Jenny Easterling. Acteen member, D’Ann
Weathers received her Queen with Scepter - Step 2 with Mandy Christian as
her Flower Girl and Eric Newman as her Scepter Bearer.
On 31 August, 1986, Calvary ordained Daniel
"Dan" Boyd Lancaster to the ministry. Dan’s father-in-law, Dr.
Roy Fish, Professor of Evangelism at Southwestern Baptist Theological
Seminary in Fort Worth, delivered the ordination sermon.
In 1987 Calvary licensed Shane Donahoo to preach.
Buddy Selmon served as interim pastor from October,
1988 until December 6, 1989, when he was called as pastor.
James Thompson was licensed to preach in 1990.
In December, 1990, plans were made for a children’s
An organizational meeting for the Conservative Baptist
Fellowship (TCBF) for the Tri-Rivers Area was held at Calvary on April 25,
The church also voted to send 3% of regular offerings
to Baptist With A Mission Organization instead of the Texas Baptist
The church motto was changed from "A Church with a
Bold Mission" to "Fundamental, Conservative Southern Baptist
Congregation with a Bold Vision," in October, 1990.