Calvary Lutheran is turning 50 years old

For the Mirror

In the 1950s, youth from the South Sound gathered regularly at Lutherland Bible Camp on Lake Killarney for fellowship and spiritual growth. As the area (now known as Federal Way) grew, camp participants from the area spoke to the bishop and pastors about starting a Federal Way Lutheran church.

So it is that Calvary Lutheran Church was organized as a congregation on Nov. 28, 1954.

The church, which now stands at 2415 S. 320th St., is celebrating its 50th anniversary this month.

With L. William Youngdahl as Calvary’s first pastor, the plan was for the congregation to meet at the camp for about three years.

But things moved a bit more quickly.

The congregation bought the site of the present church complex, near Interstate 5, in 1955 for $10,000 from C. Ralph Fleming. A fund-raiser produced the down payment.

The first building, which is now the education wing, was erected in 1956. Sunday school rooms were added a year later.

The sanctuary was completed in 1967, an office addition was added in 1993, and the newest wing was dedicated a little over a year ago.

Many traditions are regularly celebrated at Calvary, including the Easter Cross –– the preserved trunk from the previous year’s Christmas, wrapped in chicken wire and filled with hundreds of daffodils for Easter morning services.

Church activities include the men’s Bible study group, vacation Bible school, Lenten suppers and mid-week worship, and Women of the Evangelical Church of America Bible studies and fellowship.

Also on Calvary’s regular docket are a contemporary service, started last year for worshippers who aren’t accustomed to the Lutheran liturgy, book groups and small-group fellowship, and a Sunday education program for children.

Calvary Lutheran will celebrate its 50th anniversary with:

• An open house Dec. 3 from 3 to 7 p.m., followed by an “old-fashioned hymn sing” from 7 to 8 and a performance by Calvary’s Deeper Life Band from 8 to 10.

• An organ concert Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. (prelude at 6:30).

• Special services Dec. 5 at 9:45 a.m. and 11 a.m.

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