Honoring their Heritage ~ Leaving a Legacy
" For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace,
and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Jeremiah 29:11
Before the world was spoken into existence God had a plan to birth a church in Lenoir City, TN. From the portals of glory He brought that plan to Earth when General William Lenoir was granted five thousand acres of land for his outstanding service and patriotism during the Revolutionary war. In 1810 the Lenoir family took up residence on the land that would sixty years later become the site of the church.
On December 4, 1916 a tiny group of believers, embracing the truth of Jeremiah 29:11, and taking it as their battle cry, met to seek God's direction in organizing a church. After much prayer they unanimously agreed to allow God to use them as His human hands to start Tabernacle Baptist Church. The following Sunday, December 10, A.V. Pickering, accepting the position of pastor, brought the inaugural message. As with any living organism, the little church experienced growing pains. Pastors come and went, believers were added to the church, and their faithful giving allowed them to purchase the building. Being mission-minded they began to support local, national, and world missions: and God was glorified!
In 1948 the name of the church was changed to Calvary Baptist Church. Under the leadership of A. A. Carlton, pastor from 1953 until 1972, the church continued to grow, purchasing new property and adding new members. It soon became obvious that God was blessing to the extent that a new building was needed. Rev. Clarence Sexton, pastor from 1972 until 1975, led the church in a dynamic visitation program that saw the church experience great growth. In May of 1985, the membership of Calvary Baptist, under the leadership of Milton Hicks, moved into their present building. On Easter Sunday, 1995, a record number attended Sunday School (405) and worship (750); rejoicing in the knowledge that they serve a living, risen, soon returning Savior.
From Pastor A.V. Pickering in 1916 to Pastor Jody McGaha in 2016, many men of God have taken their places behind the sacred desk, faithfully declaring God's Word. With renewed vision and a willingness to work, Calvary Baptist continues the journey. As a torch is passed from generation to generation God's glorious Word rings out with new enthusiasm. With an abiding love for God and a bond of fellowship among the brethren, Calvary Baptist Church continues forward. The theme, "Life Begins at Calvary", both guides and gladdens Cavalry's desire to share Him with the world and gives the zeal to persevere. Doing such, Calvary Baptist Church continues to honor its heritage while simultaneously leaving a legacy for others to walk the path toward an eternity with Christ.
Pastors: A.V. Pickering, Robert E. Humphrey, J.H. Cate, A.B. Johnson, G.X. Hinton, F.J. Hoge, D.C. Kerley, C.M. Dutton, Zane Mason, Thomas P. Guinn, Ray T. Turner, Glenn A. Toomey, Aubrey A. Carlton, Clarence G. Sexton, John R. Walker, Milton L. Hicks, Rodney Burnette, Richard V. Holden, Scott E. Cagle, R. Steven Taylor, Charles R. Jenkins, William (Donny) Crass, Jody McGaha.
A synopsis of the history of Calvary Baptist as gleaned from the files of church historians, Sherry Bivens & Glen Hill.