Mount Calvary celebrates 157 years

Published 12:02 am Friday, March 10, 2006

By By ANDY HAMILTON / Niles Daily Star
NILES - The Sunday services at Mount Calvary Baptist Church have a “Holy Ghost feel.”
The service for Sunday, March 12 should be no different, except there is expected to be more people and more music, Bacon said.
Mount Calvary started in 1849 as the Second Baptist Church and was located on the southeast corner of Sixth and Ferry streets. On Sunday, the church and its members will celebrate the 157th anniversary of Mount Calvary.
Joining the Niles congregation Sunday afternoon will be pastors and visitors from three other churches: Pastor Norman Tubbs of Chain Lake Baptist Church in Cassopolis, Pastor Lefate Owens of Community Baptist Church in Elkhart, Ind. and Anthony Puttus of Greater Progressive Baptist Church in Fort Wayne, Ind.
Another special guest will be Dr. Theodis Hadley, who was a pastor at Mount Calvary from 1958 to 1966.
Bacon said regular service will be held in the morning at 10:45 a.m. and Puttus and Hadley will speak during the afternoon service at 3:30 p.m.
Choirs from the visiting churches will also be on hand to join with piano, bass guitar and drums, which already fill the room with music every Sunday.
Of course, the invitation is being extended to the public as well.
In 1872, the log cabin that was Second Baptist moved to the northeast corner of Sixth and Ferry streets. Fire destroyed the cabin and a white frame building was built as a replacement and housed the congregation until 1950.
A year later, on March 4, 1951, a new $22,000 red brick building was dedicated and Second Baptist changed its name to Mount Calvary Baptist Church.
It was in August of 1966, that the Rev. R.B. Nabors began as pastor of the church and formed the Cherub Choir.
Additions to Mount Calvary began in 1970 and the expansion building was dedicated on Feb. 28, 1971.
The Michigan historical marker that stands outside of the church was dedicated on March 13, 1994, which recognized the church was established in 1851. The marker was presented by the Michigan Historical Commission as Michigan Historic Site No. L1902C, Second Baptist Church Commemorative Designation.
In 1999, Niles Mayor Daniel Eycleshymer proclaimed the 14th day of March as Mount Calvary Baptist Church Day. Eight years later, on May 4, 2002, Pastor Bryant L. Bacon accepted the call to pastor Mount Calvary.
Mount Calvary Baptist Church holds Bible study Wednesdays at noon and 6 p.m. Sunday school begins every week at 9:30 a.m., followed by service at 10:45 a.m. and an afternoon program at 3:30.
Services can also be heard on 99.1 FM, WSMK on Sundays at 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.