Previous research has reported reduced serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels is associated with acute infectious illness. The relationship between vitamin D status, measured prior to acute infectious illness, with risk of community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and sepsis has not been examined. Community-living individuals hospitalized with CAP or sepsis were age-, sex-, race-, and season-matched with controls. ICD-9 codes identified CAP and sepsis; chest radiograph confirmed CAP. Serum 25(OH)D levels were measured up to 15 months prior to hospitalization. Regression models adjusted for diabetes, renal disease, and peripheral vascular disease evaluated the association of 25(OH)D levels with CAP or sepsis risk. A total of 132 CAP patients and controls were 60 ± 17 years, 71% female, and 86% Caucasian. The 25(OH)D levels <37 nmol/L (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 2.57, 95% CI 1.08–6.08) were strongly associated with increased odds of CAP hospitalization. A total of 422 sepsis patients and controls were 65 ± 14 years, 59% female, and 91% Caucasian. The 25(OH)D levels <37 nmol/L (adjusted OR 1.75, 95% CI 1.11–2.77) were associated with increased odds of sepsis hospitalization. Vitamin D status was inversely associated with risk of CAP and sepsis hospitalization in a community-living adult population. Further clinical trials are needed to evaluate whether vitamin D supplementation can reduce risk of infections, including CAP and sepsis.