our history

History of Calvary Baptist Church starts with Evangelist and Mrs. Fred R. Ritchardson, Jr., having been burdened for many years for the establishing of an independent, Bible-believing, Bible preaching, New Testament witness for Christ in the City of Nappanee, were led by the Holy Spirit of God to take some time out of a fruitful eleven years of full-time evangelistic ministry.  They returned to their home near Nappanee in mid-December 1959 to make a house-to-house canvas in search of others with the same burden. After a number of weeks calling, with the help of other ministers and Christians, the city was about half canvassed, and a few people had made known their desire to help establish such a Baptist Church. The first meeting was held on a stormy winter night of January 19, 1960. The following Sunday, January 24th the first Sunday School was held with 23 attending, 27 in the morning worship, and 17 for the Sunday night meeting. After many weeks of working on the Church Constitution it was adopted by the congregation in April 1960 with the church being officially named Calvary Baptist Church of Nappanee. 

On March 13, 1964, Rev. Vernon Shaw came to serve as pastor. Under his faithful ministry, covering 13 years, the church grew spiritually and numerically. He served until July 4, 1977. Pastor Larry Wilson was directed of the Lord to accept the call as pastor of the church and served from November 1977 to July 31, 1983. Like his predecessors, the Lord used him to touch many lives and motivate the flock to greater spiritual heights. On December 20, 1983, Earl Lightfoot came to serve the Lord at Calvary. His years of service proved to be productive in many ways. Pastor Norman McVey served from October 1987 through May of 1994. He was followed by Pastor Randy Hibbs who served until August of 2002.   In December 2002 Pastor Darrel Flaming took the pastorate until resigning in the fall of 2012.  Pastor Don Taylor began serving as pastor until health issues forcing him to resign the pastorate but stayed at Calvary until the summer of 2015.  In the July of 2014 Calvary Baptist Church of Nappanee and Paths of Faith Baptist of Syracuse IN, had their first service together, the two congregations instantly became one and several members started working on a great choir.