Calvary Baptist Church opened its doors on July 16, 1989, when Pastor John Hornbeck heeded to God’s call to enter the mission field and minister to the U.S. military.
While on staff at Independent Baptist Church in Clinton, Md., Pastor Hornbeck had the privilege of discipling service members from Andrews Air Force Base, Bowling Air Force Base, and other military bases in the D.C. area. After receiving God’s call, God spoke to Pastor Hornbeck about starting a church in Aviano.
In February 1987, he, his wife, LeeEtta, and son, John III, took a survey trip to Aviano. During the trip, the Hornbecks realized the need for increased support due to living expenses in Italy. They spent nearly three years working to gain the needed support. When adequate support was not raised, the Hornbecks trusted God to provide and entered the mission field.
When the Hornbecks arrived in Aviano in March 1989, Pastor Hornbeck had a vision for the church: 1) Reach the military for Jesus Christ; 2) Disciple the saved; and 3) Pray for God’s call in their lives.
The church held its first service in the Hornbeck’s home in San Cassiano di Brugnera on July 16, 1989. Fifteen came for the a.m. service, and four attended the p.m. service where Pastor Hornbeck preached from John 3:1-7 and a young man, Jay Haughton, accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior.
A special service in January 1990, hosted guest speaker, Pastor Eddie Woodfield of Vicenza Baptist Church in Vicenza, Italy.
That night ten families attended. Each family had a baby in the nursery, which was too small for them all. The Hornbecks realized the need to move to a bigger location, and in October 1990, the church moved to Marsure, Italy. In November 1994, the Hornbecks said farewell to the church.
Pastors Pat Creed, Gary Tingen, and Mike Hearell pastored the church, respectively, from 1994 to 2001.
In the spring of 1996, the Olsen’s received word CBC was in need of a pastor. At the time, Pastor Olsen was in seminary, preparing for the ministry. God used the news to instill a desire in Pastor Olsen’s heart to serve military families. On Feb. 4, 2001, Pastor Matthew Olsen became the church’s pastor.
During the family’s 10 years at CBC they saw an average 65 people in regular attendance. As an added bonus, four men surrendered for full-time Christian service. The family departed CBC in May 2011.
Pastors Roy Smith, Steve Nutt, and D.O. Van Dyne pastored the church, respectively, until July 2012 when Pastor Daniel Norton began pastoring the church. The Nortons also moved the church to its current location on Via Chiesa in Marsure.
In August 2012, God spoke to Pastor Chris War about moving himself and his wife, LouAnne, to Italy, to reach service members and their families with the Gospel, as well as the surrounding Italian community for Christ.
On May 5, 2013, Pastor War turned over Freedom Independent Baptist Church to Pastor Bill Anker, and started deputation to raise the needed support to go to Italy. The same month he flew to Aviano to candidate and received a 100% call to pastor. In January 2014, the Wars finished deputation and arrived in Italy.