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|L. Juntunen||Calvary Baptist Church and Parsonage.|
In the autumn of 1897 two student pastors from Morgan Park Seminary, Mr. M. Esselstrom and Mr. O. Törnquist, came to Negaunee, and at their request a meeting was held in a home. That was the beginning of the Baptist work in. Negaunee. Shortly after four persons were converted and baptized. Rev. C. O. Dahlin, who was then pastor of the Swedish Baptist Church of Ishepming, took up the work, and it was blessed with success, eight persons joining his church that autumn.
The Swedish-Finnish Baptist Church of Negaunee was organized August 10, 1902, with twenty-six members, and Mr. John Fors as student pastor. At the organization meeting, 18 members were present four of whom are still living and of which three are active members: Mrs. Hannah Rudness, Mrs. Emma Lindstrom, and Mrs. Edla Anderson. Mr. John Peterson having recently moved to Marquette. Delegates from four different churches were also present. These delegates representing their respective churches were: Rev. C. H. Ekblad, Menominee ; I. A. Johnson and Mr. A. Larson, Ishpeming. The name of the church was later changed to the Calvary Baptist Church.
The Ladies' Aid was organized July 21, 1898, with seven members. This branch of the church has been a great help financially as well as in spreading the gospel.
The B. Y. P. U. was organized in 1917 with 17 members.
In the summer of 1915 the first church building was erected and in 1928 the present structure was erected. A need of a parsonage was great so in 1949 a parsonage was built with the men and friends of the church donating all labor.
There have been a number of pastors who have served the church from the beginning down to the present time. Rev. Matts Esselstrom served the first two summers and Rev. C. O. Dalin served during the balance of the time from 1897 to 1902. Then Rev. John Fors was pastor until 1904. Rev. Matts Esselstrom 1905 and 1906 and at various times during the following period; the last time during the years of 1929 and 1930. Rev. C. V. Nordling in 1917 and 1918. Rev. Axel Edwards in 1920, 1921 and 1922, and again for a period in 1927 and 1928. Rev. J. W. Isaacson in 1938, 1939, and 1940. Rev. Severen Bernasin 1946 and 1947, and Rev. T. L. Juntunen our present pastor began his work here in June 1949
A number of revivals have been held. In 1913 while Rev. John Berg served as student pastor, many were saved and baptized. In 1922 Mr. Jocob Bakk held a campaign which lasted three weeks. Rev. Carl Antonson held several revivals, the last one in 1930. In 1931 and also in 1940 David Anderson held campaigns for two weeks at a time, when God was with and saved souls, many of whom were baptized and joined the church. In 1933 Rev. Torrey Johnson held a successful campaign, and Evangelist Pat Malone has held two campaigns, one in 1936 and the other in 1938.
Daily vacation Bible schools were conducted whenever a pastor or leader was available.
As we look back on the forty-eight years just passed, we see God has been with and blessed the work, and our efforts have not been in vain.
As for the future, our aim is to continue to go forward and with God's help we will continue spreading the Gospel in our city and neighborhood until the Lord comes.
Published in Fifty Years of Christian Stewardship 1901-1951. Prepared in commemoration of the Fiftieth anniversary of The Baptist Mission Union of America. 1951, p. 26-27.
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