Calvary Lutheran Church

Source:  History of Baltimore 1729-1898, Elliott  (Published 1898 S.B. Nelson, Publisher)

On January 13, 1895, certain members of the Concordia Evangelical Church decided to withdraw from that church because the name "Lutheran" had been dropped from its constitution, and because it had been decided to hold all its services in German.

A house at 1419 Payson street was rented, and on the following Sunday, January 20th, a Sunday-school was organized. On March 17th the first preaching service was held at 4 p. m by the Rev. D. Frank Garland, then pastor of the Church of the Reformation and president of the local Church Extension Society. On April 7th  a temporary organization was effected. On May 7th the present pastor, the Rev. George Beiswanger, was appointed by the Board of Home Missions, at the request of the congregation, to take the work under his care.  He took control on June 1st

When regular services were established under the new pastor, the quarters on Payson street became too small, and on the following Sunday the services were moved to larger quarters on the northeast corner of Walbrook avenue and Pulaski street. The congregation was organized on September 22nd  in the United Presbyterian Chapel, which was loaned for the occasion. The sermon was preached by the pastor of St. Mark's Church, the Rev. Dr. Dunbar.  Forty-six members were enrolled as charter members. On Sunday, 29th, the Sunday-school was organized in the same chapel. A lot on the northeast corner of North Avenue and Payson Street was purchased for $4,900. Services were held in a portable chapel with the first service on January 1, 1896.  The portable was a failure and the congregation knew they needed a permanent structure, which was completed and dedicated on March 22nd, the sermon being provided by the Rev. Dr. A. Stewart Hartman and the Rev. O.C Roth performing the act of dedication. On June 28, 1896, a beautiful white marble font was presented to the church by the Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society of Grace Lutheran Church. The congregation fast outgrew its chapel, and on September 26, 1896, it was decided to appoint a committee to raise funds for a larger edifice.

Plans were secured for a church, Sunday school building and a parsonage. The Sunday-school and chapel building were begun on September 13, 1897 and on May 18, 1898, it was dedicated. It was a Gothic structure and was built of Port Deposit granite.

Ground for the new church building was broken on March 20, 1912, the corner stone laid on May 18, 1912.  The completed structure on North Avenue and Payson Street was dedicated on November 24, 1912.

The congregation grew rapidly.  Rev. Beiswanger preached his farewell sermon on May 25, 1902.

If you have additional information on this church, its pastors, etc., please send them to  

Pastors of Calvary

Rev. George Beiswanger

Rev. John Bowers, D.D.  (1902-1910)

Rev. Foster U. Gift, D.D. (1910-

Rev. John C. Bowers

Photos courtesy of L. Kennedy (precious treasures left by her grandmother)