Calvary Missionary Baptist Church Future New Edifice
In 1871 Reverend Garrison Frasier started prayer meetings in the Dixie Community at the home of Mrs. Jane Perry but he died before these saints could be organized into a church. Reverend W.M. Morrison came to Dixie. Mrs. Jane Perry gave this prayer band a parcel of land at the fork of the road in Dixie. A pole house was built and Reverend W.M. Morrison held the first church service. Reverend U.L. Houston, a founder of Zion Missionary Baptist Association and one of the first black members of the State House of Representatives from Savannah, Georgia came to Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, baptized nine candidates, ordained Reverend W.M. Morrison, and turned the church over to him. No record exists as to who came up with the church name. The church became a part of the Zion Missionary Baptist Association.
Reverend Morrison resigned ordaining Reverend Kingston Clark before leaving. Under Reverend Clark the church split. In 1898 Reverend James Sims was called. When Reverend Clark died, Reverend Sims was able to reunite the church. When Reverend Sims resigned, Reverend W.M. Morrison was called again to pastor Calvary and he pastured until his death in 1915. In 1918 Reverend M. Burke was called and Calvary experience a spiritual revival. Reverend Burke died in October 1923.
In 1924 Reverend W.C. Shipman was called and he brought a powerful message of social change and responsible citizenship. Under his leadership, a Choir, a Men's Group, and an Usher Board were organized, and five Deacons were ordained. The church building was in need of repair so Reverend Shipman enlisted the aid of Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company. The current building was built using timber from the Ford Plantation. Mr. Ford sent his private builders to construct the finest building in the area. The membership grew from 32 members to 132 members. Reverend W.C. Shipman died on January 25, 1947.
Reverend J.F. Mann served as interim Pastor until Reverend J.M. Benton was called in January 1948. Reverend Benton had a strong presence and he was known for his soul-stirring sermons. He ordained seven new Deacons, had a kitchen built, erected a Baptism pool, and indoor plumbing was constructed. Reverend Benton died in 1973. In 1974 Reverend John Miller, a son of Calvary baptized by Reverend Shipman and ordained by Reverend Benton was called. He was a man of great compassion with a humble spirit, striving to keep the members together in Christian love. Under his leadership, the first woman was license and ordained to preach, two Deacons were ordained, air conditioners were installed, the church was painted and re-roofed, and several new members joined.
After the death of Reverend Miller, Reverend Lamont Johnson was called and he began weekly church services. He resigned and Reverend Walter Spencer was called. Reverend Spencer ordained four Deacons and installed one Deaconess. In 1998, Reverend Spencer resigned. As Calvary sought God for a Pastor, Reverend J.C Shipman, son of Calvary and Evangelist Gloria Simmons, first woman licensed and ordained at Calvary by Reverend Miller, worked together as interims. In May 1999 Reverend Johnnie L. Timmons was called. Under his leadership the main edifice of the church was refurbished, a new roof was added, a bus was purchased, the parking lot was paved, a room was designated to accommodate the financial affairs of the church, a budget and requisition system was installed by the Finance Department, and five Deacons were installed. Reverend Timmons resigned in August 2004.
With much prayer Calvary moved on under the leadership of a dedicated Deacon Board and a spirit-filled Ministerial Staff. In May 2005 Reverend Sylvester Robinson was called. Calvary took on renewed spirit with this energetic preacher. Midweek service took on a new energy and new activities were incorporated such as a Youth Jubilee Jamboree and Guest Day. After 33 days Reverend Robinson resigned.
As we continued to seek God and remained in prayer, a special church conference was held and Reverend Stanford L. Anderson, I was called to pastor Calvary with his first day being the fifth Sunday in July of 2005. Reverend Anderson along with the first family, First Lady Dorothy Y. Anderson, Stanford L. Anderson, II, and Faith G. Anderson has been God sent. The church used Pastor Anderson's example as a catalyst for renewed love for each other. The church has taken on a spirit of worship and cooperation not seen in many years. Pastor Anderson's powerful sermons and teaching has brought many souls to Christ for Salvation. Under the leadership of Pastor Anderson 268 new members have been added to the CMBC Ministry with 74 of them by Baptism. A new six week series New Members Class was added. A Media Ministry was organized and the sound system was upgraded. All services are recorded on CD and DVD and are available for purchase by the Media Ministry. A van was purchased to enhance the Transportation Ministry. The Music Ministry was reorganized with the hiring of a Minister of Music and three choirs were formed, the Calvary Mass Choir, the Calvary Youth Choir, and the Voices of Calvary Men's Choir. A full time Church Administrator was hired with office hours established. Calvary has been growing by leaps and bounds with as many as 200 in Sunday Morning Worship Services, up to 105 in Sunday School, and up to 75 in Midweek Family Night and Bible Study Services. The Youth Explosion was added to the Midweek Bible Study Worship with classes for all ages with the AWANA curriculum being taught. Fellowship meals are served every Wednesday night after service.This has created the need for a new facility. In accordance with the Vision from God given to Pastor Anderson, a Family Life Center was planned, the land was cleared, and an Architect has been retained. A new automated phone system was installed. A V.I.P. reception for visitors was incorporated. CMBC Vision and Mission Statements were adopted. A church directory, church logo and church website have been developed. The Congregational Tribal Care Ministry was birth.