Who We Are
A Church Family With A Proud History Of Serving A Great God
Our story isn't one born out of some great tragedy or life-changing
event. Our story didn't make headlines in the newspapers. Our
story is however, a story of 60 years of watching the faithfulness
of an Almighty God work through the hearts and lives of ordinary
people, to see His work get accomplished in the Pass Area.
In 1952, a small group of people gathered for the first time as a
church family. They met in a small building near downtown
Banning and by the guidance of God, Calvary Baptist Church was
started. Over the years that church began to grow and God continued to bless. People were finding that this new church in Banning was a place to come, feel welcomed, find friends, and hear from God and His Word.
Over the years, a few different men have pastored our church, serving faithfully to the church family and community. After a relocation and a name change, Calvary Baptist Church was now called Mountain Avenue Baptist Church and had moved from that old building downtown, to a new sprawling campus on Mountain Avenue, where the church meets today. In 1980, under the leadership of former pastor, Pastor Beagle, Calvary Christian School began, keeping the namesake of the original church. This growing ministry of the church has now been in operation for over 40 years, educating thousands of children in a God-centered environment. Calvary Christain School now has a student body of over 400 students.
In 2004, Mountain Avenue Baptist Church found itself without a pastor. Through the leading of the Holy Spirit, God led Pastor Rich Szydlowski and his family to Moutain Avenue to become the new pastor. For the past 18 years, Pastor Szydlowski has led Mountain Avenue Baptist Church with a faithful servant's heart, with a strong desire to see the people of Banning, Beaumont, and the Pass Area know about the loving grace.
Mountain Avenue Baptist now is embarking on a new era of ministry. By the direction of God and His leading, we are endeavoring to build a new 10,000 square foot building for His glory! This new building will be home to our auditorium for our Sunday and Wednesday services, as well as a gymnasium for our school and church ministries to use. The new building will have 6 new classrooms, a new nursery and toddler space for young children to grow, as well as needed fellowship space.
Church Leadership Team
Pastor Szydlowski was born in Hazel Park, Michigan. He attended Easter Michigan University for one year and transferred to Bible college where he earned his Pastoral Degree. He and his wife Becky served in various ministries across the United States, including in Georgia, Washington and Michigan.
In 2004, God called Pastor Szydlowski and his family to serve at Mountain Avenue Baptist Church. He, his wife, and their five daughters moved by faith to Banning.
In 2018, God graciously called Becky to Heaven after a valiant battle with cancer. Through over 40 years of serving, our pastor has remained faithful to God's call and His purpose.
Mike and his wife Joanna have served at Mountain Avenue Baptist for 12 years. Mike was born in Indiana and Joanna was born in Michigan. They met each other while attending West Coast Baptist College. They were married in 2010 and have 4 children, Braden, Ashlin, Camden, and Austin.
Mike oversees the Sunday School ministries and teaches the young couple's class. He actively oversees our outreach ministries and teaches Bible in our Jr High at Calvary Christian School.