|The church was pastored from 1961-1967 by Rev. John H. Foster. Emphasis was placed on intensive land acquisition in the Morningside and Dandridge area. The formulation of the Brotherhood Club, installation of a speaker system and reorganization of the music department which included purchasing choir robes, hymnals, and a baby grand piano. Office equipment and folding chairs were also added to the facility. In 1967, Rev. Foster received a call to serve from the Shiloh Baptist Church in Norfolk, Virginia.||
John H. Foster
The church’s mission has continued to serve and edify God through our auxiliaries and activities. Presently our ministries include but not limited to: Deacon Board, Trustee Board, Deaconess Board, Mother’s Board, Sunday School, Mission Federation, Music Department, Library, Usher Boards, Hospitality/Parking Attendants, Family Activities Committee, Girl and Boy Scouts, Nursery, Bus Ministry, Moments of Challenge Radio Broadcast, Golden Agers, Marriage Enrichment, Singles Group, Community Outreach, Men’s
On July 5, 1994, the final payment on the church was paid to Mercantile Savings Bank. A special service was held Sunday, November 20, 1994, to commemorate the “Burning of the Mortgage.”
We have been involved in many programs, projects, activities and services that are designed to meet the ever increasing and changing needs of those we serve. A purpose and vision statement has been adopted. Committees, which been established to facilitate the achievement of our purpose and vision include: Youth Development, Community Outreach, Health and Wellness, and Missionary Programs. A Youth Minister and full-time Ministers of Education and Music have been added to the church staff to ensure that these ministries are strengthened. Through our Christian Education component, Christian Family Fellowship (CFF) is a Wednesday night of fellowship and study for the total family. Two dance ministries, Due Praise and Belief, further enhance our ability to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. To further strengthen our spiritual growth, a mid day and an evening prayer services are provided each Wednesday. Each auxiliary is committed to the ideas of Christian faith, duties, responsibilities and obligations performed in a productive manner where no task is too small or too large.
The Long Range Planning Committee was established in 1995. Its charge was to identify areas of concern three to five years in the future, develop plans, and make recommendations to the church to address the areas of concern. The need for additional space was assessed and reported to the church with the recommendation that a building committee is formed. The recommendation of the Building Expansion and Renovation Committee was presented in April 1999 and we are moving forward to ensure implementation of those plans.
On February 2, 2005, Mt. Calvary contracted with Joseph Construction Company, Inc. SunTrust Bank was the lending agency of choice and Ron Nesbit was the loan officer. The building permit for phase one was approved February 15, 2005 Joseph Construction mobilized on site, February 14, 2005. Demolition permit for phase one was issued on February 17, 2005. Certificate of occupancy was issued on October 13, 2005 for phase one. PHASE ONE WAS COMPLETED – THANK YOU LORD!
Demolition for phase two began October 11, 2005. Building permits were revised and issued on the Nursery Wing May 17, 2006. Additional work for existing building was completed August 2006. The certificate of occupancy was issued for all of phase two on August 28, 2006.
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After eighteen months the churches dreams were completed. WE THANK GOD for all the faithful members of Mt. Calvary whose talents and resources made it possible.
Much thanks to our building team: Russell Harris, Osmond Robinson, J. Paul Jones and Kenny Brown for overseeing this project. Also thanks to Aubrey Davis chairman of the Deacon Board and Joe Kendricks chairman of the Trustee Board at the time of the building project. With the completion of this project we are able to do much more for God’s Kingdom and our community.
In June 2007, Mt. Calvary in partnership with Knox County Alzheimer’s Association opened “Howard Circle Of Friends” – Adult Day Program. The program is named for Willie Mae Howard, one time Minister of Education at Mt. Calvary and member of the board of the Alzheimer’s Association. Our hearts will always be grateful to Willie Mae, who is now an associate minister at Mt. Calvary.
As we celebrate each anniversary in our facility designed to accommodate the ministries and activities, will continue our proud heritage of being “A Caring Place.” We are still committed to the well being, growth, and prosperity of our members and our community. The history of our church is living proof, “that there is no limit to the things which can be accomplished for God by working together.”
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The year 2010 was one of growth and tragedy for Mount Calvary. Two new ministries were added; “In Thy Word Ministry”, a Christian drama ministry and “Go Fish Ministry”, an outreach ministry. On Sunday, December 5, 2010, the church celebrated the baptism of McKenzie Simpson. One day later on later on December 6, 2010, at approximately 4:45 p.m., the faith of the Mount Calvary Baptist Church was challenged. The entire west wing of the church was destroyed by a fire. Hearts were saddened, but simultaneously gladdened because everyone inside the building walked out safely.
As devastating as the fire was, the cross never fell from the top of the steeple. GOD was in the plan! The firefighters could not understand what was keeping the cross from falling. It was GOD’s presence and HIS blessed assurance. Restoration was already in progress. A service on Sunday December 11, 2010 was held at Vine Middle School. Twelve days later on December 18, 2010, members returned to Mount Calvary and held services in the multipurpose room. Even though there was a smell of smoke in the building, the spirit of GOD sweetened the aroma with HIS presence. Services continued in our multipurpose facility until July 2013. During the period Mount Calvary was without a sanctuary, our sister churches, Mount Zion Baptist and Mount Olive Baptist graciously allowed us to use their facilities for funeral and baptisms.
The Ground Breaking Ceremony for the new sanctuary and additional classrooms were held on May 6,2012. The participants in the ceremony included Joseph Construction Company, Brewer and Ingram Fuller Architects, Home Federal Bank Officers of Mount Calvary, Rev. Franklin, two of the oldest members, Mrs. Gena G Jackson and Mrs, Hildrith D. Gillespie and Lawrence Johnson, III represented the youth.
Since the December 6, 2010 fire, Mt. Calvary has continued to prosper. God allowed the ordination of five new deacons at Mount Calvary in September 2012. They are Kenneth Brown, James McBride, Phil Majors, William Thornton, and Ernest Randall. Our church’s mission has continued to serve and edify God through our auxiliaries and activities to include: Deacon Board, Trustee Board, Deaconess Board, Sunday School, Music Department, Usher Board, Golden Agers, Marriage Ministry, Singles Ministry, Community Outreach, Health and Wellness, Men and Women Ministries, Youth Ministry, Christian Family Fellowship (CFF), In Thy Word Ministry, Hospitality, Due Praise Dance Ministry, Belief Dance Ministry and GO Fish Ministry.
On Sunday July 14, 2013 the first service was held in the new sanctuary and the dedication was held on Sunday, August 4, 2013. The first Ordinance of Baptism was held on Sunday, September 1, 2013 and the candidate was Daisha Rogers.
The History Committee was reactivated in 2013. The committee charged all committees, organizations and ministries with the task of detailing their “story” through scrapbooks, notebooks, etc., in honor of the 100th Anniversary. These documents are now stored in Mount Calvary’s historical archives located in the new edifice. Upon entering the church there in the new memorabilia’s case replacing the case on the west wing which was destroyed in the fire. Among the displayed items are two “Deacon Chairs” from old Jackson as well as other memories.
Rev. Franklin continually emphasizes the unique location of Mount Calvary. He often reminds the congregation, “God has strategically planted us in a growing area and HE expects us to meet its needs.” To better serve this area, we must be aware of three things: Stress the importance of people not projects, emphasize the mission of the church over the maintenance of the church, and we must realize that God expects the church to grow, the obvious purpose of the church. As we begin a new era, “100 Years and the Journey Continues” we must continue to acknowledge His divine influence in all that we do and the active power of the Holy Spirit in every step we take.