925 West Seventh Street
Ottawa, KS 66067

Our Church History

In 1945, Evangelist Art Wilson came to Ottawa, Kansas, with his team of nine and held a six-week revival conference at the City Auditorium. Large crowds attended, and sixty-four people were saved. When the meetings concluded, fifty-eight people united to establish a new church - The New Testament Baptist Church - with Rev. Orlo Dirks, Art's song leader, as their first pastor. An additional thirty people awaited baptism before they too could join the church.


The fledgling church blossomed at first, even purchasing its first building at Ninth and Hickory for $5,000 just a year later. Unfortunately, numbers started to dwindle and the church almost closed before Bill Weber was called to be pastor. Under the leadership of Pastor Weber, Calvary soon outgrew its building on Ninth and Hickory, so construction began in May of 1959. This new building, located at 925 West Seventh Street, was designed to accommodate 250 people, but still the church grew and grew. Sunday school classes overflowed the building and spread into homes or businesses around the city. Services were also crowded. On Easter Sunday 1973, 515 people crammed into the building, and many regular members left to make room for visitors. Once again, it was time to expand.

The expansion, designed to attach to the now old building, was finally approved after two long years of preparation. With church members providing countless hours of volunteer labor, construction began in the spring of 1975 and was completed in time for Christmas that same year.

Calvary continued to grow for the next twenty years and experienced many high points along the way, setting two attendance records that remain unbroken to this day. The first, in July 1976, was during a soul-winning conference held by Pastors Jack Hyles and Gary Coleman: 1200 people crowded into the auditorium to hear them speak. But even this staggering number was surpassed later by the 1300 who attended a premier showing of the movie "Sheffey." People sat around the organ, in the choir loft, on the floor, on the platform steps, and in the foyer. Perhaps the best attended regular church service, however, occurred on Friends Day in 1993 with 615 people present.

The Activity Center (later renamed the William R. Weber Activity Center under Pastor Jon Boyd) was begun in 1994 and was to be the last major building project undertaken before Pastor Weber retired.

After Pastor Weber's retirement in 1995, the church has been served by Pastors Jon Boyd (1995-2003), Colin Richards (2004-08), and Greg Rickard (2008-present).