Mt. Calvary Baptist Church Of Leesburg Burns Its Mortgage After 78 Years

Burning of the mortgage
Pastor Rev Dr. Tony C Person Sr. and 1st Lady Jacqueline Person
Program Chairpersons Deaconess Rosetta Pritchard Givens and Deacon Leonard Chatman
The last 2 surviving members of the original Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, sisters Rosetta Pritchard Givens and Thelma Pritchard Colden.
Former members of Mt Calvary original Gospel Choir joined with the current Mass choir for this occasion.


LEESBURG – The Mt. Calvary Baptist Church of Leesburg’s congregation, family and friends celebrated its mortgage burning ceremony in the building they began to build in 1994 at 1012 Line Street in Leesburg, Florida, on Sunday, September 24th, 2023.

With a program filled with history from 1945 to the present, Mt. Calvary Baptist Church followed a traditional U.S.A. custom ritual where the promissory note, the mortgage document, was placed in a galvanized bucket and was set on fire and the church followed with singing “Let the Church say, Amen!

“This is indeed a day of celebratory praise as we invoke God’s presence and power in this place on Mt. Calvary’s 78th church anniversary,” said Rev. Dr. Tony C. Person, Senior Pastor of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church of Leesburg.

Deaconess Rosetta Givens, one of two oldest living members of Mt. Calvary, who joined the church in 1945, remembers when her daddy brought a red wagon for her and her two sisters and the wagon was used to carry bricks to build the first Mt. Calvary Baptist church said, the mortgage burning ceremony was great.  The joy to reminisce about the beginning trials and tribulations our church went through, and to see where God has taken us now is a powerful statement about what God can do for his people.

Stanley Fischer, a member of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church of Leesburg, who has never seen a mortgage ceremony, said, “I was very happy to attend our 78th church anniversary and witnessed the mortgage burning ceremony and now our church is debt free.  What a significant accomplishment!

“Nothing can stop us from moving forward, ‘We’ve come this far by faith.’  Therefore, we must continue to stand together and call those things that be not as if they were,” concluded Pastor Person.

Ms. Linda Cunningham, a member of Mt. Calvary, since she was 11 years old, remembers when she marched into Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in November 1995. It was so exciting, and now to know that the church is paid for, all I can say is: “But God.” We’re ready to move on to see what God will have us do.”