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Calvary United Methodist Church
Serving the Crystal City area of Arlington, VA

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Home arrow History

History PDF Print E-mail

In 1917, settlers in this rural area organized a Sunday School in the Storck home on S. Fern St. After meeting in the Hume School on Ridge Rd., and the Aurora Hills trolley station, the growing group needed larger space. In 1922, the Methodist Protestant Church bought the present site, holding services in a tent while a wood building was built by residents.

On April 1, 1923 Calvary Methodist Protestant Church was organized, and a parsonage was built in 1927 on an adjoining lot. In 1929 a new church building was built between Easter and Nov. 10. In 1939, we became Calvary Methodist Church, and on Feb. 23, 1941, a new education building was consecrated, called Harris Hall to honor H.L. Harris, who was both building committee chairman and general contractor, without pay.

The area’s growth in World War II led to 2 worship services here in 1950, as membership grew to 860 by 1961. Growing Sunday School classes required another education building, and in 1958 Skidmore Hall, honoring Mr. & Mrs. E.J. Skidmore, was built. By June, 1964 work began on a larger sanctuary and a steeple for the carillon, and on Palm Sunday, 1965, the first services were held.

During the 1970’s, Calvary added stained glass windows, began the Calvary Foundation, and sponsored 15 Vietnamese refugees. From 1980-2000, Calvary began a handbell choir and several 12-step programs, started our wonderful pre-school in 1998, and helped in various community service ministries. On Sept. 11, 2001, Calvary gave refuge to those who fled the Pentagon disaster. Now, as Calvary continues to serve its ever-changing community, an elevator addition and other church renovations  make our buildings better able to serve everyone around!

For example, over the years, an outdoor nativity scene in front of the Church has made Christmas special for area residents. When the imported baby Jesus figure was taken from the scene Christmas day, 2003, area residents joined our members in offering a reward for his return. The day before Easter, 2004, Jesus was returned to the front of the church, without explanation or claim of reward- a testimony to the endurance of God’s love in Christ and the impact of Calvary Church within the community!