The Sweet Prospect Baptist Church was organized on February 21, 1961 and incorporated on January 17, 1962 at 9:00 a.m. under the leadership of the late Rev. Calvin C. English. The incorporating members were: Rev. Calvin C. English, James R. Smith; Samuel B. Sawyer; Charles H. English and Robert Sawyer. The home of the newly organized church was located at 1701 East Lanvale Street in East Baltimore. The church’s name was taken from the home church, Sweet Prospect African Methodist Episcopal Church in Woodard, Fairfield County, South Carolina.
Prior to his call to the ministry, Rev. Calvin C. English served as President of the usher board at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. He later joined the New Pilgrim Baptist Church under Rev. Black. Under the watchful eye of Rev. Black he completed an intensive religious study at the Baltimore School of the Bible. Rev. English came to feel that God had a special mission for him to complete and he went on to organize the Sweet Prospect Baptist Church. The first sermon he preached came from Gal. 5:7, “Ye did run well, who hinder you that ye shall not obey the truth.” Subject: The Hope of Righteousness by Faith.
On May 15, 1962, the church met for the purpose of selecting officers. The officers selected were Rev. Lonnie Saunders, Assistant Pastor; Deacon Henry “Hubie” Douglass, chairman of the Deacon Board; Bro, James Smith, chairman of the Trustee Board; Sister Mattie Smith, Church Secretary; Sister Nancy Holley-English, Financial Secretary; Sister Frances English-Sawyer, President of the Gospel Choir and Missionary Society; and Sister Mary Richmond-Stewart, Church Mother. Sister Penny Sawyer became the first member of the newly formed church.
In 1963, the church moved to 1013 North Durham Street, Baltimore, Maryland. The building on Durham Street had a long and lustrous history. The first congregation to worship there was the St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1910 and later Fountain Baptist Church. Sweet Prospect Baptist Church purchased the building from the Mt. Calvary Star Baptist Church. The financiers were none other than Rev. Calvin C. English and Deacon Samuel B. Sawyer. God blessed us to pay off the mortgage in 1967.
Rev. English carried the church as far as he could while being a husband, father of five children and working full time at Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Sparrows Point, Maryland. Rev. English preached the Sunday before he received God’s call to come home on Tuesday, February 28, 1978. His sermon was taken from Ephesians 6:10, “Finally, my brother, be strong in the Lord and the power of his might. Put on the whole Armor of God that you might be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Subject: Put on the Whole Armor of God.
After Rev. English’s passing, the church prayed and decided to carry on in the name of the Lord and keep the doors open.
Since that time, Sweet Prospect has been led by several visionary leaders. Most recently, it is under the leadership of Pastor Tushina Yameny-the great niece of the founding pastor.