Calvary Baptist Church (Washington, D.C.)

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Calvary Baptist Church
Calvary Baptist Church (Washington, D.C.).jpg
Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.
38°53′59″N 77°01′22″W / 38.899624°N 77.022716°W / 38.899624; -77.022716Coordinates: 38°53′59″N 77°01′22″W / 38.899624°N 77.022716°W / 38.899624; -77.022716
Location755 8th Street, NW
CountryUnited States
DenominationAmerican Baptist Churches USA, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Alliance of Baptists
Former name(s)E Street Baptist
Founded1862 (1862)
Founder(s)Amos Kendall
EventsFounding of the Northern Baptists, now the American Baptist Churches USA
Architect(s)Adolf Cluss
Materialsred brick
Senior pastor(s)Rev. Sally Sarratt and Rev. Maria Swearingen

Calvary Baptist Church is a Baptist church located in the Chinatown neighborhood in Washington, D.C. affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, the Baptist Peace Fellowship of North America, the Alliance of Baptists, the District of Columbia Baptist Convention,[1][2] and the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists.[3] It severed ties with the Southern Baptist Convention in July 2012.[4][5] Since 2017, Calvary's Senior Co-Pastors have been Rev. Sally Sarratt and Rev. Maria Swearingen.

Mission and Congregation[edit]

Calvary focuses on its missions as an urban church in the heart of a great city. Its vision statement is:

We are an ecumenical, multi-racial, multi-ethnic Christian body committed to living faithfully in the heart of this great city. To that end we strive to be welcoming, responsive, trusting, and prayerful in everything we do.

Recently, this commitment has manifested in Calvary in its relationship with the Latino, and especially Salvadoran, population by introducing bilingual services[6][7] and partnering with a church in El Salvador, led by Rev. Edgar Palacios.[8] Calvary has also been involved in immigration reform efforts.[8][9] Members of Calvary also were active on the issue of marriage equality.[10][11]

In the past, this commitment has taken many forms. In the 1983, Calvary founded the Calvary Women's Shelter,[12][13] now Calvary Women's Services, the first women's homeless shelter in Washington Metro area. Calvary's location near Chinatown has led to extensive outreach to the Chinese and Burmese communities. Calvary runs a summer camp, Camp Fraser[14] near Great Falls, Virginia.

Calvary has played a significant role in Baptist life as the founding church of the Northern Baptist Convention (now the American Baptist Churches USA) in 1907,[15] a leading church of the Baptist Sunday School movement at the turn of the century,[12][16] a model for women's Sunday School,[17] and is unique in Baptist life for having simultaneously had the President of the American Baptists,[12] then pastor Clarence Cranford, and the Southern Baptists, former Democratic Member of Congress from Arkansas Brooks Hays, as members of the congregation.[18][19] In 1955, it became the first white Baptist church in Washington, DC to admit an African-American member.[20]

Calvary's sanctuary building was designed by the US-German architect Adolf Cluss, who also designed a number of other leading buildings in Washington.

Senior Pastors[edit]

Historic members[edit]

Calvary Baptist Church, 1860s

As a church in Washington, it has had a number of high-profile members[15]:258 including:


  1. ^ "Directory of Churches". District of Columbia Baptist Convention. Archived from the original on 2010-06-08. Retrieved 2010-06-06.
  2. ^ "About Calvary". Calvary Baptist Church.
  3. ^ "AWAB Member Congregations". Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists.
  4. ^ Bob Allen (July 26, 2012). "Historic DC church severs SBC ties". Associated Baptist Press. Archived from the original on 2013-11-12. Retrieved 2012-08-02.
  5. ^ Rev. Dr. Amy Butler (July 26, 2012). "Calvary Baptist pastor: Why we severed ties with the Southern Baptist Convention". The Washington Post.
  6. ^ Gowan, Annie (March 28, 2010). "Seeking prayers that speak to all". Washington Post.
  7. ^ Dale, Amy (April 3, 2010). "Calvary Baptist Church finds unity in diversity". Washington Post.
  8. ^ a b Jessica Martinez (July 18, 2013). "Salvadorans May Replace Cubans as Third Largest US Hispanic Group". Christian Post.
  9. ^ John Burnett (April 15, 2013). "Evangelicals Try To Soften Hearts On Overhauling Immigration". National Public Radio.
  10. ^ Rev. Leah Grundset Davis (March 26, 2013). "Baptists from Mid-Atlantic rally in support of gay marriage as Supreme Court begins landmark case". Religious Herald.
  11. ^ Bob Allen (March 30, 2010). "Legal gay marriage pushes sexuality to forefront for churches". Associated Baptist Press.
  12. ^ a b c d e Tiller, Carl (1994). At Calvary: A history of the first 125 years of Calvary Baptist Church, Washington, D.C., 1862-1987 : with glimpses of the years 1988-94. Trinity Rivers Pub.
  13. ^ Taylor, Vincent (February 1, 1983). "Church Opens Doors for Homeless Women". The Washington Afro-American.
  14. ^ "Camp Fraser". Calvary Baptist Church. Archived from the original on 2013-11-03. Retrieved 2013-08-03.
  15. ^ a b c Wilbur, William Allen (1914). Chronicles of Calvary Baptist Church. Washington, D.C.: Judd & Deitwiller, Inc.
  16. ^ Samuel Harrison Greene (1903). The Twentieth Century Sunday School. Nashville, Tennessee: Sunday School Board, Southern Baptist Convention.
  17. ^ Gram, Alice (December 1920). "Jessie Burrall -- Girl's Girl". Good Housekeeping: 13.
  18. ^ "Dr. Clarence Cranford Honored on the 25th Anniversary of Work with Washington Church". Lewiston Evening Journal. March 10, 1967.
  19. ^ Cornell, George (July 26, 1957). "Closer cooperation noted by North, South Baptists". Milwaukee Sentinel (AP).
  20. ^ Gross, Edie (December 29, 2009). "Love God, love your neighbor". Duke Divinity School.
  21. ^ Michael Alison Chandler (January 14, 2017). "Gay couple hired at Calvary Baptist in D.C. among a growing number of spouses called to co-pastor at nation's churches". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-01-14.
  22. ^ Fisher, Marc (December 30, 2004). "D.C. Congregation Moved On Without Walking Away". Washington Post. p. B01. Retrieved 2010-06-07.
  23. ^ "Staff". Calvary Baptist Church.
  24. ^ "City Gate » History". Archived from the original on 2010-07-05. Retrieved 2009-09-22.
  25. ^ Dr. Rev. Hill Obituary
  26. ^ Bucknell University Alumni
  27. ^ Kennard, Joseph Spencer (1901). Psychic power in preaching. G. W. Jacobs.
  28. ^ "Harding a Farm Boy Who Rose by Work". The New York Times. April 3, 1923.
  29. ^ Rudin, Ken (August 23, 2006). "What happens if Lieberman wins?". NPR.

External links[edit]