The group that became Calvary Road Baptist Church first met on October 14, 1982 at Lake Junaluska Fire Department with 52 persons present. They held the first church service, with 88 in attendance, on October 17, 1982 in a rented store building on Frazier Street, Waynesville, where the church met until moving to the present location. The congregation sat in lawn chairs with each family bringing their own. After the first service, the group voted to continue with organizing a new church and agreed it would be Southern Baptist. Temporary officers were elected. The members contributed offering plates, flowers, a homemade pulpit, a birthday box, folding chairs were ordered, and an organ and piano purchased.
On December 5, 1982, they held a meeting with Haywood Baptist Association representatives to formally organize a church. The church applied for membership to the Association in January 1983. At this time membership was 111 including 76 charter members. The men had to carry extra chairs to accommodate those who came for worship service. The church spent much time in prayer for both church and personal needs. It was a time of new beginning for the church and new commitment for the members.
By early 1983, the church had out grown the first building rented, so they rented the adjoining cabinet shop. The men of the church worked Saturdays and nights to enlarge the sanctuary and add more classrooms. In only a few weeks they also filled this new space, and again the men had to carry chairs for the worship service. Because of the rapid growth, the church voted in 1983 to buy two acres of land. More than $16,000 in cash and pledges were raised in one Sunday. The land was paid for in six months.
The Rev. T.M. Gibson was elected as the first pastor on May 29, 1983. On October 16, 1983, they held a dedication service on the land with two persons joining the church at the close of the dedication service. On October 17, 1983, at the Haywood Baptist Association Annual Meeting, they accepted Calvary Road Baptist Church in the watch care of the Association, and were taken into full membership at the 1984 Annual Meeting, becoming the 59th church in the Haywood Baptist Association.
Ground breaking for the new church building was held on December 15, 1984. In early 1985 works began on the building by Jerry Payne, building contractor. With the new building underway, the church at Frazier Street kept growing and another store building was rented there for classrooms.
Church members had agreed to help with the completion of the new building, so this was a time of fellowship, sharing, and getting to know each other, as they spent many hours working on finishing the building.
The church moved into the new building on October 27, 1985 and they held the dedication December 15. After moving into the building, the steeple was added, one parking lot paved and in 1987, the paving finished – making three parking lots and the road paved.
The church has diligently tried to seek God’s guidance in all areas of work and He has blessed our efforts. Calvary Road has had five pastors since the church was formed: Rev. T.M. Gibson, Rev. Dan Newton, Rev. Elbert Deason, Rev. J.D. Grant and our current pastor as of May 2007, Rev. John H. Swanger III. The church has added another parking lot and purchased the former parsonage and land. We have recently seen many lives in the community saved and the church is continuing to share God’s word and He continues to bless.