Our Church History
Our church was the outgrowth of non-denominational work begun in Harrisburg in the 1880’s. A group of Plymouth Brethren, cherishing the oneness that all Christians have in Christ, and emphasizing the access to God that Christ followers have because of God’s grace (known doctrinally as the Priesthood of the Believer) desired to establish a meeting place where the celebration of the Lord’s Table would be “open” to professing Christians. In December of 1935 they purchased a building at 15th and Shoop Streets and in October of 1937, they took the name “Calvary Independent Church.” About thirty years later in 1966, Calvary Independent Church moved to the present location at 3201 North Progress Avenue in Susquehanna Township, Harrisburg.
Even though our roots go back to a Plymouth Brethren movement, it was decided in 1935 that a full-time paid pastor would be best to focus on preaching the Bible and visiting the congregation, something that is not traditionally “Brethren.” God has used the office of a preaching pastor in concert with a plurality of elders from within the church to provide godly leadership through the years. Since our beginning, our church has been “independent” of denominational structure, trusting in the sufficiency of Scripture and believing deeply that Christ is the head of His church and that He places and fits together the different people with unique gifting and talent that make up the body in the local church.
Throughout our history, we have had a strong interest in both local and global missions and have had some missionaries come from our own assembly, desiring to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to others. We also have kept primary focus on the Lord’s Table, which has been from our beginning, something that orients us on the accomplished work of Christ for the salvation of His people.
15th and Shoop Streets
Up until 1966 this was the old church building in downtown Harrisburg.