The roots of Calvary Baptist Church date back to 1850 when the citizens of Mountain Cove in Lovingston felt the need for a place to worship. A small, one-room building was erected for this purpose. This building was called “Liberty Meeting Hall”. All denominations worshiped here. The building was used for a public meeting place, as well as a school. This was the only place of worship in the Lovingston area. The name was later changed to Mountain Cove Baptist Church.
Mountain Cove as it is Today
Lovingston Baptist Church was organized in 1914 when a small group from Mountain Cove felt the need for an evangelical witness in the growing village. Later, Oak Hill and Walnut Grove churches joined Mountain Cove and Lovingston Baptist Church. In 1956, Walnut Grove and part of the membership from Oak Hill joined together to build Ridgecrest Baptist Church. Rev. Andrew Johnson became their pastor.
In the same year, Lovingston and Mountain Cove Churches called Rev. Robert Taylor to become their pastor. When Rev. Taylor was called to military service, Rev. James Lowder became the pastor in 1958. In 1960, Lovingston Church invited the Mountain Cove congregation to join them as one church and build a larger building. With much prayer, the church sold their property and land was purchased from the W. M. Tunstall estate on Route 29 in Lovingston. A new church was erected on this property in 1961. The congregation chose “Calvary” for its name.
Lovingston Baptist as it is Today
On May 19, 1974, the church held a note-burning ceremony rendering Calvary debt-free. With a growing enrollment, Calvary needed more space. In 1978, an educational building was constructed providing the needed space for Sunday School rooms and a large fellowship hall. The debt for this building was paid off on January 16, 1991.
Over the years, Calvary has continued to experience growth. In 2001, they broke ground on a $1.2 million expansion project to include a new 480 seat Worship Center and additional facilities. The congregation moved into the new building on March 23, 2003.
There are now Sunday school classes, mission and youth groups and choirs for all ages..The following pastors have served Calvary Baptist Church:
Rev. Robert Taylor (1956 – 1958)
Rev. James Lowder (1958 – 1964)
Rev. Linwood Coffman (1965 – 1967)
Rev. John Gordon (1967 – 1974)
Rev. Ross Terry (1974 – 1975)
Rev. John Campbell (1975 – 2009)
Dr. Benjamin Owens (2009-2010) Interim
Rev. Don Harvey (2010-2011) Interim
Rev. A. C. Smith (2011 – 2017)
Rev. Jeremy G. Humphrey (2017-Present)
Historian: Shirley Giles