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Calvary M. B. Church History
est. 1949

Seventy-one years ago, Rev Charles A. Sullivan had a dream, a vision, a new beginning to establish what is now known as the Calvary M. B. Church. He labored hard to accomplish the dream that God had given him. He planted, he watered and God gave the increase through our Pastor Emeritus Albert Collins (deceased) and former Pastor Ramone L. Collins. The Calvary M. B. Church was organized April 27, 1949 by a council of Baptist ministers. The then First Lady, Sis. Arlene Sullivan suggested Calvary as the name and it was accepted after a brief discussion. After an invitation to Christ, five members united by Christian experience. Rev Charles Sullivan was elected as Pastor and the meeting was further guided by the new Pastor. 

Pastor Sullivan was a dedicated shepherd and leader. His top priority was spiritual education i.e., Baptist Training Union, Sunday School and Wednesday night Bible studies. Calvary's mission is to "alter the lives of men and women that they may mirror the life of Christ".  Christian education is the main goal of the ministry and everything is done in decency and in order (1 Corinthians 14:40). Pastor Charles Sullivan was called home to be with the Lord on February 5, 1966.  On March 27, 1966, Rev J. Albert Collins of East Saint Louis accepted the pastorate of Calvary. Pastor Collins was also under the leadership of Pastor Sullivan. God blessed us with anointed, Spirit filled leadership in Pastor Albert and First Lady Dora Collins. Whenever there was a problem, we were directed to pray and seek God before we took action on any situation. They were dedicated and interested in the welfare of each member and watched over us through continuous prayer. God's word, evangelism, tending to the sick and helping the less fortunate are mandates for the Calvary M.B. Church family. 

During the opening service on August 3, 2003, Pastor Albert Collins announced his intent to retire. Of course, the Calvary family was saddened to hear this news. However, on September 12th, 2003, a pastoral election was held, and Rev. Ramone L. Collins, his grandson was chosen as our third pastor. He and his wife, Lady Arnette Collins came October 5, 2003 and assumed the reins from his grandparents. He was installed March 28, 2004. Under his leadership God continually added to the membership and new ministries were added to assist in building God's kingdom. He constantly stated, "he was responsible to God for the congregation".  He served from October 5, 2003 to December 27, 2018 when he resigned. 

The search began for a new shepherd in January 2019. As a result, of diligent prayer, fasting and searching, God has blessed our church family with a servant leader who loves God, His word and His people. After hearing from God, our current pastor, Rev. James B. Rogers (First Lady Carroll Rogers) was chosen December 22nd, 2019.  His first day of worship at Calvary was January 5, 2020. His spirit filled message to the Calvary family was, "A New Beginning", delivered January 12, 2020. Pastor Rogers came on board sharing with us that he was a "servant leader" and he has demonstrated that to the fullest. 

In March 2020, the Coronavirus (COVID19) disrupted our in - house flow of worship. Pastor Rogers quickly developed a plan via Facebook, YouTube and Zoom to assure members would continue to receive the Preached Word, Bible Study, Sunday School and Intercessory Prayer. He and Sis Rogers have taken this body of Christ under their wings demonstrating the truth of St. John 13:35  "By this shall all men know that you are my disciples if you have love one to another". We are grateful for the love given to us and pray that they will remain steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58).


Our theme song is, "We Have Come This Far By Faith". The following is a bit of that leaning on the Lord:


Calvary has occupied several sites; our first location was 4312 Church Road where we paid rent. In 1950 we to 4508 Church Road where we purchased the land and we began building a new edifice. This was completed in 1958, and we moved in and dedicated the new sanctuary to God. This building was purchased by the railroad and again we had to move to rented space at 4900 Gay Ave. Pastor Albert Collins, the deacons and trustees entered into an agreement with the Cent Construction Company to build another sanctuary on January 2, 1968. The new structure was completed and we marched from rented space into 801 South 50th street on October 10th, 1968. After numerous additions to that facility, we outgrew it. Therefore, in September 2000 the trustees and deacons entered into contract to build our present sanctuary. On August 3, 2003 after many trials and difficulties, we moved into this building. 


Yes we have come this far by faith leaning on the Lord and will continue to trust in the Lord with all our heart, looking to the hills from whence cometh our help. We know no other way... pray with and for us as we labor in God's vineyard. 

God bless. 

-Sister Esteria Thompson

Christian Education Director and Founding Member 


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