History of Calvary Baptist Church

In 1983, a small group of Christians decided it was time to begin anew church in Floyd County. Under the leadership of Pastor Richard (Dick) Jansen and his wife, Julia, the group rented the Old Presbyterian Church in the town of Floyd and began holding worship services. Major and Margaret Sweeney donated three acres of their property on Route 221-north, and plans were drawn up to build a permanent church home which was now named, Calvary Baptist Church. With forty charter members, Calvary Baptist was finally constituted on August 18, 1983.

When Rev. and Mrs. Jansen retired to Bushnell, Florida in March of 1984, Dr. Marshall Walker, Director of Missions for the Highlands Baptist Association was asked to help find another pastor. Dr. Walker introduced the church to Rev. Roger Roller, and the church called Roger to be pastor in May, 1984. Rev. Roller, his wife Esther and two children stayed in Floyd for the next two years.

Several members signed for a bank loan, and the building was begun. Jean Huff and Joyce Lewis spent every Saturday doing yard sales. The 4th of July celebrations included selling hamburgers, hotdogs and Annie Jones's delicious home made fried apple pies. Once they had enough to start the building, the land was cleared and they began digging out the basement. The rock outcrop had to be blasted in order for work to continue. Members worked every Saturday and many weeknights until the basement was completed. The first worship service was held in this new facility on April 7, 1986.

Rev. Roller accepted a call from Rustburg Baptist Church and resigned from Calvary Baptist in August of 1986. Dr. Walker was again approached to help search for another pastor. Dr. Walker introduced the congregation to a South African, Rev. Graham Mitchell. The congregation called Pastor Mitchell in January of 1987. The Highlands Baptist Association continued to support the fledgling church by supplementing the pastor's salary. Graham also continued his education at Southeastern Baptist Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina and graduated with a Master of Divinity degree in May of 1990. He also completed a Doctor of Ministry (Marriage and Family) in June of 2000.

With a letter from Jean Huff combined with the persistence of Pastor Mitchell and Marshall Walker, the Baptist General Association of Virginia overturned its previous ruling and awarded a $25,000 grant and a low interest mortgage loan to the congregation. The financial boost enabled the church to complete the upstairs portion of the building. Again, the majority of the labor was donated by members who sacrificed weekends and weeknights to complete the project. The first service in the new upstairs sanctuary was held the first Sunday in August of 1990. In 2006, the church paid off the mortgage and celebrated Homecoming on August 27,2006 with a Note Burning service. There are now plans under consideration for extending the present building.

Pastor Mitchell accepted a position as Associate Professor of Psychology and Religion at New River Community College in August of 2003, and continued to remain as pastor. At that time, he has been joined in ministry by Rev. Randy McDaniel who was welcomed as Pastor of Outreach and evangelism on October 22, 2006. The McDaniel family — Randy, Melissa, Nicholas and Rachel have become a vital part of Calvary Baptist Church life.

Pastor Mitchell resigned as Pastor recently and Randy McDaniel accepted the call to become the full-time pastor.

Calvary Baptist continues its journey with plans for expansion and outreach. This congregation of 190 members is looking forward to seeing God's will and purpose accomplished in their lives united in this church family.