Church History

Calvary Baptist Church  1865-2023

The following is an outline of the very beginning of Calvary Baptist Church. As to the origin of Calvary, it is easy to contend that it, existed before separation in 1865.

Before separation, the Madison Baptist Church was nearly equal in number among the white and black membership. The white members numbered 180, and the black members numbered 138.

In 1859, dedication services were held at the Madison Baptist Church for the building they are now worshipping in. Along with moving to this new sanctuary, the black members also moved in or were taken in with the white members at that time.

September 2,1865, the Madison Baptist Church in conference passed a resolution that should the black members of the Madison Baptist Church desire to organize a separate church, they would be given the necessary aid in accomplishing this objective. Bro. N. Wilson and Bro. I. B. Shields was appointed to confer with the black members on this subject.

September 16,1865, many blacks appealed to Rev. S.A. Berry, the clerk of the Madison Baptist Church for letters of dismissing. Hereupon, a motion carried by the black brethren to be granted letters of demission to go and organize a church of their own.

The dismissed brethren were permitted to hold their services in the old church building still owned by the Madison Baptist Church. It was in this building that Calvary Baptist Church was organized in

  1. The first deacons were Bros. Richard Jones, March Howard, Silas Shields or Holmes. For some time, different brethren of the congregation conducted the preaching: Reverends McAlister, Wade and Clarke.
    1866, Rev. Allen Clarke was called as pastor. The first members after the organization of Calvary to be baptized were sisters Walton and Nancy Clay.

March 1867, the old building (former Madison Baptist) was rented to Calvary for the sum of $8.50 per month for worship services and to the Freedman's Bureau for $10.00 per month as a black school.

In June, the building was sold to Mr. Eberhardt of the Freedman's Bureau for a school for $500.00. Mr. Eberhardt paid $400.00 of this debt and the remaining $100.00 was donated by the white brethren as an interest in the building.

Later, the building was torn down and moved to Hill Street (Clarkes Chapel) where it now stands. After completion, worship services were conducted there for 16 years. While the rebuilding was taking place, Calvary held services in an old house owned by Mr. H. T. Shaw.

1873, a purchase was made of the lot where Calvary now stands. The purchase was made January 1873 for a total of $100.00.

1875, Rev. Allen Clark went abroad to solicit funds to help in the erection of the building. He received a small amount above expenses.

1876, the foundation of the new Calvary Baptist Church began. The following was purchased for erecting the Church: a kiln of bricks, a wheel to make bricks and a brick fence. The construction took 7 years to complete.

1879, in revival more than 300 persons were received by baptism. Up until the death of Rev. Clark more that 1,000 were received and baptized.

In 1883, the members of Calvary left the old building, Clarkes Chapel (as it is now known) and occupied the new building.

During the dedication program, the Honorable P.S. Burney presented the church with an expensive marble top table, making this an occasion of great joy.

Later the organization of the Madison Missionary Baptist Association and the State Sunday School Workers Convention was organized in Calvary.

Up until this time, more than 2,000 people had been baptized at Calvary.

Rev. Allen Clarke, a strong leader continued to move the church forward with the following deacons: Gus Johnson, John Johnson, James A. Love, Marc Saffold, Titus Shields, John Blanch, Immanuel McNeil, Henry Collier and Alfred Gordon.
Also assisting in the Church were several licensed preachers: Reverends Dick Moore, Levi Hill, Abe Anderson, Pinkney Cash, Cyrus Hall and Burke Long.

After the dedication of the church, Rev. Allen Clarke's health became impaired, but he continued to pastor until his passing. He had given 20 years of faithful service to the church.

Reverend Pinkney Cash filled the pulpit until the church decided to call Reverend Dick Moore, who pastored until his death.
A few members wanted to withdraw from Calvary and follow Reverend Pinkney Cash. They too sought refuge in the old school house on Hill Street (Clarkes Chapel-named in honor of the late Rev. Allen Clarke).

Letters of dismission were also granted to allow others to organize churches of their own. These churches were Mars Hill and Flat Rock.

In 1888, Reverend E.P. Johnson became the pastor of Calvary. He brought light to the darkened winds of Calvary and encouraged the young folks by putting them to work in the right direction. He established missions such as the "Go Rain or Shine Club" among the members. As a result, many new members were added to the Church.
Many other improvements were made during his pastorate. The parsonage lot was bought at a cost 250.00, an organ was purchased for $300.00 and new pews were installed. He served as pastor for 10 years.

In 1898, Reverend J. D. Gordon came and pastored for 3 years.
Deacons: James A. Love, T.C Jackson, Sanders Butler, Duke Massey, Roger Hayes, George Jackson, Burke Long, Charlie Slack, Charles Johnson, John Johnson and Ike Bass served under Reverend Gordon. The parsonage built at the cost of 600.00.

Reverend Pinkney followed Reverend Gordon as pastor of Calvary. During his pastorate, lights were installed in the church and many improvements were made around the Church. Under his leadership, backed by prayers from men and women of the Church, Calvary continued to grow. He served for 11 years. The parsonage debt was paid. The vacant lot joining the church was bought for 125.00.

In 1912, after Reverend Pinkney left, several pastors were called to Calvary. Those pastors were: Reverends H. F. Barnes, W.D. King, G.L. Allen, H.J. Jackson and C.L. Daugherty. During the pastorate of H F Barnes, electric lights were installed.

Reverend G.L Allen was an effective leader and Reverend Daugherty was called to a larger field.

The Deacon Board at that time was: Deacons J. K. Love, Dr. J.F.Smith, Wilson Bass, Jerry Head, Charlie Slack, M. L. Bass, Sr., M. L. Bass, Jr., Mel Burke, James Cook, Ben Brown and Dea. Harold Murray.

In 1953, Reverend J. H. PuIlin came to Calvary and under his leadership, 6 men were ordained as deacons and one ordained minister. The deacons were: Jesse Davis, Robert Griffin, Robert F. Jackson, Willie Oliver, Henry Parks and Henry Veasley. Willie Terrell, an ordained deacon was added to the board. The minister was M. P. Jackson

Additional physical improvements were made to the Church, such as restrooms, gas heaters, painting of the Church, repairs of the steeple and new windows. White friends donated money in memory of Mrs. M. L. Bass, Sr., and Deacon J. K. Love.

1967, Reverend J. E. Howard came to us. One deacon was ordained: Tom Jones.
Some of Reverend Howard's accomplishments were: purchase of an electric organ, the baptismal pool placed inside of the sanctuary and a new P.A. system was installed. The bulletin board on front of the building was donated in memory of Dea. & Mrs. M.L. Bass, Sr. by Dea. M.L. Bass, Jr. and Mrs. Marie B. Martin.

A 50 x 50 area in the basement was paneled, floored and partitioned to include a dining area, kitchen and office for the pastor. Eddie Jordan was responsible for the concrete work. Eddie Wyatt, Sr., Solomon Gilbert and Dea. Willie Oliver assisted. This was done under the guidance of Deacons Willie Terrell and Henry Veasley.

Shrubbery on the front of the Church was donated by Colonel Zender Dean in memory of Marvin Mapp (better known as Candy Man).

1972, Reverend B. S. Jackson was called as pastor. Under his leadership, two deacons and one minister were ordained. James E. Thomas, Johnny Johnson as deacons and W, H. Murray as minister. The kitchen was furnished, central heating and air system installed and a grant was received for repair of the steeple boxing and brickwork on the building in 1976.

After the resignation of Rev. B.S Jackson in February 1988, several ministers came to grace Calvary's pulpit with their preaching of the gospel each first and third Sunday.
The members went through a 90-day period of listening, waiting, watching and praying for direction from God for a new spiritual leader.
Among these ministers was a man by the name of Rev. Hoke L. Smith, Jr. better known in Atlanta community as "Pepper". He was born in Atlanta, Georgia and was the associate pastor of Wheat Street Baptist Church, where the great Rev. William Holmes Borders, Sr. was pastor.

1988, the members of Calvary voted to receive Rev. Hoke Smith as the new Pastor. Immediately, Calvary took on organizational changes and the membership greatly increased. Pastor Smith gave full attention to some pertinent issues: (1) Church constitution and by-laws, (2) Worship Sundays were increased to every Sunday instead of twice a month; (3) Sunday School department was restructured (4) introduction of tithes and offerings.

Pastor Smith came as a man of vision and dreams of building God's ministry. Under his leadership for the past 33 years many of these dreams are now reality. Additional changes are as follows:

  • Restoration of the Church parsonage with the addition of a library. Deacon Martin L. Bass, Jr. was responsible for organizing the church library when it was located in the Church Parsonage. He was assisted by Mrs. Mildred Bass, Mrs. Marie B. Martin and Miss Mattie Terrell .He secured shelving for the displaying of books. Many personal books were given and other books were donated by church members and friends. Dedicated members made contributions of literature, furniture, decorations and physical labor.

  • Renovation and repairs of the basement Addition to the Secretary's office and remodeling of the kitchen.
    *Laying of the Church Cornerstone in July 1990
    *The rejuvenation of the Church grounds with revived landscaping.
    *Shrubbery was donated and planted by Leo Hall.
    *Church roof repaired.

  • Steeple repaired and restored with the addition of lights to reflect the historical beauty.
    *Church interior was repainted with the addition of restored pulpit furnishings in white.
  • A new altar, podium and tithing box was installed.
  • Stained glass windows were installed with member contributions and dedications in honor of and in memory of members.
    *New exterior doors were installed.
  • Wheel chair ramp was added.
    *New lighting System.
  • Additional renovations to Secretary's office to include a conference area.
  • Refurbishing of Fellowship Hall including new furnishings.
    *Bus ministry.
    *Weekly Bible class, Homebuilder's class and Deliverance Ministry (Faith Congregation Deliverance Ministry).
    *NIV Study Bibles for all bible students.

Annie Maude Massey was manager of the food service from 1988-2002.

Thanksgiving Mass Feeding begins here at Calvary.

  • Scholarship Fund
    *New audio equipment purchased with the addition of Television and Video equipment expansion.
    *Baptist Training Union "Literacy Program
    *Grant Committee established to fund building projects. Organized Youth for Christ, Sis. Ann Smith orchestrated the Chanters of God's word. Organized Boy Scout Troop #797 based at Calvary Drug rehabilitation and counseling program Organized Prison Ministry, Purchased broadcasting equipment for Radio Ministry.

There was an addition of 5 ordained ministers, Rev. Michael Ross, Sr., Evangelist Deborah Massey (2013), Robert Terrell, Jr., George Warren, and Carrie Peters Reid (2016), Rev. Junior Jackson joined Calvary already ordained and four licensed ministers were Rev. Quincy Rhodes (1999) and Minister Thelma Griffin-Lee (1999)
. and Min. Lewis Smith licensed (2016) Sharda Massey was selected as Youth Minister.
Thelma Dolvin was Madison Missionary Baptist Association Youth Director for several years.

The following men were ordained as deacons:
Hubbard Veasley, Charles Davis, Gerald Mapp, Albert Goudelock, Ernest Bailey, Eddie Wyatt, Sr. and Linton Gilbert, Sr. Another servant of God was installed upon his becoming a member of Calvary, Dea. Robert Terrell, Sr.. Additional deacons added, Felton Massey, Thomas Cobb, Patrick Thompkins, Anthony Elder, Eddie Walker , Anthony Terrell (2001) and Robert Daniel (2001),Dea. Tommy Smith (2003), Willie Wyatt, Dwayne Joyner. Charlie Foster. (2009) Rodney Oliver (2016)

The music department was restructured and reorganized with the standing of six musicians. New drums, organ, piano and keyboard were purchased to enhance this department.
Additional church choir were implemented, the Hoke L. Smith Male Chorus, Calvary Mass Choir, Ambassadors of Christ and The Majestic Choir.

Amidst all of these changes, the addition of involvement in a Credit Union was established to strengthen the financial resources of the membership and the Church.

All Church debts were cleared, Certificates of Deposit were purchased (totaling $19,000.00) and increased from $10,000.00 annual income to $255,000.00
Bro. Marshall Reese encouraged the members to tithe and invest in the financial independence for the construction of the new proposed Christian Education Building project.
Also under the pastorate of Pastor Smith, the R.O.S.A. program was established to promote our Senior Adults, a midday Bible Class was established to encourage our Senior Adults and a new baptismal pool was constructed.

A van was purchased. A full-time secretary was employed, Mrs. Angela Daniel (1999). Deacon Linton Gilbert hired as custodian. The deacons began home visitations to nursing homes, hospital and rehabilitation facilities. Prophet and Prophetess Charles and Vernella Binion were added to the ministerial staff.

The addition of the inspirational Praise Team was organized.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the new educational building was held (1998)

With a vision of the future of the Church, Pastor Smith's vision became reality with the completion of the New Educational Building. The new building contains 6 Sunday school Classes, Conference Room, Pastor's Office, multipurpose gym, full service kitchen, two storage rooms and four restrooms. Pastor Smith provided all the change orders to the building which would have cost additional monies, but he didn’t charge.

The Education Building was paid off in 5 years instead of 10 years.

Rev. Hoke Smith consulted Representative Frank Stancil to orchestrate having all the visible electric wires place underground instead of being visible.

The laying of the corner stone of the New Educational Building on Oct. 15. Also, an anonymous donor donated the house at 230 Academy St. to Pastor Hoke and Ann Smith. Pastor Hoke and Ann Smith, had it deeded over to Calvary Baptist Church. This home should never be sold.

Another house was donated to the church located at 678 Pearl St. by Ms. Tahita Moore.

June 22, 2003 Min. Doris Booker was ordained Sis. Wauline Baptiste was licensed.
Intercessory Prayer line established
Dekalb Tech sponsoring GED classes and Spanish classes here at Calvary.

Rev. Eugene Harris came aboard as organist. 25 new members added
Classes began to prepare students for testing in the school system
James A. Braswell added to ministerial staff
Greg Stripling came aboard as organist
New Membership Class begins
Calvary placed first in The Madison Association queen contest, Crystal Daniel was crown Queen.
T.V. Ministry begins
New marble pulpit floor installed.
Chandelier over pulpit donated by Pastor and Mrs. Ann Smith’s children.

2006 -The Walk of Faith breezeway was constructed. A suggestion of Deacon Henry Veasley after Mrs. Ann Smith raised concerns of walking from the church to the education building when it rained.

September 10,2007, Seminary classes began. Pastor Hoke Smith, Chancellor, Angela Daniel, Dean, instructors, Rev. L. O. Billingsley and Rev. Charles Johnson.

Calvary's Spiritual Dance Team directed by Sis. Deborah Massey

2007 the Leo and Odessa Hall scholarship established.

Website-2008- Set up by Sis. LaShonda Benford.

2008-Dea. Willie L. Oliver ordained as Elder.

Rev. Hoke Smith received an honorary Doctoral Degree from Grace Baptist Church in Buford.

Sandra Bailey and Greg Stripling were ordained as Ministers of Music. (2009)

2010-Roof replaced with a standing seam metal roof.
2011-2012- Membership increased tremendously, Purchased another van

Purchased Golf Cart to transport Parishioners from parking lot to church.

Kiara Smith named Valedictorian at Morgan County High School
Erica Veasley won in District 1 of the Board of Education’s seat by Minnie Peek. She will face Dick Hodges in November. Erica faced Mr. Hodges and won.

Armani Huff placed first as king in the Madison Missionary Baptist Association King and Queen youth pageant.

2013-New carpet and the sanctuary painted

Madeline Cobb hired as an additional custodian.

Installation of Video Projection System.
New chairs for Mid-Day Bible Class (2013)
Annie Clara Mosley president of the Nurses Guild.

March 23, 2014-Minister George Warren joined Calvary as the first white minister.

2014- new flooring in Gym.

Deacon Albert Goudelock hired as Lawn and Gardening person in 2014.

Charelle Howell was crowned youth queen of the Madison Missionary Baptist Church pageant.

System 5 of Atlanta Ga installed security system.
Outside church sign purchased. Paid for by The George Warren Foundation.

2015- Ariana Jackson placed Third as queen of the MMBA youth pageant.

The choir room in the basement was remodeled into a Believers’ Room in 2016 under the directions of First Lady Ann Smith.

Calvary joined Atlanta Food Bank Distributing food to those in need. (2016) Florence Hodges and Angela Wilson oversee this ministry. Feeds 115 people.

New TV’s purchased for the Sunday school classrooms.

2017-Remodeled our historic kitchen and reconstructed old choir room under the direction of Mrs. Eula Colbert, Deacon Johnny Johnson, First Lady Ann Smith, and Deacon Ernest Bailey. New appliances purchased. Reconstructed the old Pastor’s office to become the Blue Room for men.

New tile in basement

Mrs. Kathi Russell donated a stove to the church.

Dianne Huff Boswell accepted her calling into the Gospel Ministry-October 2017.

Marva Ann Massey assumed the kitchen responsibility when Thelma Dolvin stepped down.

Erica Veasley donated bar stools to the new kitchen. (2017)

Mary Whidby was crowned queen during Women’s Night of the Madison Missionary Baptist Association Women’s night program.
February 4, 2018-Deacon R. L. Terrell ordained as Elder

June 2018- Replaced new heat and air units. Jordan Air Mechanical was the installer. ($38,000.00)

Installed monitor in sound room for extra security and surveillance.

June 8, 2018- Received Tax Exempt Status-501C3(IRS)
Under Hoke Smith Ministry Genesis 3 name.

Brother Anthony Taylor joined the Kitchen Ministry.

Dianne Huff Boswell was licensed and Florence Hodges as well. (2018)

Rev. Michael Ross, Sr. donated the beautiful plants inside and out.

Deacon Linton Gilbert suggested the Angels that are painted behind the sanctuary. They were painted by Eugene Swain.

Women’s jail ministry.

Marriage classes.

Improved men’s restroom in the basement of the church.

2019-Love and Fellowship dinners on the 4th Sundays.

Heat and Air replaced at parsonage at 230 Academy St.

06/09/2019- Christen Zayn Jackson-Jasmine Veasley baby

March 2020-Sammy Boswell hired a lawn care overseer

April 2020-Due to the Covid-19, the church doors were closed. We had Conference Call service.

05/13/2020- Distributed 500 boxes of food during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

The Historic Preservation Commission honored Calvary with the Floyd Newton Outstanding Preservation Stewardship Award.
We gave out school supplies.
Denny Wyatt was ordained as deacon on September 20, 2020

Denny Wyatt was licensed to preach the gospel on October 15, 2020.

Rev. Hoke Smith placed a new headstone on Rev. Allen Clarke’s grave. 10/18/2020

November 15, 2020-Denny Wyatt, Lewis Smith & Dianne Huff Boswell ordained as ministers.

Sammy Boswell hired as the new custodian January 2021

Pastor Hoke Smith retired Sunday August 7, 2021, after 33 years of service.

Parking lot paved by Hollis Company October 2021.

Replaced Handicap Signs

Pastor’s Search Committee organized November 2021, Minister Lewis Smith, Chairperson, Deacon Robert Daniel, Secretary and Deacon Eddie Wyatt, Prayer coordinator. Minister Smith passed away during this process.

Members will vote for Senior Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church on Sunday, October 23rd.

Pastor Danny A. Ball was chosen as the next pastor of Calvary Baptist Church.

Pastor Ball preached his first sermon as pastor the first Sunday om December 2022.

The first to join under Pastor Ball were Joan Faulk, December 11, 2022, Dwayne Foster, Brianna Foster on January 1, 2023, and Terri Wilson on November 27, 2022.

Tim Robinson came while we were without a pastor. May 8, 2022,
and Sammy Boswell as well on July 3, 2022.
Joan Fauk joined 12/11/2022.
Sammy Boswell-07/03/2022
Terri Wilson-11/27/2022
Dwayne Foster-01/01/2023
Brianna Foster-01/01/2023
Dakota Bailey-02/05/2023
Pamela Huff-03/26/2023
Cassey Revere-04/02/2023
Chassen Foster-01/29/2023
Derrick Lyles-05/21/2023
Lisa Lyles-05/21/2023
Devin Lyles-05/21/2023
Dylan Lyles-05/21/2023-
Bro Franklin Welch-06/04/2023
Sylvia Gilbert renewed her membership 07/23/2023
Donald Huff-08/27/2023
Leon Williams-09/03/2023
Kennedy Heard-09/03/2023
Sa’riyaah Shaffer-09/10/2023
Nevaeh Head-09/10/2023

Pastor Ball’s first Christening- Ayla Uwaifo-01/22/2023-Novita Smith’s grand daughter

July 24TH 2023- Men’s 1st Prayer Breakfast
Pop up Evangelization in Canaan Crossing-2023
1st Seniors/ Widows Dinner- July 30th, 2023
Purchased new Streaming equipment-2023
Second Christening-Stephanie Renee Ross-07/16/2023-Lashonda Benford Ross Daughter. Baby birthday 04/05/2023

2023-Renovation of parsonage at 211 Academy St.