The History of Calvary Southern Baptist Church
The Calvary Southern Baptist Church had its real beginnings when Reverend Mark Daniel, Pastor of Temple Baptist Church in Henderson, Nevada, made a trip to Texas in February 1956. The purpose of the visit was to sell church bonds and to enlist support for a new work in Las Vegas, Nevada, which later became the Redrock Baptist Church. Reverend Daniel met Reverend Virgil Reeves who had just graduated from Southwestern Seminary in Forth Worth, Texas. Reverend Reeves and his wife were so impressed by the needs in Nevada that they decided it was the Lord’s will for them to move to Las Vegas. The Reeves arrived in Las Vegas on March 29, 1956. For the next six months, Reverend Reeves worked full time taking censuses, trying to decide what section of Las Vegas to begin the church, looking for a meeting place and a group of people to start with.
On September 16, 1956, a group of twelve people attended the first service. They met in the old City Hall in North Las Vegas, a building that had been condemned. By March 25, 1957, the mission was able to purchase a 147 by 157 foot lot and paid $2,100.00 in cash for it.
The mission organized into a church, Calvary Southern Baptist, on September 29, 1957, with 16 charter members. The Trust and Memorial Fund loaned the church $3,500.00 to start a building program. In February 1958, the building program was launched.
The following men of God served as pastor of Calvary Southern Baptist Church:
- Virgil Reed – March 1956 to December 1959
- James Jamieson – January 1960 to April 1964
- Hugh Hamilton – June 1964 to November 1966
- Jesse A. Allen – January 1969 to November 1969
- George Wells – November 1969 to October 1971
- Sherman Lawson – December 1971 to October 1973
- Robert Warren – June 1974 to June 1975
- Earl Hosea – September 1975 to October 1981
In October 1979, Calvary called Reverend Jaffus L. Haley, Jr., as an Associate Pastor to work with Reverend Earl Hosea to minister to the racially-changing community. In October 1981, Reverend Jaffus Haley, Jr., was called as pastor with a membership of 79 members. The membership grew from 79 to 2,314 members. Under Pastor Jaffus L. Haley, Jr.’s leadership the church membership completed three building projects; a parking lot on the west side of the sanctuary; four classrooms (north side); addition of new bathrooms; pastor’s office; staff office; sound room; multi-purpose room; and a foyer. A fourth new project, a new parking lot was completed August 2002.
On December 1, 2004, the ground breaking for a new sanctuary was held. The church acquired a loan of $1.5 million dollars and the sanctuary building began in January 2005. The new sanctuary was completed and dedicated on October 30, 2005.
Jaffus L. Haley, Jr., served as pastor from October 1981 to November 10, 2006. Arver O. Butler served as Interim Pastor until September 1, 2008. Calvary’s present pastor, Senior Pastor Lawrence E. Haley was called to serve on September 1, 2008.
On December 16, 2012, Calvary’s members under the leadership of Senior Pastor Lawrence E. Haley celebrated the burning of the church mortgage. This effort was possible because of the prayers, commitment and sacrificial giving.