In 1936, Pastor and Mrs. Frances Sturgeon of Centralia held street meetings in downtown Longview, attracting people of various denominations with their preaching and their music. With a congregation of 15 to 20 people, they began meeting in various available buildings, including the Seventh Day Adventist Church and the YMCA. In April of 1937, a charter membership of 12 was formed. The Longview Revival Tabernacle was built at 620 Oregon Way. The work grew under their care. In 1939, the Sturgeons resigned their pastorate to do further evangelistic work.
Rev. and Mrs. Guy DeVries served as Pastors from 1939 to 1943. Vacation Bible School was begun under their ministry. A citywide revival known as the Cooper Revival was held at the YMCA in 1941. Many of the converts chose to attend Longview Revival Tabernacle. The Dorcas Circle ladies missionary group was organized during the DeVries' pastorate.
Rev. and Mrs. Carl Gunderson were pastors from 1943 through 1951. He was known as a marvelous Bible teacher who encouraged Bible memorization. It was his conviction that God's flock be nurtured in the Word. A strong music program continued with Wilma, an excellent pianist. During the ministry of the Gundersons, a young people's group held Sunday afternoon services for a time in the Ostrander schoolhouse. As the church attempted to disciple others, the congregation had to consider expanding its facilities.
Several shorter pastorates followed. Rev. and Mrs. Roland Bixler pastored from 1951 to 1954. During their ministry a Sunday School building was erected on a lot adjoining The Tabernacle. Rev. Bixler was a gifted pulpit speaker.
From 1954 to 1958, Rev. and Mrs. William Kirshkee served the church. During their pastorate, the church became affiliated with the Assemblies of God. On October 26, 1954, the name of the church was changed to Longview Assembly of God. A chapel was added to the Sunday School building and construction was begun on the furnace room and additional Sunday School rooms. The Tabernacle was sold and moved off the premises. The BYKOTA missionary group was formed during this ministry. Rev. Kirshkee was especially strong in promoting a better Sunday School. He was also a good Bible teacher and was in demand as a camp speaker all across the United States. The Assemblies of God denomination later sent him to Australia to help establish Sunday Schools.
Rev. and Mrs. William Paris served in a period of sustained growth from May 1958 to November 1985. Pastor Paris was known for having a shepherd's heart. He was an excellent pulpit speaker and counselor who stressed the Spirit-filled life as a daily walk of obedience to Jesus with the Bible as guide. During these years, the church body voted to withdraw from the Assemblies of God and the name was changed to Calvary Temple.
On December 5, 1971, a vote of the membership changed the name to Calvary Community Church to better reflect the interdenominational ministry and makeup of the church family.
Under the leadership of Pastor Paris, the church expanded through various building programs. In 1959, a large sanctuary was added to the building on Oregon Way along with offices, a library and additional Sunday School rooms. Several program developments were initiated under the Paris' ministry, including youth camp, Women's Ministries, AWANA, and Calvary Community Preschool.
As the congregation continued to grow, there was a growing recognition of the need for larger facilities. After purchasing 8.6 acres of land on 38th Avenue, the construction of a new church was begun in 1978. This complex was completed in 1979. A gymnasium was added in 1984.
On November 8, 1985, Pastor Paris went to be with the Lord.
Dr. Howard and Kay King began their ministry in December of 1987 and served through December 31, 2002. Dr. King is a Biblical scholar who developed his ability to be a strong speaker throughout his tenure at Calvary Community. Having a teacher’s heart, he is sought out as a Sunday School teacher who is willing to lead, discuss, and help us to grow. Because of his heart for Missions, it was under his leadership at Calvary Community Church that we started Ban San Faan, a children's home in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Kay has always been a strong leader and teacher in the children’s program both in preschool and Sunday School. Pastor King currently serves as Pastor Emeritus.
Dr. Galen Conrad, our present Senior Pastor, began his ministry on January 1, 2003.
Dr. Conrad received a Bachelor's Degree from Western Baptist College, and a Master of Divinity Degree from Western Conservative Baptist Seminary. In 2012, Dr. Conrad received his Doctorate of Divinity from Western Seminary. As Senior Pastor he has led several church-wide programs promoting intensive Bible study and small group fellowship, such as the Purpose Driven Life and The Bible in 90 Days. He has deepened Calvary's ties to Ban San Faan, making several trips there himself and encouraging visits by other members of the Pastoral staff. His wife Jeane, while busy with her own full-time career, is an active partner with him, and has provided strong leadership for Women's Ministries. Both of them are active in community organizations. Dr. and Mrs. Conrad model a deep love for the Lord, for this church, and for all people.
Throughout the years, even with pastoral and denominational changes, God has continued to bless this church and others through it.
As Jesus has been lifted up, He has drawn many unto Himself. John 12:32.
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