Calvary Presbyterian Church is a journey of people in faith.  On January 26, 1953 the journey began when a group of twenty-six faithful, with a vision, gathered to organize a Presbyterian Church in the Round Lake Area.  Upon approval of the Presbytery of Chicago, the Reverend Samuel Rice was sent to develop the church.  A name had been chosen during the Lenten Season on March 20, 1953.  On the fourteenth day of June, that same year, the church officially became “Calvary Presbyterian Church”.  The Reverend Samuel Rice accepted the call to become the first pastor and was installed in October of 1953.

These energetic and devoted individuals organized many of the great missions of the church that very first year, including: the Session, Deacons, Trustees, Choir, Sunday School, Youth Group, Women’s Society, Men’s Club and a Building Committee.

Initially the members assembled in the Consolidated Grade School Building, now the John Magee Middle School.  A classroom was used for services.  Planks placed on soda pop cases served as tables and seats for the Sunday School which met in the vestibule and auditorium of the school.  Upon learning that the John Hart property near the school was available for sale, the congregation voted to purchase two acres of this land, which was later presented to the church as a gift.  A milestone had been reached when Calvary had the ground breaking for the manse.  The first phase of building construction was completed in 1955.  The building served as sanctuary, Christian Education facility and manse for the pastor.  It was a wonderful little church and served the congregation well.  Construction for the present sanctuary was begun in the second phase in 1958.  The groundbreaking ceremony that August and the laying of the cornerstone in July 1959, were additional milestones.  At long last the vision became a reality, when in November 1959, Calvary Presbyterian Church was dedicated to the service of God and all mankind.

The new redwood structure housed the sanctuary, with the Christian Education facilities on the lower level.  The blacktop driveway and parking area were completed during the third phase in 1985.  The fourth and last phase was completed in 1989, extensively renovating the old manse, narthex, fellowship hall and lower level of the old sanctuary, joining the two buildings together into a magnificent new structure.  From a humble beginning in a classroom, these facilities were now able to meet the needs of over 300 souls and their families, as well as house Calvary’s outreach ministries which are an outgrowth of this congregation’s commitment to serve Christ in the world.

The large illuminated cross situated at the rear of the chancel and in full view of the congregation seated in the nave and the balcony, truly expresses the fact that “Jesus Christ died that we might live“.  The large bell situated above the canopy of the church entrance rings out the tones of welcome to this place of worship for those who seek inspiration and comfort.  Crowning the pinnacle of the narthex is the flood-lighted spire with the cross on top, which is the symbol to all that “Jesus Christ is the Conqueror“.
 

Since it’s formation Calvary has been served by five full-time pastors. Four of these served Calvary as their first full-time ministerial charges.  The Rev. Samuel rice was first, serving from May 19, 1953 to October 30, 1955.  Rev. Fletcher Thompson served from June 17, 1956 to March 1958.  Rev. Wayne King served from June 29, 1958 to May 30, 1961.  Rev. Peder Carlson served from October 8, 1961 to January 1, 1969.  The Rev. Lisle J. Kauffman has pastored Calvary from August 10, 1969 through December 1, 2010 and Interim Pastor Dr. Rev Frank Wyatt served through December 31, 2011; On September 2, 2012 Rev. Matt Gearke took the pulpit as our full time pastor.

As a people of God living in the world, the desire to provide a ministry to the community was one of the reasons Calvary was formed.  Our Pastors have not only served this congregation but have served the community in a multitude of ways: prayer services, dedications, counseling, Chamber of Commerce, Police and Fire Chaplain.  Praise the Lord for these dedicated Christian men who have journeyed with this congregation.