Baptist International Missions Inc. (BIMI) Missionary from the USA, Pastor Bob Vradenburgh his late wife Chlo, and their three children, moved to Grand Cayman in the mid eighties to establish an Independent Baptist Church. By God’s grace, Calvary Baptist Church held its first service in June 1985. This first service was held at the Lions Centre and the church met there for several months before moving to its present location on Walkers Road.
In spite of many battles in the early days, the Lord blessed the ministry of pastor Vradenburgh and the work prospered. Souls were saved and the church began to grow in both numbers and spiritual fortitude. Pastor Bob led in the construction of the present church sanctuary and mission home, two great blessing to this work, and once more by God’s grace, these were accomplished with minimal indebtedness.
Due to Mrs. Vradenburgh’s illness in 1994, Pastor Bob had to take a two and a half year medical furlough until his wife was well enough to return to the island. During this unexpected furlough, the Lord raised up Pastor Michael Jeremiah, to pastor the work in the interim. Pastor Jeremiah and his wife Carla, served faithfully during those years and The Lord continued to bless the work with more souls saved and baptized. About one year after the Vradenburgh’s return, the Jeremiahs felt the call of the Lord to go to Grenada where they served as the first missionaries from Calvary Baptist Church for nine years.
As a result of the unfortunate relapse of Sis Chlo’s illness in 2000, the Vrandenburgh’s, after serving for about fifteen years in Grand Cayman, relocated permanently to the US. Sis. Chlo grew increasingly worse, and after a long battle with cystic fibrosis, went to be with the Lord in 2004. Pastor Bob is now remarried and currently serves as the Senior Pastor of Friendship Baptist Church in NC.
Following pastor Bob’s return to the USA, the Lord brought to Calvary Baptist, Pastor Swante Lindquist, a veteran missionary who served for many years in Africa. Pastor Swante and his wife Linda served for six years and the Lord used them to bring more souls to the work, further organize the ministry.
Probably the most challenging times for Calvary came after the passage of Hurricane Ivan in 2004. The Church building and manse suffered considerable damage and it was several months before some sense of normalcy was restored. Once the buildings were repaired and the church was settled again, the Linquist felt the Lord’s leading to serve in another field and left in December 2005. The pastoral reins of Calvary Baptist was then turned over to Missionay pastor Dr. Ken Love. For the next four and a half years Pastor Love and his wife June, faithfully served at Calvary. Plans begun in earnest for the construction of a much needed fellowship hall and Sunday school classrooms. In the meantime, the church was being prepared for the call of a national pastor. After praying about the matter for approximately two years, the Lord led Pastor Jeremiah and his family back from the field in Grenada to the Cayman Islands and in June 2009 upon the Lord’s leading and recommendation of Pastor Love, the church voted unanimously to call Pastor Jeremiah as its first national pastor.
It was a significant day in the life of this work when it officially became a self-supporting indigenous local church. God’s blessings continued upon the work during what proved to be a very smooth transition.