New Calvary Baptist Church History
God’s People Making a Difference:
Preaching, Teaching and Reaching
The New Calvary Baptist Church came into existence as the result of God leading Reverend Richard A. Parker to plant a new Christian mission. In 1940 Reverend Parker received permission from the Pastor and congregation of New Mt. Bethel Baptist Church to follow God’s calling. On September 12, 1941 this mission became known as the New Calvary Baptist Church. The inaugural service was held at 303 East 2nd Street, Wilmington, Delaware. The founding members included Deacon Willie Simms, Mother Sarah Brown, Brother Leroy Matthews, Brother Andrew Matthews, Mother Billie Jackson and Brother James Coffield, all of whom are deceased.
On July 1, 1944 the church moved its growing membership to 208 Walnut Street, where the church continued to flourish. Due to urban renewal of the late 1960’s the church relocated for a short time to 700 Spruce Street. In June of 1969 the church moved to its present facility at 608-610 South Heald Street. This facility was formerly the St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church.
As the founding pastor, Reverend Parker served with great faithfulness and distinction from September 12, 1941 until he was called to his eternal rest on April 9, 1967. During his tenure he stood as a loving unmovable force, guiding a growing church through many difficult and challenging years. He was a prominent leader among the clergy of Delaware. His members will always remember him as a “father figure.”
Reverend Joseph Campbell, an Associate Minister of the church provided interim leadership until 1968, when Reverend John T. R. Duffie became New Calvary’s second pastor. During his pastorate the church purchased and moved to its present location. He served until February 1970.
Reverend Edmond T. Coston was called as Pastor in May 1970 and served until October 1975. Reverend John R. Kellum served from May 19, 1976, until his death on February 15, 1977. After the passing of Reverend Kellum, Reverend John Hampton, the Associate Pastor provided outstanding leadership holding the flock together until another pastor was called.
On November 20, 1977 Reverend Raymond Fisher was installed as Pastor. Under his leadership the church’s mortgage was paid in full and renovations to the sanctuary. Reverend Fisher served as Pastor until September 1985. Once again Reverend John Hampton provided interim pastoral leadership. Reverend Hampton remained faithful to God the people of New Calvary until his death on December 12, 1997.
On May 11, 1986, Reverend Vincent P. Oliver was installed as our current Pastor. The Lord has blessed the pastor to share this vision for the church: “God’s People Making a Difference: Preaching, Teaching, and Reaching” (Matthew 28: 18 - 20). With this vision and under his leadership the church formed the following ministries: The Men’s Discipleship Ministry, Women’s Ministry, Women’s Ministry, Radio/Media Ministry, Evangelism Ministry, Christian Education Ministry, Transportation Ministry, Security Ministry, Community Outreach Ministry, Praise Dance Ministry, First Friday Young Adult Ministry, Bridge of Hope Grocery Club, Prison Ministry, and the Clothes Closet Ministry. To support expanding ministries the church purchased properties at 606 South Heald Street in 1999 and 503 South Heald Street in 2007.
Dr. Oliver’s leadership has also yielded laborers for the Gospel ministry. He currently has a team of eleven (11) ministers of the Gospel, four (4) licensed and seven (7) ordained.
In 2007 the church organized the Beacon Light Ministries CDC in order to address the many needs of our surrounding community. In 2008 New Calvary became a member of the American Baptist Association of Churches of PA & DE.
In March of 2007 an historic meeting and fellowship took place between members of New Calvary Baptist Church and parishioners of St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church. The common bonds of a beloved building and God’s love united Christians from vastly different backgrounds. Embracing the past gives focus and direction for the future.
In January of 2014 the New Calvary School of Ministry (NCSM) was established as another Christian Education ministry of the church. NCSM is a fully accredited Bible College, offering degrees in Biblical Studies and Biblical Counseling. New Calvary School of Ministry was established to equip servant-leaders with a biblically-based, quality education in order to serve God, their local church, and community, through Christian ministry.
The New Calvary’s mission is to continue to be a resource and beacon light of hope to the surrounding community as we continue to serve a faithful and awesome GOD.
To GOD Be The GLORY!