Coming to Rockford originally from Connecticut (10 years) by way of North Carolina (26 years), Michael Labate brings over a decade of ministry experience to Calvary Baptist Church. His passion for people’s hearts, minds, and lives to be changed by God through the study of His Word is evident in his teaching and counsel. Michael holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Studies Education and a Master’s of Divinity Degree in Pastoral Ministry (w/Biblical Languages how snooty) With a desire to rightly teach the Bible to God’s people; Michael’s focus has been on doing just that through sermons, website resources, and Bible studies. A man who loves his family, he has been married to his wife, Kameron, since 2003 and together they have 2 wonderfully rambunctious children.
Following World War II, large numbers of families from the southern United States migrated to northern Illinois in pursuit of employment. Calvary Baptist Church of Rockford was begun in 1956 in response to a desire of these Baptists to worship in a style and context familiar to their southern heritage. Today, Calvary Baptist Church of Rockford is an indigenous church with its own unique identity. While appreciating the traditional heritage from which we first began, our church presents the message of Christ in a contemporary context suited to this modern – growing mid-western community. Located on 20th Street for nearly 40 years, the church purchased and moved to its present location on Linden Road in 1996. The 20,000 sq. ft. facility and 15 acres campus provide comfort, space, and utility for meeting the wide range of current and future ministry needs of our church family.
Calvary’s faith reflects a continuing devotion to those beliefs long cherished among Baptists and expressed in The Baptist Faith and Message (2000) of the Southern Baptist Convention. Among these doctrines is an affirmation of the full deity of the triune God; uncompromised truth and authority of the Bible; salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ; and the sufficiency of Christ’s death, resurrection, ascension, and immanent return.
Calvary Baptist Church is a local, autonomous congregation, but we choose to cooperate with other like-minded churches and Christian organizations across the country and around the world. Locally, Calvary cooperates with the North Central Baptist Association and the Illinois State Baptist Association. Nationally, Calvary is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention and contributes to the support of over 10,000 career missionaries serving in over 140 countries. In addition, Calvary lends support to the Rockford Rescue Mission and to the Illinois Baptist Children’s Home and Family Services in Carmi, IL.