Greater Calvary Bible Church
6510 Berkman Dr. Austin, TX. 78723
Greater Calvary Bible Church is an independent Non-denominational Bible church organized September 26, 1984.
The name changed from Greater Calvary Missionary Baptist Church to Greater Calvary Bible Church in 2004. The church was organized under the direction of Sterling Lands, II, a protege of Cleophus Robinson, Sr.
In 1962 Lands was called to the ministry. He received his certificate of license to preach the Gospel March 6th, 1979. He received his certificate of ordination after public examination July 16th, 1982. Lands is the former pastor of the Maryland Street Baptist Church, Louisiana, Missouri. In 1984 he relocated to Austin, Texas.
After three months in Austin, Texas, Lands was approached by a small band of community worshipers to start a church. The charter members met as a body for their first worship service on September 30, 1984 in the Church Annex of the Loyalty Missionary New Testament Church of East Austin. Lands received counsel and guidance during this period from Rev. E. M. Franklin, Vice Moderator of the St. John Landmark Association and Pastor of the St. James MBC. The church was housed in two other locations prior to its current location.
The current location was originally owned and operated by the Central Austin, Texas Salvation Army. Lands and his congregation received significant financial assistance from Riverbend Baptist Church to purchase and rehabilitate the facility. The first service was held in June, 1994.
The Church under Lands’ leadership has been influential in developing community campaigns that confront drugs and prostitution at the street level straight on and tackling social issues including racism, poverty, violence, ignorance and greed. The church operates an early learning center for preschoolers and an elementary school for children in Kindergarten, first through six grade. The church’s Rites of Passage Character Academy guides young people ages five through seventeen into character-centered adulthood. The Academy’s historical records indicate that since its inception in1989 that 80% of youth that completed the thirteen year regiment graduated or are enrolled in institutes of higher learning, 10% in the military and 10% gainfully employed and there have been 0% high school drop-out, 0% teen pregnancy, 0% drug and alcohol abuse and 0% juvenile delinquency among youth who completed the process.
The church’s Rites of Passage Development provides resources for affordable housing and community development. Lands and his church has earned a reputation with the Austin community at large so much so that in a historical ruling a Texas, Travis County District Judge awarded him managing parenting responsibilities for two children ages five and nine instead of granting custody to their maternal grandmother. The case was called a first of its kind in the state of Texas.
The church has given birth to four church fellowships; Family Life Bible Church, DeSoto, Texas, Restoration Bible Church, Austin, Texas, Houston Bible Fellowship, Houston, Texas and Meadow Glen Bible Chapel, Austin, Texas.
Laity-driven auxiliaries are Salvation Ministry; Education Ministry; Liberation Ministry; Dedication Ministry; and the Exaltation Ministry, which together make up the General Assembly. In 2010 the church had about 500 members on its rolls. Membership is divided among five Pastoral Houses overseen by House Pastors. Men and women are recognized and allowed to preach and are eligible to apply for credentials and be ordained. The church recognized deacons as being both male and female.
The Church encourages its members to be regular and consistent in fellowship, which requires their regular and consistent attendance. Members are encouraged to participate in the life of the church family, stimulating one another to love and good works, as well as serving and loving each other deeply. There is an expectation that members will become involved in the ministries of the church either in service or support roles as they are equipped to do so. Members are encouraged to support the church with their gifts, skills, talents, time, finances and energy. Members are encouraged to be involved in disciplining themselves for the purpose of godliness as they participate in those disciplines that will contribute toward their spiritual growth.
Theme: Commitment is demonstrated in our willingness to bear fruit.
Vision: We envision Christ centered families of high integrity, learning the truth, living free, serving one another and worshiping God.
Mission: Our mission is to develop Christ centered families of high integrity as a Kingdom priority.
Strategic Objectives Salvation Win the lost to Christ. John 3:3; 2 Tim. 1:9; 1 Thes. 5:9; Romans 3:19, 23; 3:9; 1:28-2:1; 11:32; Eccles. 7:20; Galatians 3:22; 1 John 1:8-10. Education Teach the truth of Christ and develop Christ centered families of high integrity. Matthew 11:29; John 6:45; 8:32; 14:6; 16:13; Deut.6:7; Psalm 25:5; 119:11; 119:97; 1:2; 37:31; 40:8; Job 22:22; Proverbs 2:1; 2:10-11; Jeremiah 15:16; Col. 3:16. Liberation Live free as disciples of Christ. John 8:32, 36; Psalm 119:45; Isaiah 61:1; Romans 6:14-18; Romans 6:22; 8:2; 8:15; 2 Cor. 3:17-18; Galatians 5:13; 2 Tim. 2:25-26; James 1:25; 2:12; 1 Peter 2:16. Dedication Serve each other in Christ. Galatians 5:13, 14; Galatians 5:22; Galatians 6:2; Mark 10:43-45; John 13:14-15; Acts 20:35; Romans 15:1-2; 1 Cor. 9:19; 1 Cor. 13:4-7; 2 Cor. 4:5; 2 Cor. 12:15; 1 Thes. 1:3; James 2:15-17; 1 John 3:16-19. Exaltation Worship the Lord as the appropriate response to His self revelation. Exodus 20:3-5; Psalm 95:6; Proverbs 3:9; Isaiah 66:23; John 4:21, 23; 14:6; Matthew 28:19; Ephes. 2:18; 3:14; Hebrews 4:16; 1 Peter 1:17; Rev. 15:4.