Heritage Days at Calvary Baptist Church is a celebration of its rich heritage and serves as a way to impact the community and beyond.
The three-day event, May 14 through May 16, strays from a formal route of celebrating Calvary’s anniversary, according to Interim Pastor Larry Cheek.
A part of Calvary’s 106-year heritage are the more than 10 members who grew up there and went into the ministry all across the Southeast. Four out of the five preachers featured during the event fall into that category.
"It’s unusual to have that many (ministers) come out of one church," Cheek said.
Friday’s activities include a 6 p.m. Youth Rally / Hotdog Supper, catering to students of all ages. A comedian and illusionist will provide the entertainment.
Preaching from the Rev. Buddy Lamb of Schomberg Road Baptist Church in Columbus and the Rev. Frank Daws of Macedonia Baptist Church in Oxford will be an hour later with music by Cheek’s brother Steve of Woodlawn Baptist Church in Grovetown.
Saturday will highlight preaching from Mike and Jackie Hardy at 7 p.m., and Sunday’s 11 a.m. service will feature singing group New Again and preaching by Reese Sanders from Zion Baptist Church in Covington. There will be a covered-dish lunch after the service.
Friends, former members and community members are all invited to the entirely free event, where child care will be provided.
Along with the celebration comes a transformation Cheek refers to as "An Extreme Church Makeover."
"A church consultant told us we’re having a decline in evangelical churches, and by 2020 half won’t be here if they don’t make significant changes to reach out to the community," Cheek said.
Adapting the motto "Calvary is a place of new beginnings," the church members are focused on offering new beginnings to people who want to place faith in Jesus and try to be more community- and service-oriented.
Cheek said Calvary is already making a big effort to be just that by partnering with other churches, Newton Juvenile Court Services and Newton Medical Auxiliary, just to name a few.
"Folks in the community seem so excited about Heritage Days," Cheek said. "We’re hoping this is a springboard to continue growing as a church with fellowship of believers."
At the end of Heritage Days, Cheek anticipates people will be encouraged.
"I hope we might see greater outpouring of appreciation of the (church) heritage to propel us into a bright future," Cheek said.
Calvary is located at 4228 Mill Street and its phone number is (770) 786-3216.