Project Information
After 1907
1901 Snapshot
Air Photo Study
Image Library
Calvary Baptist Church - Introduction
As the Twentieth Century dawned, the Village of Ottawa East was well on its way to becoming a modern suburb nestled between the canal and river adjacent to a thriving city. The 1901 Census (1) indicates that the population of the village was approximately 1,500 souls comprised of a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds and religious affiliations.

Of the religious denominations, the Roman Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists and Anglicans were the most dominant in the village followed by the German Lutherans and other small groups. One of the smallest congregations was the Baptist group with only about 25 people identified as such in the census (2). But quantity was not a problem for the Baptists given their evangelical zeal and strong leadership and within a few short years Calvary Baptist Church came into being.

The early records of the church no longer exist so it is not possible to detail the entire original congregation. Fortunately, the congregation wrote a history of the church in 1948 for the Thirty-third anniversary and revised the document in 1980 for the Sixty-fifth anniversary. Both documents contain a rich amount of information detailing the people and accomplishments of the church from its very beginning as the Ottawa East Baptist Mission in 1903.

The 1980 anniversary document, revised by Howard and Grace Harris, contains much of the original 1948 work and updates the congregation to near-present day. Additional information regarding the most recent Pastors has been added along with selected scans from the 1948 commemorative booklet. The actual 1980 document was scanned and converted to digital using OCR. Therefore, while every effort has been made to faithfully reproduce the original, there may be small, inconsequential variations regarding the format.

As well, a Calvary Baptist Picture Page has been included rather than place the pictures in the document.

(1) Ottawa, Carleton, District 52, Sub District G, No. 1, Ottawa East Schedule 1, Pages 1 to 30

(2) Ibid

The Sixty Fifth Anniversary Commemorative Booklet
Published in 1980 by Calvary Baptist Church

 The detailed history of a church cannot be written. It is composed of the innumerable acts of service and sacrifice of its individual members. Only God knows how much of time, effort, prayer and money the men and women of this church, from the day of its origin to this day, have given. He alone knows the full sweep of its ministry upon the lives of individuals, the community and the world at large.

For a complete history of Calvary Baptist Church, it is necessary to go back many years in retrospect to the beginnings of the Baptist work as a whole in Ottawa.
In 1907, a Board was formed known as the Ottawa Baptist Churches Board to co-ordinate the local mission work of the existing Churches in Ottawa at that time, being -

THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH - so called because it was the first church-looking towards the establishment of Baptist work in Ottawa. The first meeting was held on August 7, 1855, with four persons present. Services in the form of prayer meetings were held regularly on Sundays after that date. Preaching services in the Temperance Hall once every four weeks were commenced in 1856 and the following year these services were held every Sunday.

The first church building known as the Queen Street Baptist Chapel was opened in December 1863. By 1871, the membership was sixty. The First Baptist Church building was opened for services on September 29, 1878, at its present location, on the corner of Elgin and Laurier.

Being the mother church in the city , the First Church gave much in leadership, membership and financial assistance to the other churches which from time to time had been organized in other parts of the city and suburbs, and it is to her credit that these had been given cheerfully, gladly and unreservedly.

2. MCPHAIL MEMORIAL BAPTIST CHURCH - organized in August, 1886 with a-membership of twenty-four, all of whom came from the First Church. The first place of worship was a Mission hall on Concession Street (now Bronson Ave.). The present
church building was erected in 1903, and is located on Bronson.

3. FOURTH AVENUE BAPTIST CHURCH - First services were held in Moreland's Hall in 1898 and the church was organized on March 30, 1899, with thirty-two members, twenty from First Church and ten from McPhail Memorial and two from the Baptist Church in South Gower. The Sunday School Hall was opened for services in 1900, and the main part of the church was dedicated on April 2, 1905. This church is located on the corner of
Fourth Ave. and Bank Street .