Calvary Baptist Church celebrates 121 years

- SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – It wasn't your ordinary congregation meeting for the Calvary Baptist Church on Sunday.

Instead it was a celebration of 121 years for the downtown Salt Lake City church.

"This church is 121 years old, older than the state of Utah, by four years," said Deacon, Charles Henderson.

It was 1892 when the church first opened its doors, meeting the spiritual needs of a growing African American population.

"A place of community for those who come here. They come to Salt Lake City, they feel like they are alone and isolated, but when they get to the Calvary Church they find they have a place to call to home," said Pastor, France Davis.

It’s a place to connect and fulfill the work of God.

"Provide housing, we feed the hungry, we take care of the needs of children," said Davis, who took over in 1972.

In that time he says there have been challenges and victories.

He says success has come from building bridges and partnering with other religions.

"Simply agree to disagree on the things we are different in, but then to work together on those things we have in common," said Davis.

A church that has made a difference for decades, with many more to come.

"The church is alive and well," said Davis.

In 2001 the church moved into its current, 47,000 square foot facility at 1090 South State Street.

Today the church has more than 600 members.

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