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Our History


"Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus through all ages..." (Ephesians 3:21)

The movement, from which Calvary Evangelical Church was formed, started in the early 50's with a group of people who felt they were not being fed spiritually from the Word of God in their local assemblies. They began a Bible study group both in Norfolk Naval Shipyard and Faith Tabernacle Church in Norfolk, Virginia.


A few of the people who were in this early movement were Pastor James Drew, Pastor Cleandrus Nixon, Bro. Arthur Kiah and Pastor Willie Woodard. From Pastor Nixon the desire to start a Bible-preaching church in the city of Portsmouth was activated. From fellowshipping with the FBFA, it was learned that in the early 60's the Lord had begun the Fundamental Evangelical Baptist movement in Black churches throughout the U.S. On July 1963 at the home of Pastor James Earls, the men met and voted to start a church and name it Calvary Evangelical Church. Some of those present were Pastor Cleandrus Nixon, Bro. Horace Crocker, Bro. Wilbert Jones, Bro. Eli Jones, Sr., Bro. Harry House, Bro. Clifford Duncan and their wives. Originally, the church met in Cavalier Manor School for approximately three to four months. Later it moved to the Cavalier Manor Civic Center where it remained from 1963 until it moved to 205 Gust Lane in late 1976. On August 8, 1965 the church received its charter with 45 members.


Pastor Cleandrus Nixon resigned as Pastor in May of 1967 and Pastor Ambrose Harris was voted in as new pastor. Pastor Harris was replaced in 1973 by Pastor Willie Spain. In 1977, Pastor Spain left and Pastor Wilbert Jones was interim pastor until September of 1982 when Allen R. McFarland became the Pastor of Calvary Evangelical Church. Under his leadership the church grew tremendously, and the name was changed to Calvary Evangelical Baptist Church (Independent).

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