In the early 1950's, Elsa Bruce and Betty Cummings wanted to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to young people in their own churches. They began to take groups of teenagers to Keene's Sturtevant Chapel's evening services for Gospel messages. Their Bible study and prayer groups grew into Saturday night Youth for Christ meetings. The VFW second floor on Tremont Square in Claremont was rented, then outgrown, for meetings. The larger Odd Fellows' Hall on Pleasant Street was leased. Speakers from Providence Bible Institute, men from Word of Life and several Conservative Baptist pastors helped with the meetings, and later with Sunday afternoon worship services.
On Easter Sunday of 1952, the scheduled speaker couldn't come. Pastor Paul Scruton of Contoocook Baptist Church, who arranged for speakers, was contacted and sent a young student from Gordon College, Warren C. Biebel, Jr., to fill in. He impressed the gathering, and in October the group asked Biebel to become the official group leader. Warren Biebel accepted the call. The young church took a step of faith and devoted 10% of total offerings to missions. Charter membership at the end of the year was 50. One member Ray Mark attributed the success of Calvary Baptist in its early years to a focus on prayer for individual people.
In August of 1952, eighteen people were baptized at Crescent Lake. Grace Bruce, Elsa's mother was the first person baptized.