Who We Are
In 1946, Rev. Victor Erickson, who was employed by the Iowa and Dakota Baptist Conferences as their state missionary, was called for the specific purpose of planting new Baptist General Conference churches. One of the first areas to be surveyed was Yankton, SD, and in September 1947, several interested families were located. Two families who later became charter members were the O.H. Rulon and Chris Hanson families.
At first, prayer meetings were held at the Chris Hanson home, located at 710 Walnut Street, and in October 1947 Sunday Services were held at the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, located at 408 West 6th Street. Rev. Glen Pickett came in June 1948 to become the first full-time pastor of the group.
In January 1950, the Trinity Lutheran Church building at 6th and Capital was purchased by the Dakota Baptist Conference for $17,000, and on Tuesday, April 11, 1950, a small group of people organized into an official church body. There were fourteen charter members and the name Calvary Baptist Church was adopted. On Sunday, April 16, 1950 dedication services for the church were held. This building was used by both congregations until February 1953, during which time the new Trinity Church was being built. When Trinity moved to their new location, they removed the altar and organ pipes and Calvary installed a new baptistry. The church was dedicated in August 1953.
In August 1969, Rev. Oliver Omanson accepted the call as Senior Pastor and served Calvary Baptist for the next 19 years. During Rev. Omanson’s ministry, several milestones were reached. On November 17, 1971, the church voted by unanimous decision to build a new church. The groundbreaking ceremony was held on April 30, 1972, with work beginning in May 1972. The first service in the new church at 17th and Burleigh was held on May 27, 1973. The first Associate Pastor was called. Also during the summer of 1981, a groundbreaking ceremony for a new building addition was held. Dedication of the new addition was held on September 12, 1982.
The church entered an exciting new phase in 2005 when the process of exploring whether to build a new church building or renovate and add to the existing structure on Burleigh Street began. After much study, prayer, and discussion, a motion was made by the Building Committee and the Governing Board at the September 2007 business meeting to pursue purchase of the former Walmart property. The congregation voted in favor. In February of 2008 the process of remodeling the former Walmart building was started. The first service at 2407 Broadway was held in October 2008.