Oct. 8, 2021
By Jessica Pigg
MT. GILEAD, N.C.– In an effort to begin a movement of revival in local churches, in communities, and in the Southern Baptist Convention—the Conservative Baptist Network has launched a series of “Revive Us Again” events across the nation. Utilizing an organized, grassroots effort within the state chapters, local churches host the revival gatherings which are designed as intentional times of praise, prayer, and preaching.
“Our mission for the state chapter of North Carolina is that we get into as many churches in the state as possible and have one-night revival meetings,” said Stoney Benfield, pastor of Prospect Baptist Church and North Carolina State Chapter coordinator. “The goal is simple: We will love on people in the church, preach the Bible, trust God for revival, and rally the troops of the living God.”
After attending the inaugural North Carolina State Chapter gathering at Prospect Baptist Church in Albemarle on July 25, Pastor Jesse Carpenter was excited to bring a “Revive Us Again” gathering to Calvary Baptist Church. The next month, the church hosted Benfield for a four-night revival that resulted in four professions of faith and an old-fashioned baptism celebration. For the first time in more than 10 years, members at Calvary Baptist Church cheered as the baptismal waters were stirred.
“God has dramatically grown the membership of the church,” Carpenter said. “By the grace of God, we were able to stir the baptismal waters for the first time in the last 10 years, baptizing five!”
“It has been encouraging to see the Conservative Baptist Network actively working to revive the Southern Baptist denomination at the state and national levels,” he said. “It is refreshing to be a part of a network of like-minded brothers and sisters in Christ who stand on the sufficiency of the Word in a world that would have us turn anywhere but the true and infallible Word of God.”
Calvary Baptist Church, established more than 100 years ago in Mt. Gilead, N.C., is a church nestled between the mature trees and quaint rural communities of Montgomery County. It is a church tethered to the Word of God. The church is determined to reach every single one of the approximately 1,100 local citizens with the good news of the gospel.
The mission of Calvary Baptist Church is simple–to “model a biblical church.” It is through this simple mission that the church builds its foundation on the understanding that God prepares the way for them to be “faithful to His Word,” Carpenter said.
After becoming pastor in January 2021, Carpenter wanted to continue building on the church’s strong foundation and reliance on God’s Word. By intentionally preaching exegetically in his first nine months at the church, Carpenter has sought to bring evangelism and discipleship to the forefront.
Building upon the ministries and outreach the church had already established, Calvary has bolstered its intentionality in training the next generation by focusing on building out their children’s ministry and establishing a new children’s choir. The church is also planning to cultivate discipleship groups for adults and to provide evangelism training for its members.
“We desire to encourage the spiritual growth and discipleship of our children,” Carpenter said. “We soon plan to start discipleship groups, organize fellowship ministries for men and women, and teach evangelism in hopes of hitting the streets of Mt. Gilead to spread the gospel.”
Calvary not only places a priority on the expository preaching of the Word, evangelism, and discipleship, but also in their faithful giving. Since the beginning, Calvary has had a rich history of prioritizing the advancement of the gospel and affecting positively the Kingdom through its unwavering commitment to Cooperative Program giving.
“It is Christ’s church, and He is responsible for the people,” said Carpenter. “I don’t need to worry about attendance or finances. I only need to love God’s people, preach, and be faithful to His Word. “The true growth and kingdom-impact of Calvary Baptist Church is attributed to the expository preaching and rightly dividing of God’s Word. We are trying our best to be faithful to His Word as we seek to model a biblical church.”
Being faithful to God’s Word and a desire to have a biblical, healthy church is the reason Carpenter decided to partner with the Conservative Baptist Network to host a four-night revival for his people. The pastor says he has learned over the years that everything is for God’s glory; he is simply to be faithful to preaching and to relying on God’s Word.
“I believe that God is blessing Calvary Baptist Church because of our commitment and faithfulness to His Word,” Carpenter said.