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Paynesville Press - Aug. 13, 2003

Calvary Baptist to celebrate 50th anniversary

Calvary Church signPaynesville Calvary Baptist Church will celebrate their 50th anniversary on Sunday, Aug. 17.

The congregation will hold a worship service at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, a dinner at 12 noon in the fellowship hall in the church basement, and a program for people to share their memories of the church at 1 p.m., also in the fellowship hall. The community is invited to take part in the 50th anniversary celebration.

Calvary Baptist had its beginnings in 1953, when a group of people met in homes for Bible study and prayer. They called Rev. J.W. Anderson in 1955 to be their pastor and bought the Steak House on Lake Avenue to be their church and parsonage. Twelve people signed up to become charter members.

The current church building - still located on Lake Avenue in Paynesville - was built in 1968.

In 50 years, the congregation has been served by nine pastors, including Rev. Allan Lindh, who served the congregation from 1971 to 1999, the longest of any pastor.

Calvary Church Rev. Paul Pratt served the congregation as an interim pastor from 1999 to 2001, and current pastor Rev. Les Kringle has served Calvary Baptist since April 2001.

Historically and theologically, the Baptists - by study of the scripture - became convinced that the authority of the Bible is a sufficient guide to faith and practice. This led them into the practice of believers' baptism by immersion. During the time of Luther and Calvin, they were given the name Anabaptists and later were called Baptists.

The first Baptists came to the United States from Europe in 1609 and expanded to become the largest Protestant denomination in America by 1950.

While Calvary Baptist is a small congregation, with only a few dozen members, Baptists worldwide were estimated at more than 31 million by the mid-1990s.

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