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

Dr. William Sean Lee and Sarah Lee 2013-2019

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