A Brief History Of Calvary Baptist Church of Madison, Indiana.
In 1959, there was no Southern Baptist witness in Madison, Indiana. Several families from the community began to meet with the vision of planting a new SBC church. Why a Southern Baptist Church? These families wanted a church that was committed to biblical preaching, world missions and local church planting. They rented a two-story house off Clifty Drive for their meetings. At times this new work was difficult and the fledgling church struggled financially. “We’re not going to give up on God,” someone would say and through prayer the church persevered.
God was at work and the church moved forward. A revival was held in August of 1960 resulting in the group’s first baptism. Three months later, they called their first pastor, Rev. Byron Lutz. They purchased a 6.5-acre lot where the church’s facility is presently located. In July of 1961, a groundbreaking ceremony was held. At that time the membership included 44 people with 53 enrolled in Sunday school. Calvary Baptist Church was officially constituted shortly after midnight on New Years Day 1962. Over the next seven years, the church sponsored three missions in other Indiana towns. The potential of this new church seemed great.
There were many trials to come. In March 1963, Rev. Lutz accepted a call to another ministry that could more fully support his family. Even now this sad day brings tears for many of our members. The people of Calvary owe a debt of gratitude to Pastor Byron Lutz for his sacrificial work here in Madison. He is honored by all as a faithful pastor and man of God.
Over the next nine years, Calvary Baptist Church had four short-term pastors. These were difficult times. In 1971 the church called an energetic young minister who worked with the choir and the youth. This was a time of growth. But on April 3, 1974, the young church faced its greatest challenge. Tornadoes tore through Madison destroying many homes and Calvary’s meetinghouse. This was devastating. There are many who still remember the sight with tears. But even in this trial, God was kind to the church. The church gathered that first Sunday at the meetinghouse of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. For the following six months the membership met every Lord’s Day at the Madison Junior High School. The sanctuary was rebuilt concurrently with the new Sunday school building. Many church members participated in this project. The first service after the facility reopened had 218 people in attendance.
From 1979 until 1988, John Hamilton served as pastor. The early 1980’s were a period of growth for Calvary Baptist Church. The church built the “Edith Shadday Wing” which added 15 new Sunday school rooms. In 1987 the church celebrated its 25th anniversary. That year the average worship attendance was estimated at 150 people.
Clyde Angel served as pastor from 1991 – 1999. The church rallied together to build a new worship center. In October 1996 a new 400-seat sanctuary was dedicated. The “Josie Jones” Shelter House was built in the 1990’s to enhance outside activities.
Devin Hudson served as pastor from 2001 – 2004. This was a time of growth and change for Calvary. The children’s ministry area was remodeled in 2002.
The history of Calvary Baptist Church is a story about God’s faithfulness. This church family has endured many trials, but has persevered for the sake of the Gospel. We will continue to take bold steps of faith to reach our community for Christ. Our church family remains committed to biblical preaching, world missions and evangelism. Moving forward, we trust in the power of that Gospel – to change us and to change our community. Our prayer is that Calvary Baptist Church will be a display of God’ glory.
Chronological Listing of Former Pastors
- Byron Lutz, Oct 1960- March 1963
- 4 pastors from 1963 – 1971
- Thomas Raisor, May 1971 – June 1976
- Ron Williams, Feb 1977 – May 1979
- John Hamilton, Sept 1979 – Dec 1987
- Charles Pyles, August 1989 – September 1990
- Clyde Angel, May 1991 – Feb 2000
- Devin Hudson, May 2001 – September 2004
- Jon Pearce, April 2005 – March 2006
- Mike Hamby, April 2007 – Present