Mt. Calvary was established in the South Shores area at 2055 S. Franklin Street by the Central Illinois District mission committee.
The dedication service and installation of the first pastor, the Rev. Raymond Stuckwisch, was held on December 5, 1954, with regular services to begin December 12.
The South Shores chapel was officially organized and named on March 3, 1955 with twenty-six (26) charter members listed on the Constitution.
Rev. Stuckwisch served the congregation until his release on July 22, 1959. The Rev. David Ebs was installed on March 27, 1960 and the membership increased to 125 plus 110 enrolled in Sunday School. Along with the member growth came the building of our educational unit and kitchen, which was dedicated on May 14, 1961. The Rev. Ebs was released in September 1965. The Rev. Wendell Peterson was installed on June 19, 1966 and served the congregation until October 1969.
The congregation was cared for by numerous pastors until January 24, 1971 when the Rev. Walter Lemmermann was installed as Mt. Calvary's fourth pastor. During Pastor Lemmermann's service, Mt. Calvary saw many milestones. In the fall of 1972, Mt. Calvary Lutheran Preschool began it's first year of what has now been 50+ years of continuous operation. On April 15, 1973 the congregation broke ground for the new sanctuary, with the completion and dedication being held on May 5, 1974. Pastor Lemmermann served the congregation until April 25, 1982.
The Rev. Richard Lindeman was installed May 1, 1983 and served the congregation until November 1986.
The Rev. Melvin Wesloh was installed June 28, 1987 and served the congregation until his retirement on August 1, 1997.
The Rev. Michael Damery began serving the congregation as its vicar in 1997. On August 2, 1998 he was ordained at Mt. Calvary and installed as its pastor. In 2006, we were blessed with an expanded and remodeled facility. While the building project began with a fire, God shone forth in the midst of what seemed to be a tragedy. In July of 2013, Mt. Calvary renewed their commitment to help train future pastors through the vicarage program of our synod's seminaries. During this season, we were blessed to help prepare Vicar Corey Marth (2013-2014) and Vicar Cody Nimmo (2014-2015) for service in Christ's Church. On August 16, 2017, Pastor Damery retired after 19 years of faithful service.
One the same day, the Rev. Brett Hinrichs was installed and continues to serve the congregation to this day. In the spring of 2022, as part of their service to the Church at large, Mt. Calvary once more entered the vicarage program and were blessed to help train Vicar Nathan Nelson (2022-2023) and Vicar Ethan Hart (2023-2024).
Throughout the many chapters of Mt. Calvary's history, we have seen God's abundant hand of blessing in both good times and bad. We rejoice that the Lord remains at work among His people so that the Good News of God's forgiving love in Christ will continue to go out to the people of Decatur and the surrounding communities.
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