Lutheran Church in Lancaster PA Reforms and Renovates at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church

In its 119 years of existence as a congregation of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod in the English District, Mount Calvary has been led by God to many different locations. A permanent sanctuary has been envisioned many times, but by the grace of God, the membership has exceeded the capacity of every space designated for worship, and the church is getting ready to grow once again.

Worship services first began in 1904 in a rented room until the completion of the church building at the intersection of Plum and Clay Streets as a Lutheran church in Lancaster PA in 1906. By 1911, the building grew to accommodate the swelling numbers of congregants, and the education wing was expanded twice, in 1955 and 1969. During the building of the new church on Petersburg Road in Lititz (the lot was purchased in 1988 and ground broken in 1993), services were held in an auto dealership and later, in an empty warehouse. The current church building includes an education wing completed in 2003 for adult Bible study, fellowship, special events, and frequent ultra-Lutheran potlucks.

The room provisionally used as the sanctuary was intended to be a multi-purpose room; the permanent sanctuary was never built. The congregation conducted a successful campaign, “Venture Forward in Faith” to pay off the building mortgage on April 23, 2021, twenty-eight years after the loan was extended. Now, two and a half years later, a new campaign has been launched and commitments from members and friends of the congregation have been received to renovate the 30-year-old facility and reorient the sanctuary, quite literally, to face east. A prayer walk was organized to submit these hopes and plans to God, since undertaking an expensive building project at this time requires divine intervention. Many members of Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Lititz PA are fervently praying for the success of this ministry expansion.

Turning the sanctuary ninety degrees corresponds to the desire shared by members of the congregation to renew their spiritual devotion. Growth in the church membership has, in the past, been somewhat proportionate to the growth of the population in southeast Pennsylvania, including transplants from the Midwest, Texas, California, the Mid-Atlantic region, and even further away, from Africa and Asia. Now, due in part to the synod’s strong position on the sanctity of human life, and its historic orientation toward teaching children and adults alike the central articles of faith, part of the growth in Mount Calvary is due to families welcoming young adults and children into their midst. There is, as one father of a young child recently expressed during an intimate mission meeting, “support for lived faith in the body,” and fellowship among Christians who acknowledge their physical and spiritual neediness and come to draw strength from the preaching of the Word of God and the sacraments. Having the freedom to worship and a comfortable place in which to do so is a privilege and a joy, as a mother of young children mentioned.

David, accustomed to open meadows and hillsides as the family shepherd, is understood to have composed Psalm 26, declaring, “Lord, I love the house where you live, the place where your glory dwells” (v. 8), and “My feet stand on level ground; in the great congregation I will praise the LORD” (v. 12) (The Holy Bible, New International Version). His words remind us that, as the Sunday School children sang recently at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church, “The Church is not a building, the Church is not a steeple, the Church is not a resting place, the Church is a people!” As faithful men, women and children wait for the fulfillment of God’s work at Jesus’s second coming, they may still gather, provisionally, in houses made by human hands, but they see within and beyond the walls the true object of faith: the spiritual body of Jesus Christ in all its beauty and fellowship with His saints.

Media Contact
Company Name: Mount Calvary Lutheran Church
Contact Person: Liz Velkly
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Phone: (717) 560-6751
Country: United States