Calvary Baptist Church is moving forward — they recently remodeled their sanctuary, added a new pastor, new music and youth ministers, a website and are planning a 90th anniversary celebration in 2016.
In 2014, church members banded together to raise $208,000 to refurbish the church under the direction of 81-year-old, now retired pastor, the Rev. Ted Francis.
Inside the sanctuary, new pews, chairs, a communion table and pulpit were added, plus a new sound system, new ceiling, carpet and wiring. The refurbishing also extended out into the church office, pastor’s office, nursery and hallways.
The present church building was constructed in 1953 and still retains an original stained glass window above the baptismal.
Dr. Don Satterwhite, formerly of Florida, became the new pastor five months ago and is pleased with how the church is growing and at the quality of the remodel work.
“I can’t take credit at all, because they did it before I got here,” he said Wednesday.
He added that the former chairman of the trustees, Jim Lawson, said all of the remodel work was paid for before the project was completed.
“So it’s all paid off,” he said. “This is a good community location for a church. We don’t have any plans to be a mega-church here, but what we don’t want to do is have the same group every Sunday. We want to see the church grow.”
Satterwhite said the first Sunday he came to the church there were 103 people in attendance. Last Sunday they had 130 and the Sunday before 142.
He added that retired pastor Francis was a positive influence for the church during his tenure.
“He was very good for this church,” Satterwhite noted. “I remember asking the search committee ‘what is the best thing that happened in this church in the last 10 years?’ They said ‘our previous pastor helped us to learn to love each other.’
“That’s my theme for the church,” he added. “John 13:35; ‘By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, that you love one another,’ Jesus said. A church needs to be known because they love one another, not for how many concerts they have or how exciting their worship service is. Those things are all nice, but it’s how much you love each other.”
Since his arrival, the church has added a new music minister, Michael Sproles.
“He’s part-time, but he’s wonderful,” Satterwhite said. “The same time that we called Michael, the first of September, we called Taylor and Emily Quinley. They are students at Midwestern (Baptist Theological) Seminary in Kansas City and they commute to work with us. They are here on Wednesdays and weekends.”
Taylor Quinley, who works with his wife as a team, is the new director of student or youth ministries at the church.
“They are doing a great job with the kids,” Satterwhite added.
Although the church building has been at the West 16th Street location since 1953, the church has been in existence in the local area for 90 years. The congregation will have an anniversary celebration in Fall 2016.
“It’s been a very vibrant church for many years,” he said. “We are seeing good things happen … another amazing thing about this church is 50 percent of the people come back for Sunday night and Wednesday night (services).”
This month Calvary Baptist will have a special service, “My Friendship Connection,” Sunday morning, Nov. 15. The congregation is encouraged to invite friends to the service.
Satterwhite said he has invited and received confirmations from Sedalia Mayor Stephen Galliher, former Mayor Larry Foster, Sedalia businesswoman Sue Heckart, Smith-Cotton High School football coach Ryan Boyer and Horace Mann Elementary School Principal Dr. Todd Fraley.
He noted another new aspect for the church are additions of social media sites. Calvary Baptist now has a Facebook page and a website. Satterwhite hopes to reach a younger generation through these mediums.
For more information about Calvary Baptist Church, 1015 W. 16th St., contact Satterwhite at 826-5011, visit www.CalvaryBaptistSedalia.org or www.facebook.com/Calvary-Baptist-Church-116302768393943/?fref=ts.
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss.