In the Fall of 1953, the two Baptist Congregations meeting in South Saint Paul and known as the First Baptist Church and Calvary Baptist Church began discussing merging into one church. On October 14, 1953, representatives from both churches met together and decided to have the two congregations vote on the decision. The vote was taken a week later and the merger was approved.
On January 9, 1954, the first annual meeting of the merged congregation was held and the name First Calvary Baptist Church was chosen. The merged congregation began meeting for choir and prayer meetings on February 10, 1954, and Sunday Services were merged March 6, 1954 at the Calvary Baptist site on Sixth Avenue.
A larger sanctuary was added on top of the existing building a year later. Continual growth brought the need for even more space, so they added the education wing in 1963. The three-level education wing added eleven classrooms, a spacious nursery, a ‘fireside’ room, office space for pastors, a large fellowship hall and kitchen.
The basement was perfect for the many fellowships, wedding banquets and the annual Thanksgiving dinners. The youth ministry enjoyed the basement as a great location for youth activities and playing games, especially during the winter months.
The added space allowed for many new ministry opportunities. A large bus ministry brought in children from the whole area, reaching out as far as Cottage Grove. First Calvary hosted the annual Minnesota Baptist Association Men’s Retreat for many years, making the church well-known throughout the state.
In the early 70’s, the church purchased a 170-acre farm with beach front property just outside of Cumberland, Wisconsin. Much work converted an old barn into a fully-functional Bible camp. Many souls turned to Christ at Rainbow Ranch.
The church enjoyed many years of good ministry at the 501 Sixth Avenue location in South St. Paul. In the early 90’s, the many benefits of a new building in a better location prompted the congregation to vote to build once again. With construction completed in the winter of 2000, the congregation moved to its new location on Robert Street just in time to celebrate Christmas.
God has continued to bless First Calvary in Inver Grove Heights. Under the leadership of Pastor Mike VerWay, the church continues to enjoy the faithful preaching of God's Word, encouraging fellowship among believers, as well as many ministry opportunities.