By Marti Martin

GAYLORD – Calvary Baptist Church will celebrate 50 years of faith on Sunday, October 27 at their 11 a.m. service. 

Founded in 1954, the church moved to their current location in 1969. Under the leadership of then Pastor Richard Halter, the funds were raised to purchase the property and construct the current building. Other pastors of note have been John Thompson, Ben Fulayter, Jon Hardood and Jay Chambers. 

Now pastored by James Huber, the church has survived through the years with a persistent belief that God had a purpose in keeping their doors open. 

Huber states that he has ministered since 2015 with the past two years being dedicated solely to the ministry of the church. As teacher in his former profession he states that both aim to instruct in things to benefit this life and eternity. 

“God’s grace exists in a lot of different ways.” said Sherry Johnson, who, along with her husband Doug, has attended the church since 1973 and she states, “It got down to about 12 or 15 attendees at one time. But God is faithful to the faithful.” 

So what’s on the horizon for the next 50? Huber states the focus is threefold: to be able to modernize the operation with limited interference (the message does not change but the methods); to know the community and gain some connections; and to try to be open and welcoming to younger families. 

Huber places his emphasis on this, “We need to be a church of Jesus Christ that happens to also be baptist, but baptist is a lower case ‘b’.” He clarified that baptist describes merely their operational governance and their view of the Scriptures, not their standing before God. “We are saved by grace through faith.”

Calvary Baptist is located at 225 S. Wisconsin Ave.

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Kurt J. Kolka grew up in the small community of Grayling, Mich., near the forested AuSable River. After majoring in English at college, he began a career in writing and newspapers spanning more than two decades. In his spare time he creates a Christian comic strip, The Cardinal, which has a 28-year history of publication. He has also authored a book, “Bullying is No Laughing Matter” (Front Edge Publications, Ann Arbor, Mich., 2014) and is working on his first novel. Kurt and his wife Diane have been married for more than 25 years and have one daughter, Rebekah, and an overprotective dog, Alli. Of life, Kurt says, “Life is never dull with God at the steering wheel, but, man, does He have a lead foot!” More about Kurt and his musings may be found at www.betweenthepines.org.

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