Calvary Baptist Church was established June 23, 1970, and gathers for worship in Sleepy Eye, MN, at 220 4th Avenue SW. During the early months of existence, several men served as interim pastors. The list includes Don Odens (9/70-2/71), Dennis Campbell and Gerald Mart (2/71-5/71), and Doug McLachlan (Wed. nights 12/70-6/71).
During its 50+ years of existence, three men have led Calvary Baptist in the position of pastor. Virgil Fitch from June 1971 to July 1977; Ron Brewer from May 1978 to June 1985; Randy Miller served as interim pastor until Phil Siefkes was called as pastor in December 1985. He has continued in that capacity to the present day.
The importance of each believer serving God and others in their sphere of influence is emphasized. Sometimes these spheres overlap with other members of the congregation. Marlon Mielke, a pastor in Milltown, WI, was a member of Calvary. Jana (and Dan) Eads, currently between mission fields, was also a congregation member.
Like others, Calvary encountered the cultural Covid pandemic, but they quickly learned that the virus is not the main issue. Congregation members have diligently fought hard to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:3) The virus is simply yet another matter over which they could become divided or become more closely united. The church has chosen, by God’s grace, to work diligently at being of one mind. Therefore, whether it is the color of the carpet or the new hymnal or the type of mask you do or don’t wear, they refuse to succumb to the worldly and fleshly mindset of disunity. Worldliness and fleshliness can rear their heads and appear in many different shapes and sizes. “We must continue to be on guard. God’s glory is displayed to the world when a congregation walks together in Godward harmony.”
God has graciously and gradually grown the congregation through a variety of means. Individual and corporate maturity continues to increase by His grace, for which they are grateful.
Calvary Baptist purchased its first building from Grace Lutheran Church in 1970. They continued meeting in that building until early 1985 when it was sold to be used as the Senior Citizens Center. The congregation then moved to the 4th Avenue SW site. The present building was purchased from the Evangelical Church of North America.
The congregation purchased its first parsonage in April 1971. This house was sold in 1987 when the current parsonage was purchased.
Calvary looks to the future with great anticipation of the grace of their sovereign God. They know that apart from Him, they can do nothing. If they can reach into the lives of individuals and families throughout the Brown County area, and by God’s grace direct their hearts to delight in God, then they will be pleased to have been used by the Master.
It is by the grace of God and for the glory of God that this assembly exists. The assembly believes that people will genuinely benefit spiritually only when God is genuinely treasured.
Written by Pastor Phil Siefkes