Our Story

How it all started...

In the summer of 2002 God laid on the heart of Bro. Tim McIntyre the need to fulfill a vision to plant a church in Sparta, IL. Calvary Church began in the fall of 2002 in the home of Tim and Debbie McIntyre and other homes. In November 2002 with 15 members, First Baptist Church, Red Bud (Pastor Paul Matthew’s) voted unanimously to be our sponsoring church. Our motto from the beginning became “We will move forward on our knees.”

Starting with 11 people Calvary Mission met in 9 different locations over the next 6 years. After meeting in different homes, starting in December 2002 services was held in the Sparta Hospital Auxiliary Building. In February 2003 our first service was held in the old Circus Video building on West Jackson St. We began Sunday school in May 2003. As we grew and needed more room, we rented the old Farm Bureau building on South St. Louis Street. It became our educational building with Sunday school classrooms, offices, fellowship area, Wednesday evening prayer meeting, youth group and TeamKID being held there.

Expanding the vision...

We constituted as a church in May 2004.
    In February 2006 Calvary Church purchased 5 acres of property on Melmar Drive at a cost of $100,285. This was paid off in 8 months. Praise the LORD!
    When the Video Building was outgrown for worship services, we continued to move our worship location. In November 2006 we began meeting in the Sparta Middle School, then another school area. While meeting there we set up chairs, a pulpit, a keyboard, and sound and nursery equipment each Sunday morning and packed it into the trailer each Sunday night. We brought jugs of water to fill the baptistery and baptized in the school parking lot.
    In September 2007 we moved to the Sparta Movie Theatre and did not have to pack up each week, In July 2008 we moved to the Sparta Lions Club Den for 2 months.
In March 2007 we began meeting with the architect and Tru-Built with plans for our building. Construction site dirt work began in June 2007 and construction of the building began in August 2007. In March 2008 Tru-Built finished the shell and outside of the building. RMR started framing walls on the inside in April 2008.
    Works continued through the summer of 2008 with members doing much of the work including sanding, staining and finishing doors and all the boards for woodwork trim and (sanctuary, nursery and restrooms) was finished enough to hold our first worship service in our own building on September 7, 2008. Much was still to be done, carpet, light fixtures, sanctuary chairs, etc.
    We continued to work on phase 1 as well as phase 2, and December 22, 2008, our offices, Sunday School and Wednesday night services were all moved to our new location. Work steadily went forward on Phases 1 & 2 of the building, as well as phase 3 which is the family life area (gym), kitchen, more Sunday school rooms and more restrooms.
    God has blessed us with many pastors and elders through the years.  Since the beginning, Calvary has licensed or ordained several men to the pastoral ministry.  Roger Kuhnert (retired Calvary Elder), Tim Gregroy (pastor of FBC Sparta),  Steve Bradshaw (Calvary Elder), Jeremy Kempfer (Calvary Elder),  Tim Howe (assoicate pastor at Swanwick Community Church), Micah Bradshaw (associate pastor at First Baptist of Percy), Ethan Bradshaw (awaiting being licensed to preach), Brandon Materne (licensed and called to Red Bud Bible Church).  

Where we are headed...

We are grateful for the ministry staff God has provided through the years.  Currently we have three ministers holding pastoral duties at Calvary.  We called Bro. Rich Cowan as an associate pastor of worship and discipleship in the spring of 2015.  Bro. Chris Scott was called as pastor in the fall of 2023.  Bro. Tim McIntyre, our founding pastor, continues to serve as an associate pastor.  

Be a part of our story...

Join us every Sunday as we gather to worship together at 10:30 am and 6 am.