"Is that Mount Calvary Baptist Church be a Bible Teaching/Bible Believing congregation dedicated to growing in the will, the word and work of our Lord Jesus Christ
To Make Disciples Locally and Regionally
•Develop a strong Evangelism Ministry
•Develop a strong Missions Ministry locally and regionally
•Develop a strong youth and young adult ministry
•Build strong and effective ministries that will enhance the lives of our members and community
To Posture the Church for physical expansion To meet the needs of our Senior Citizens •Spiritually
Our Pastors: From Past to Present
*Not a comprehensive list
Rev. Philip "Old Man Phil" Johnson
Rev. "Little Phil" Johnson
Rev. A. Barnett
Late 1890s to Late 1990s
Rev. Gregory Baldwin
Rev. Willie Crenshaw, Jr.
Mount Calvary Baptist Church Historical Record
Mount Calvary Baptist Church was listed as part of the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places in 2016 for 2 things: (1) the church building was built in 1892 and (2) the affiliated cemetery. (The historical record below is taken from the application submitted to the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.)
After the Emancipation Proclamation of 1865, freed African Americans in the vicinity of Orange, Virginia, had no place to worship and no land on which to farm, build houses, or build church buildings.
To this end, the first place of record for the future members of Mount Calvary Baptist to have their own place to worship was a tobacco barn on Dr. Johnson’s farm, known as Swolbe Farm in Orange County. The first pastor was Reverend Philip Johnson or “Old Man Phil” to distinguish himself from “Little Phil,” who became the second pastor. It was the second Reverend Johnson who acquired a parcel of land from the Tyler family along Clifton Road, formerly part of Harfield Farm. Not long after the acquisition of the land, ca. 1881, the Hopewell Baptist Church building was erected. At that time, the present community near Nasons was a pine and oak forest; and plantation owners in need of wood began to clear the land and to sell it to freed African Americans. As this community grew, it became a struggle for many who were members of Hopewell Baptist to travel up the mountain to attend church, so the idea for a new church was born.
The first prayer meetings began in the home of Sister Menerva Johnson, and soon the congregation chose Reverend A. Barnett to be their leader. As the congregation grew, Reverend Barnett began discussions with their parent church, Hopewell Baptist, about constructing a building to house the growing number of people attending the prayer meetings in Nasons. He invited anyone at Hopewell to join him, and sixty people followed down the hill. The congregation believes they all sang as they descended the mountain towards their new church.
The congregation constructed its first church in front of what was then Nason’s Post Office. It soon became too small and they built a second church near Tucker’s Store. Early in the 1890s the congregation continued to grow, and it became evident that a new and larger church building was needed. The church trustees took up an offer from Douglas Carter to purchase one acre of land for $8 for the purpose of constructing a new church building for the congregation of Mount Calvary Baptist. Douglas Carter was an African-American who owned several acres of land around Nasons. The land for the church was purchased on May 5, 1892, and the building campaign was led by Thomas McIntosh, who later became the second pastor for the church at this location.
Today Mount Calvary has continued its mission of community involvement throughout the 20th century to the present. Mount Calvary has hosts annual homecoming events for current and former members, week-long revivals and fifth-Sunday school reunion services, which are held on a rotating basis among four local churches. Mount Calvary also provides free clothing giveaways, ongoing donations to the food pantry and a missionary program in which they give out Thanksgiving and Christmas boxes to families in need. The church remains an important resource for the local community, and historically it is a significant tool to help interpret the history of postbellum and early 20th century African-American life in Orange County.