Our Story

The year 1962 was marked by a series of spiritual crises in the life of Pastor and Mrs. Earle W. Weech and a large number of believers in Nassau. After much soul-searching and fervent prayer in seeking God's will, it was determined that a church of the persuasion of Calvary Bible Church was needed in this city and nation.

On the evening of September 16th, 1962, Frank Pinder, proprietor of Pinder's Simonizing Service, graciously made his showroom available and the first service was held with 432 people in attendance. Calvary Bible Church was born!

Pastor Weech made a trip to Miami the following week, at which time he purchased a large tent and chairs. The tent was erected on the property on which Bahamas Bus & Truck Company is presently located. This tent served as our place of worship until January 13th, 1963 when it was severely damaged by strong winds, at which time services were resumed in the showroom.

CBC Original Front Facade The property on Collins Avenue, the present site of the church, was purchased in February 1963. The groundbreaking ceremony took place on September 17th, 1963 and the foundation was laid for the sanctuary. During the building process, sand was sprinkled on the greasy floors of the showroom and repair booths of Pinder's Symonizing Service each Lord's Day to accommodate Sunday School classes. The Rev. Harold Slater, Chairman of the Methodist Church, very kindly made available a large meeting tent, which was erected on the new property. As rooms were completed in the new building, Sunday School classes were held there as well as under huge umbrellas and under the shade of trees on the property. A highlight for the folk occurred on December 15th, 1963 when they moved into the building with only the walls and roof completed, but no glass in the windows.

The men of the church worked hard night after night and would often end their day swimming at Montagu Beach to get rid of the perspiration and dirt. The ladies kept the men supplied with food, cool drinks and ice cream. This was a community miracle as men and women of the church, community and businesses donated equipment, materials and manpower to raise this beautiful sanctuary and Christian education unit to the glory of God.

The dedication of the completed building took place on October 24th, 1965.

Beginning in August, 1963, the operation of the church was in the care of an Executive Board with Pastor Earle Weech as Chairman; Carl Moree,Treasurer; Jasiel Thompson, Secretary and Redith Roberts, John Pinder, John Lowe and Raymond Thompson as Board Members. This Board was expanded to form the Church Council in 1966. Articles of Association were unanimously approved and signed March 14th, 1969.

In 1970 the parsonage was built in the High Vista Subdivision, Nassau, Bahamas.

Pastor Maurice Anderson served as Pastor from 1970-1971. His wife, Helen, and daughter, Eunice accompanied him to the Bahamas.

Pastor Jasiel Thompson served as Interim Pastor from 1971-1972. His wife was Metilda Lois Thompson.

Missionary interest had been a part of the church since its inception. In March 1973, under the capable leadership of Pastor David T. Cole who served as Pastor from 1972 to 1978, with help from the Peoples Church, Toronto, Canada, an extensive missionary programme was launched which included the Faith Promise Offering plan (Now renamed “Calvary Bible Church Faith Investment Plan”) The first year, $47,500 was promised for mission projects and missionaries at home and overseas. In 2004, with some 50 missionaries on our support list and special missions projects taken on. The AWANA Bible Club Programme was established under the leadership of Kathryn Cole in 1973.

Michael Thompson was employed as Youth Director from 1974-1979 and Dale Reimer came on staff as Pastor's Assistant from 1975-1977.

The Earle Weech Auditorium was constructed during David Cole's pastorate and dedicated on April 21, 1974. Additional Sunday School rooms were built in the auditorium in August of 1982.

In 1980 Pastor A. Morris Russell was called to the pastorate of Calvary Bible Church. Under his leadership “Operation Inasmuch” was inaugurated in 1981 for the distribution of food and clothing to the needy of the congregation and community. Frederick Arnett originally started this ministry as a home-based ministry before it became a part of the church's community outreach.

In 1981, through the sponsorship of Calvary Bible Church, Nassau, a new local church was established in Freeport, Grand Bahama. The first public service for the new Calvary Bible Church was held on June 7th, 1981 and Pastor and Mrs. Earle W. Weech were called out of retirement to give pastoral leadership to this new work. Later, a Christian Education building was built and the sanctuary was completed. It was dedicated in 1985.

In 1982-83 Calvary's first mission trip was undertaken when a team traveled to Haiti to finance and build a facility in Thomazeau to house a school, clinic and church.

Pastor Frederick Arnett officially joined the church staff as Pastor's Assistant in 1985 and was ordained in 1989. During the years 1990-1992 while the church was without a fulltime pastor, he was responsible for coordinating ministries. In 1992 he was named Associate Pastor.

In 1985 the mortgage on the Earle Weech Auditorium was burned and properties on the north and west boundaries of the church were purchased. Close to a half million dollars were invested in these transactions.

Work was begun on the house at 58 Collins Avenue immediately thereafter and, on March 16th, 1985 the house was dedicated in an impressive ceremony, as “The Adaline B. Russell Building” and became the home of the “Christian Counselling Centre.” Pastor Weech came to Nassau to assist in the new ministry of CCC in which he remained active until August 1986 when Pastor Frederick Arnett was appointed Director.

Our beloved founding pastor, Earle Weech, went home to be with the Lord on April 21st, 1987.

In 1986 Clint Kemp joined the staff as Youth Pastor and served in that capacity until 1991.

In 1987 we received a generous gift of properties on Cat Island and San Salvador.

In 1990 Pastor Russell returned to Canada after almost 10 years of faithful ministry at CBC.

During the interim years, from July 1990 to September 1992, Jasiel Thompson and Dansbuary Hudson ministered along with other guest speakers, including Allan R. Lee. A new constitution mandating formal church membership and a “plurality of leadership” form of government was also introduced in 1990.

In September 1992 Allan R. Lee accepted God's call to become Sr. Pastor-teacher of CBC and also assumed the responsibility of Chairman for the Christian Counselling Centre. Shortly thereafter, a new portfolio was presented for the Elder Board in that all elders were now considered to be pastors and each was assigned to specific areas of pastoral care and responsibilities in keeping with each pastor's gift and passion. Plural leadership was seen as a sharing of authority as well as pastoral responsibilities.

In 1994, the apartment complex was renovated and is now used for ministry purposes. This building also houses the Jasiel G. Thompson Recording Studio.

1996 was an eventful year beginning with the acquisition of additional properties on West Avenue (immediately behind the new Sunday School complex). In April of 1996 the Men's Fellowship ministry was reintroduced with the objective of promoting intimacy with God, family and fellow believers. A new Women's Ministry kicked-off in September with the stated purpose of “in dependence upon God, meeting the needs of our women on a spiritual, emotional and practical level; that in reaching out to each other we may strengthen the bond of love in our church family, and serve the community as we grow and respond in obedience to our Lord Jesus Christ.”

September also saw the introduction of the Mini-church concept. The  mini-churches, consist of a limited number of family units from CBC who have committed themselves to mutual spiritual development under the leadership and pastoral care of a pastor or pastor-supervised leader. The primary purpose of the mini-church is spiritual development involving activities that equip, strengthen, establish or build up a believer in the faith.

In September 1996, Thomas (Tommy) Albury, following the Lord's calling to full-time ministry, joined the CBC pastoral staff as an Associate Pastor and Church Administrator.

Victor Roberts also joined the church staff as Youth Pastor in Training on a part time basis in 1996, becoming full time in 1997. In April 2001, he was ordained to the ministry and assumed the position of Youth Pastor up until his relocation to Abaco in August 2002.   Victor's wife is Dina Roberts.

After this time, Shawn (and Allison) Brennen was employed as Youth Pastor for 18 months.  During this time, Terence Pinder was being trained to take over the Youth Ministry until the church was ready to call him into full time ministry.  He assumed the post of Youth Pastor in December, 2004 until he went to seminary to pursue further studies in August of 2010.  During this time, he continued the youth group meetings, called Ignition on Friday evenings and initiated a study group on Wednesday evenings called SLAM (Student Leaders Active Ministry).  At these meetings young people were trained in bible study and to participate in various pulpit ministries.  He also continued to hold youth retreats, Father & son camping activities and planned and accompanied Summer Missions trips and camps.  He was missed by the teens and will long be remembered especially by a group of young men whom he discipled during his pastorate.

CBC Current Front FacadeMichelo Lully, became Youth Pastor in August 2010. He continued to oversee the spiritual growth and development of our church's youth through programmes such as Igniton, SLAM, VBS and annual summer trips to Camp Bahamas in Eleuthera. He and his wife Jennifer relocated to the US earlier this year.

Nicholas Rogers took over the role of Youth Pastor in February 2013. He & his wife Tamsin continue to build the youth ministry of the church.

After much preparation and planning Edison & Eunice Pinder embarked on the January 1997 maiden voyage of the Sonlight Boat Ministry to the island of Exuma. They later into Long Island for a number of years and now operate out of Cat Island in the Bahamas.

1997 also brought about a special focus on our helps ministries to the community by the establishment of a 3 days/week Operation Inasmuch food & clothing distribution programme from the Christian Counselling Centre property in February, and the CARE Kitchen, a monthly (Saturday) free breakfast for the needy in April of that year.

Calvary Bible Church has taken many strides in ministry. The Excellence in Christian Broadcasting Ministry (ECB) in the new Jasiel G. Thompson Recording Studio was dedicated and launched on July 19th, 1998.  ECB broadcasted local & international biblically based programming on a daily basis via FM107.9 Radio.   In addition, Calvary's had two long running radio ministries, “Echoes of Calvary” at 7:30 am on ZNS-1, historically conducted by the Sr. Pastor-teacher, and “Calvary Bible Time” at 10:00 am on ZNS-2, conducted by Pastor Jasiel Thompson. Echoes of Calvary continues to beam over the airwaves bringing blessings, challenges and salvation to many.

In February, 1999, Anthone Wallace, a bright, young, Bahamian joined our ministry team as Minister of Music & Worship. Under his direction, an adult Praise Team and worship band was formed, providing music for church services and accompaniment in worship.  Beginning with one flute, a saxophone, piano, organ and drums, the Worship band has grown to include a violin, trumpets, trombone, bass guitar and percussions.

Under his leadership, Sonbeams, a choir for elementary aged students got its start in the Fall of 1999.  A few years later, in 2005, Livingstones, a high school Worship Team, got its start and later blossomed into a full-fledged choir.   Both groups became  strong, vibrant ministries who sing for the glory of God and the edification of the saints.   Under Anthone's direction, a combined choir has put on several editions of Hymns Fest, which is a celebration of God through traditional hymns of the faith.  In 2006, the first Annual Appreciation Dinner for music ministry participants took place and continues each year.  He will probably best be remembered for his inclusion of original worship material for times of corporate worship at Calvary, notably, “The Incredible Body of Christ” and “More Like You” along with Missions Conference theme songs like,  “Set Them Free!” and “My Church Will Stand” which was written in collaboration with Dawn Sands and Terence Pinder.  Anthone is married to Marissa Wallace.

On January 2nd, 2000 CBC began a 5-year “Journey Toward Spiritual Maturity” programme with the introduction of the 4-book Discovery series of Bible based study courses geared to bringing each member of our local church body to spiritual maturity in Christ.   Since then a full series has been completed and new ones have been introduced.

The Media ministry began under Brother Steve Lowe and William Sands when the church first got started. At that time, live sound was provided. In time, Derek Albury and Erik Russell provided technical assistance.  Over the years, many have lent assistance, including Kenneth Cartwright, and Andrew and Steven Cates, who worked from about 1995 for several years.  In 1997, Nathan Sawyer and Charlie Albury led the team until Nathan Sawyer was hired in November 2008 in a full time capacity. By this time, recordings were also being made available. Video recordings became available in 2005 and the ministry also provided projections and online streaming and currently has an archive of four-six years online.  The ministry is 17 persons strong and has bible study and other activities to build up the spiritual aspect of its members. In addition, we have established a church web site (www.calvarybible.org.bs) which has already impacted folk as far away as India!

In 2009, the property to the south of the main sanctuary, formerly owned by Texaco, was put up for sale and was acquired by the church.

At the end of August 2013, after 21 years of faithful service as our Sr. Pastor-teacher, Pastor Allan. R. Lee retired from full time ministry at the church and was awarded the title of Sr. Pastor Emeritus. A Pastoral Selection Committee is now aggressively seeking the Lord's will for a new man to fill the position.

We praise God for His faithfulness to our church family during these years and the wonderful, godly heritage He has enabled us to establish for our children and theirs as well, as we have sought to be faithful to Him as revealed in and through His Word by the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit. It is through that same Holy Spirit that we are able to “perceive the present” times in which we live so that, while holding on to our heritage of the past, we do not become “relics” of the present by becoming oblivious to the changes around us. Thus, we are open to looking for “new skins” in which to place both “new” and “old” wine while holding fast to the Word of Truth by both proclaiming and “defending the faith which was once and for all handed down to the saints” by the Holy Spirit. This determined and intentional stand enables us to both prepare for, and look forward to the future in faith.