Calvary Baptist Church History
Before Calvary Baptist Church came into existence in the way of buildings, it existed in the heart and mind of Pastor Galen Bare. In the winter of 1952, Pastor Bare passed through Harrison, AR on his way back from the National Preachers Meeting in Jacksonville, FL. After returning home to Springfield, MO, he prayed for three weeks about Harrison and his burden for the town grew. With the help of Pastor W. E. Dowell, the two decided to have a Revival meeting in Harrison. They agreed that if God would provide a place for them, Pastor Dowell would preach and Pastor Bare would lead the singing. With God’s guidance and the help of Harrison’s Mayor at the time, they located a building on Pine Street and held a two week Revival meeting. With the help of three local families along with Pastor Bare’s family, Calvary Baptist Church was established in March 1952. After two years, the Church decided to look for land. They found four joining lots on the corner of Spruce and Bunn streets which they were able to purchase with the help of church members and other Missouri Churches. Pastor Bare and several men worked day and night to build the 40 x 60 building. The building was located in the corner lot where our current parking lot exists today.
Missions has always been a vital part of Calvary Baptist Church. The Church’s first supporting Missionary was Laurel Woolsey who served as missionary to the Philippines. The Church currently supports over 20 Missionaries on a regular monthly financial basis.
Pastor Ray Smith was called to the Church as Pastor in 1957. In 1960, Pastor Burnis Cain was called to Calvary. During his ministry the present Sanctuary and parsonage on Alma Street was built. The Church called Pastor Gene Eidson to the pulpit in 1968. It was during his ministry that the educational wing was built and the back parking lot was purchased. He had a very enriched ministry during his 31 years preaching at Calvary. In May 1999, Pastor W. Mark Bailey was called. Under his leadership many improvements came to the current buildings and properties. In 2001 the Church called Pastor Kerry Liggett who served until 2004 when Pastor W. Mark Bailey returned. Pastor Bailey left Calvary for another calling in 2012 and was replaced by Pastor Darrin Caraway who continues to serve today. Through several Pastors and many different Church leaders, our emphasis continues to focus on Missions both local and foreign.
The Church has purchased and paid for 10 acres of land on Bunker Road on the north side of Harrison. The Church is praying and planning with hopes of a new Church facility so that more lives can be changed for the Glory of the Lord Jesus Christ in the near future.