Members of the Calvary Baptist Church in Haverstraw are spending the week celebrating the house of worship’s 101st anniversary.
Starting at 7:15 p.m. each of the next three nights, guest speaker Rev. Frank Hawkins will lead a revival that is open to the public. Hawkins, who lives in Pomona, is associate minister of the Greater Central Baptist Church in Manhattan.
A service will conclude the observation at 11 a.m. Sunday with a luncheon to follow.
Wilbur Aldridge, a parishioner for more than 40 years, said the church building dated to the 1800s and was purchased from a Presbyterian congregation for $500 in 1912.
While other churches have been forced to close over the years, Calvary Baptist remains a viable parish with 300 members, of which 125 are active, Aldridge said.
“I think it’s just a testament to how, when you’re doing God’s work, he will provide the method to sustain you,” Aldridge said.
The church offers bible study, a mission program to help local needy, educational activities and Sunday school in addition to regular Sunday services. The Rev. Dr. Edgar W. Howard is the pastor.
“Calvary Baptist has always been very proactive in the community in trying to instill pride in the town of Haverstraw,” Aldridge said. “It has been one of the leaders in respecting all people and in acknowledging and celebrating diversity. It has applauded and encouraged it.”
Photo: Members of the Calvary Baptist Church gather on the steps before for an event in the mid-1950s. Many of the children, teens and young adults pictured have now been members for half of the church’s 101-year history.
( File photo courtesy of Sarah L. Watkins )