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Calvary Baptist Church pastor reflects on church changes over last six months

Published: Mar. 29, 2021 at 10:44 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Change can be hard to embrace when tradition has stayed the same for more than 100 years.

“This is my hometown, I grew up here in Roanoke. I knew of Calvary, I knew of Calvary’s reputation, its history, and I really felt this is where God wanted me to be,” said Dr. Steven Pollard, lead pastor for Calvary Baptist Church. Calvary Baptist is Roanoke’s second oldest baptist church.

Pollard has only occupied the history of Calvary Baptist for the last five years, but during that time, he’s had to make some monumental decisions.

“Early on in 2020, we were gonna have to make some changes or probably by now we would have had to close the doors and dissolve the church,” said Pollard.

The church’s doors are closed, and the initial building, erected in the early 1900s, is part of what’s for sale now. The church, however, did not have to dissolve.

At 2 p.m. Sundays since the beginning of this year, around 30 churchgoers meet at Colonial Avenue Baptist Church.

Dr. Pollard still preaches, and besides the space, the church doesn’t look much different than before.

The old space could become just about anything.

“We’ve had a lot of lookers, no takers yet,” said Pollard.

The church still has expenses: maintenance of the building and grounds, and throughout the last few months, sacrifices have been made. Pollard went part-time, and staff salaries were cut.

But there’s still a silver lining.

“By being out of this building, we’re saving far more than we’re spending on the building itself so leaving the building has allowed us to extend the life of our church,” said Pollard.

As far as the future for Calvary, Pollard says he doesn’t know what that’s going to look like, but he knows the church and the traditions will somehow continue.

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