Today actually marks the tenth anniversary of the first service of Calvary. On March 5th, 2000 we gathered at the Keathley University Center at MTSU and began the journey that carried us to many places and in many directions. Permit me to reflect on some of that journey!
For the first month (in March of 2000) we met at the university (MTSU: Keathley University Center, Tucker Theater, Wright Music Hall), then for three weeks we were at Cason Lane Academy; followed by a four year pilgrimage at Central Middle School. In the middle of our sojourn at Central, we frequently had to meet offsite in places such as Barfield Park or back at MTSU. The weekday ministries were conducted anywhere we could find a spot – such as the old Board of Realty Building and then consistently the Lion’s Club building at Cannonsburg. The first offices were in the recently vacated Ruckart building on College Street; we were on the second floor and the Pregnancy Support Center utilized the first floor at that time. After about a year we moved to the ministry center on Hickerson Drive where we stayed until ’04 when we moved to the new building.
In 2001 we started a Nehemiah Fund which allowed us to start thinking about a future property purchase. After looking at two properties on the west and south side of town, the Lord directed us to the DeJarnett Lane land which we purchased from the Shaver family in 2002. Construction began in ’03 and we moved into the new building in two phases: we occupied the educational and office buildings in June and then a few weeks later the sanctuary was completed and we held the first worship service on July 11, 2004.
Over the last ten years, we’ve made some wonderful steps: We began an Adult Sunday School ministry and Key Groups (now called Connect Groups) after the first month. The Youth Ministry which started from the first week, initially met at the old Realty Board Building downtown and then moved to Cannonsburg where they stayed until 2004. The Christmas House ministry began in 2002, the Living Nativity in 2004. The Women’s Banquet has grown from around a hundred to almost five hundred, and the Sportsman Banquet reaches over three hundred men.
At this point our ministries are healthier than ever. A 2009 renovation of the Children’s Wing, now called Kidzboro, enhanced the learning experiences of our children; and the total Wednesday evening ministry, including adults and youth is seeing attendance numbers consistently around 350. The youth ministry itself has grown to a regular attendance of 100 students. We now have a Wednesday worship experience called “DownPour” that is reaching college students and young adults. Last year we strategically launched two Sunday Schools and two Worship Services. The results for the Sunday Schools are the strongest numbers we’ve seen thus far; and the worship attendance is building, with the second service showing increases as new members come into the church.
At each step of the journey the Lord has provided, directed, and blessed this work. We are so thankful for the manner in which He has led us to develop and expand the work of Calvary. We are confident that the best is Yet To Come!