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RESOURCE CENTER AND ARCHIVES

Tuscaloosa’s Calvary Church celebrates 100th birthdaycomment (0)

February 10, 2011


It was a birthday party like no other.

Instead of accepting gifts, Calvary Baptist Church, Tuscaloosa, decided to give gifts in honor of its 100th birthday.

On Jan. 29, more than 400 members of the Tuscaloosa Baptist Association church participated in what Senior Pastor Tim Lovett called a “missions blitz.” The blitz included paying for $500 worth of breakfasts at a local McDonald’s; putting together 1,182 birthday bags of staple household items and handing them out to lower income neighborhoods; and baking 162 dozen cookies and delivering them to fire and police stations, hospitals and other civil service organizations. And with each gift was the message “Calvary is having a birthday, but we want you to have the gift.”

“I’ve stressed the theme service and serving for the good of the world. I don’t think God calls us to be visionaries, but He does call us to be missionaries,” Lovett said. “That was the thrust of the weekend — service.”

Not only did the church use its centennial anniversary as an opportunity to do missions but it also let people know of its history. The first three Sundays in January were spent looking at its history in 25-year increments. During the missions blitz, the church held a missions fair in its family life center to tell the story of what was going on in the world, at the University of Alabama (UA) and at Calvary during the past 100 years.

The monthlong anniversary celebration concluded Jan. 30 with a service focused on Calvary’s future. During the service, Lovett revealed a new vision statement and encouraged the people to be open to what “God has for us as missionaries locally, nationally and internationally.” In addition to many local and state dignitaries being present, Melanie Metz of the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission was on hand to present her home church with a plaque for its 100 years of service.

“[The day] served an incredible purpose of clarifying our mission and giving us clarity about our place — physical location as well as our place of ministry in the city of Tuscaloosa, at [UA] and throughout the world,” Lovett said.

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