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Russellville’s Calvary Church celebrates 50 yearscomment (0)

July 22, 2010

To comprehend what has happened in the life of Calvary Baptist Church, Russellville, in the past 50 years is “a little overwhelming,” Pastor Wade Wallace said.

Starting with 18 charter members in July 1960, the Franklin Baptist Association church has grown to more than 900 members today. And while the number of people saved through Calvary Baptist’s ministry is unknown, records indicate that 700 people making professions of faith have been baptized during the past 50 years.

“God has used the people of the church,” Wallace said. “They have had a vision and passion to move forward and are open to the Lord’s leadership.

“They have always been that way … and they continue (to be) that way today.”

Calvary’s growth and success were woven throughout the July 11 golden anniversary celebration. Testimonies by current and former members, including charter member Delano Lawrence, detailed specific ways the church has impacted lives and reached a lost world for Christ. “This is my first church home,” member Jenny Pace said. “I was saved and baptized here. … It is a family here. There is unconditional love.”

Member Chris Willis said it is the people who mean the most to him. “When I think of Calvary Baptist Church, I think of the people and how they molded my life. … They taught me to be a leader. … They showed me God’s faithfulness.”

Current and former staff members also took part in the service, and three former pastors were present: James Warren (1968–1970), Ralph Jones (1972–1977) and Joe Lenox (1984–1999). Warren delivered the anniversary sermon, preaching from Deuteronomy 31:1–8.

Also during the service, presentations were made to the church by Larry Dover, director of missions for Franklin Association; Lonette Berg, executive director of the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission; and Jennifer Davis Rash, managing editor of The Alabama Baptist.

Those who attended the service received a special 50th anniversary historical booklet, enjoyed a fellowship lunch after the service and had the opportunity to purchase a special edition Christmas ornament commemorating the occasion.

Judy Pounders, who helped organize the anniversary celebration, delivered the historical report during the service.

“The service was very emotional,” she said. “It was a blessing.”

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