HISTORY OF MOUNT CALVARY
HISTORY OF MOUNT CALVARY LUTHERAN CHURCH OF GREENVILLE MICHIGAN
Serving Christ and Community since 1951
Mount Calvary Lutheran Church was organized as a congregation of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in 1951, although a Lutheran Sunday School first began meeting in Greenville City Hall in 1950. The first worship service of Mount Calvary was held on Pentecost, May 13, 1951 in the local Episcopal Church.
Rev. P.T. Gutnecht (1951-53) and Rev. R. J. Martens (1953-54) guided the church in the formative stages, with worship services held in various buildings and churches in town. Under guidance of Pastor C. Ben Misch (1954-57), a church building was designed and constructed at 908 West Oak Street with dedication held May 24, 1956.
Rev. Ralph Danielsen was the congregation’s pastor from 1958-60 and the first decade of Mount Calvary Lutheran Church saw membership grow from 52 to 105 communicants in the first ten years.
Rev. George Mahder (1961-68) was the first occupant of a parsonage constructed across from the church and dedicated in 1961. By 1968 the church had grown enough to become self-supporting and no longer received its mission subsidy! Rev. Henry Lubben became pastor in 1968. The 1970 statistical report showed the church had grown to 180 communicants!
Rev. Martin R. Greunke guided the growth of the congregation during most of the 1970s. A Special Christian Education class for mentally challenged adults was begun. Communicant membership increased to 256 by 1980. The 25th anniversary of the congregation was celebrated in the U.S. Bicentennial year 1976.
Rev. Dennis Thompson (1980-84) was the last pastor to occupy the parsonage, which was sold to allow future pastors to select their own housing. Funds from the sale were invested for future expansion. Mount Calvary Christian Preschool was begun in 1982.
Rev. Charles Buckhahn served from 1984-94 and the congregation continued planning for expanded facilities for worship, education, office and fellowship space. Additions east and north of the church were dedicated in 1990. The 40th anniversary was celebrated with various special activities throughout 1991.
Rev. Mark Pflug became Mount Calvary’s pastor in the summer of 1995. By the end of 2000 Mount Calvary had a membership of about 300 communicants in its membership. A 50th anniversary celebration welcomed many former pastors and members with about 120 attending a festive dinner at JR’s.
Rev. Jeff Wilhelm was installed as pastor in January of 2005. A large fellowship addition included a modern kitchen, meeting room, library and storage areas. In 2007 all-day child care was added to the preschool. Holly Wilhelm has been added to staff as Director of Child and Family Ministries to coordinate programs.
Looking back, we thank God for having led our founders on the right path.
Looking forward we vow to keep in the right path.
Looking upward we pray that God would continue to be with us as we “Point the Way” to Christ