Our History

Lives Centered on the Gospel

Calvary Baptist Church

has a long history in the heart of Towson. Our current location has been in use since 1914, and the building has been standing on the corner of West Pennsylvania and Baltimore Ave since 1929. However, the church body goes back all the way to 1889.


In December, 1889, the Reverend A. C. Dixon, pastor of the Baptist Tabernacle, held a Baptist worship service in a small room located over a blacksmith's shop in Towson. By February, 1890, a Sunday School program was being conducted in that upper room. On August 15, 1890, twelve members of that Sunday School signed the charter, founding Calvary Baptist Church.

The membership of the new Church grew rapidly. A Church building was constructed, and in 1892 the congregation moved into a simple frame sanctuary constructed on the present property at 120 West Pennsylvania Avenue in Towson. In 1929, that small structure was replaced by a modern sanctuary, and an educational wing was added in 1960.


It is important to remember that a Church is not a building of wood or stone, but a group of people called to serve God in a given location and in the whole world. Through the years, Calvary Baptist Church has been blessed with many dedicated people who have given months, years, or lifetimes to further the Kingdom of God through the ministries of this congregation.

Charter Members

The Reverend William H. Hubbard


Mr. & Mrs. Frank K. Tyler


Miss Laura Merryman


Mr. & Mrs. John C. Watson


Miss Mary Watson


Miss Fanny Watson (Mrs. John Schaeffer)


Mrs. A. J. Rowe


Mr. Charles E. Thomas


Miss Agnes Stieber (Mrs. Watson)


Mr. John P. Leland


Former Pastors

Frederick K. Weimert 1977-2013


Leland Higginbotham 1955-1981


John Henry Day 1953-1955


George Arthur Clarke 1944-1953


Thomas G. Ellis 1942-1944


Archibald F. Ward, Jr. 1937-1942


Richard W. Wickes 1923-1936


John David Clarke 1912-1922


George Ross Wells 1909-1910


Benjamin B. Abbitt 1904-1908


William E. Robertson 1892-1903


William H. Hubbard 1890-1891

Church Timeline

1889 Dec 10 - First meeting of Towson Baptists in a room over Parlett's Blacksmith Shop


1890 Feb 26 - Bible School started with Mr. John P. Leland as Superintendent


1890 Mar 23 - Services moved to Temperance Tabernacle, corner of Virginia and Shealey Avenues


1890 Aug 5 - Twelve charter member organized Calvary Temperance Tabernacle


1891 - House on corner of Pennsylvania and Baltimore Avenue and adjoining lot purchased


1892 Feb 14 - Dedication of our first sanctuary, the frame church, built by C. E. Thomas


1914 Feb - Elizabeth Rider Stevenson donated money to buy land for church at corner of W. Pennsylvania and Baltimore Avenue


1928 Parsonage moved over and work began on new church


1929 Jun 23 - Dedication of present sanctuary


1945 - Osborne-Yelllott property at 108 W Pennsylvania purchased for parsonage


1959 Feb - Parsonage at 108 W Pennsylvania destroyed by fire


1960 Jun 5 - New parsonage at 821 Trafalgar Road purchased


1960 Jun 5 - Dedication of Harrison Rider Memorial Sunday School Building


1964 Nov 6 - Burning of Sunday School Building Mortgage. Church entirely debt free


1981 - Parsonage at 821 Trafalgar Road sold


1990 - Calvary celebrated its centennial over an 18 month period


1990 Dec 24 - Memorial window dedicated at the annual Christmas Eve service


1994 - Michael Graham installed as Calvary's minister to Youth and Young Adults for 2 years, after serving as an intern while completing his seminary studies


1997 - New organ purchased and dedicated


2003 - Work on Calvary's first website began


2004 - Deacons approved Ruth Kulkarni to be licensed Baptist minister


2007 - CBC Yourth took part in a Senior Member interview Project and distributed DVD's.


2007 - Deacons approved the "License to Preach" for Christian Kirby; he and Ruth Kulkarni are employed for Outreach/Visitation.


2007 - Barbara and Candace Geelhaar painted nursery mural


2010 - Ordination Service held for Ruth Kulkarni and Christian Kirby


2012 - Memorial service held for Handbell Choir Director, Dan Moore, after 16 years of service


2012 Jul 14 - Glenn Wittstad's last day as organist after 46 years of service.


2012 - Newly formed 20/30's group and CBC Senior Singles were organized


2012 Dec - Newly formatted Christmas Eve service illustrated white and gold symbols for Christ, called Chrismons


2014 - A "Focus Group" was organized to discuss ways to grow our church


2014 - Wednesday Night Dinner program was suspended


2015 - Calvary celebrated it's 125th Anniversary


Community Outreach Timeline

1897 Feb 16 - Govanstown Baptist, now Gregory Memorial, sponsored by Calvary and formed by Govanstown members


1965 - Sponsored Millie and Cesar Arce from Cuba


1980 - Sponsored 6 members of Dang family from Vietnam


1984 - Towson Calvary Daycare center opened in church facilities and ran until 2000


1985 - Assistance Center of Towson Churches opened in Bridgebuilders' Cabin to help disadvantaged


1995 - Members of Calvary began work projects with Chesapeake Habitat for Humanities. 


1995 - Calvary sponsored the Agic family from Bosnia


1995 - Migrant Worker Health Kit project began


1997 - Our Daily Bread monthly cake baking mission began


2005 - CBC provided monthly meals to the Eastern Homeless Resource Center; Sarah's Hope, mission continued until 2013


2012 - CBC offered support to Akaolisa family from Burkina Faso in the process for U.S. asylum


2012 - Ground was broken for extension of the ACTC building


2015 - First Bible Give-a-Way at the Towsontown Festival