HISTORY & BELIEFS OF CALVARY
The roots of Calvary Church
The roots of Calvary Church go all the way back to 1912. A small handful of believers with a heart for lost people decided to do something about it. They launched an outreach Sunday School in downtown Holland on Sunday afternoons. Little did they realize that first Sunday, when around a dozen people showed up, that their investment of time, energy, and prayer would ultimately lead to a congregation of more than 1000 members with the same heart for lost people.
The mission Sunday school grew to be a mission chapel. For nearly 50 years a small, struggling, but faith-filled mission chapel attempted to reach lost people out of an old, white, church building on River Avenue and 6th Street. Those early members would tell a story of how, in spite of many obstacles and even threats to close down the chapel, they continued to work and pray that God would raise up a church with a heart for the lost.
It was in 1959 that the mission chapel became a mission church known as Calvary Christian Reformed Church. One hundred and fifteen people pooled their resources and sacrificed to make a move to Beeline Road and the building of a new church facility possible. For the next 40 years, 405 Beeline Road was to serve as the ministry center for Calvary Church.
Although the church faced the real temptation of settling in comfortably as it began to grow in the “suburbs”, the original vision that began it all back in 1912 was reaffirmed in 1991 when the congregation adopted as its reason for existence: SEEKING THE LOST, DISCIPLING THE FOUND—ALL IN LOVING OBEDIENCE TO JESUS CHRIST! We drove a stake in the ground at that time—we will be a church on a mission to reach God’s lost children. From that time on we have pressed on to become more intentional and more effective at doing just that.
God has blessed Calvary Church beyond our expectations. In 1993, God provided 20 acres of land and a new ministry center at 400 Beeline Road. An elderly member who poured much of his life into raising up this church testified some time ago, “When I sit in church and watch all the people stream in, my eyes fill with tears, and I realize that, at last, God has answered all those prayers we offered up for so many years.”
As Calvary continued to refine who it was and what God was calling us to be, a decision was made in 2007 to simplify our mission statement. “Loving People Towards God” was adopted in an effort to be more of a mission based church and not a club. We are to go into our world to make disciples with Jesus and to be famous for the way we love people in the process.
This is still the mission of Calvary Church. In 2016 a new statement was adopted; “In Christ. With good news. For the world.” This statement speaks to our core identity in Christ and our desire to live that out in the world.
The mission statement of Calvary answers the question: “Why do we exist?” In Christ. With good news. For the World. We exist as a church because we are rooted in Christ. This i s where we find our identity and our foundation. We exist to go into the world with good news. The gospel of Jesus Christ is so compelling that it sends us into the world eager and willing to share. And we exist for the world. The formation and ministry that happens in this place doesn’t stay here, but it sends us out into the world to serve, to love and to make disciples.
Our value statements answer the question, “What do we value.” The statements help to clarify the way that we live out our mission statement in the world.
– We believe the gospel of Jesus Christ is good news for all people.
– We welcome seekers, skeptics, and followers of Jesus every time we gather.
– We believe the good news of the gospel changes everything.
– We seek to follow Jesus personally, relationally, and vocationally.
– We believe the good news that saves also sends.
– We partner to serve locally, regionally, and globally.