This Church is committed to transforming individuals, and to serving all People through Jesus Christ.
Calvary by the Sea Lutheran Church is a community of transforming individuals unified in Christ, inspired by the Gospel, and living in the world as a base camp of lovers and healers. The spirit of this Biblically-based community is inclusive, embracing the global community and especially those without a church home.
The people of Calvary by the Sea understand that their mission is to provide for the needs of the community including the poor, the homeless, and the dispossessed and to bring a healing of mind, body, spirit and relationships to all.
This mission is accomplished through enthusiastic tithing of time, talents, and money and expresses itself in worship life centered in Christ through prayer, raise and thanksgiving. Through these activities disciples are formed who then come together in groups that, like yeast, lifts the entire quality of life of our neighborhoods. These groups reach to all persons through intimacy, prayer and support and strengthen our community through their participation. It is the belief of the people of Calvary by the sea Lutheran Church that, as Jesus transforms individuals, these individuals create a holistic community, which in turn transforms the whole society.
God calls us to be a welcoming people! Welcome to people new to faith, to Christians of every flavor, and to long time Lutherans. Welcome to all with no church home, who need strength, want to follow, have doubts, or do not believe. Wel-come to new guests and old friends. Welcome to people of every age and size, color and culture, ability and gift, to gay and straight, to old and young, to believers and questioners, and questioning believers. This is a place where we live past the labels, where we are welcome to celebrate and grieve, rejoice and recover. This is a place where our lives are made new. We welcome you on this very special day!
The idea of a new Lutheran Church in Hawaii came from Dr. Phillip Dybvig, Director of Home Missions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and Dr. Gaylord Falde, Bishop of the South pacific District of the ELC. The funding of the new church was handled by the Churches of the Austin Circuit in Southern Minnesota in late 1953. On the day that the Austin circuit decided to sponsor the mission by providing loan money, Dr. Falde and Dr. Dybvig gave Stan Gjervik the Letter of Call to become the mission pastor in Honolulu.
Stan and Doris Gjervik arrived in Honolulu on July 26,1954. They were ready to work the afternoon they arrived. First, they met with real estate agents to scout the Aina Haina area for possible church sites.
Sven Anderson at M's Ranch House offered the use of his banquet facility for a place of Worship and Sunday School. The first service was scheduled for October 17,1954. The big day came. Dr. Phil Dybvig was a guest. Forty-two people were present at the first service. Attendance was down a little the next two Sundays, but it climbed gradually until there were about 95 by Christmas and 120 by Easter.
While Dr. Dybvig was here, the congregation began negotiating for property. A realtor by the name of Mr. Wright found the present site. For four days we worked with a Mrs. Wild and her advisors at the Hawaiian Trust Building. The bank was wonderful. We explained that we had $90,000 to invest, but that this would have to include the purchase price of the land and the first unit of the church (now Ohana Lani). The result was that the church purchased 63,000 square feet of land for $60,000. Later, the church received a gift of 10,000 square feet where Hale Aloha is located. An additional 10,000 square feet of land on the highway end of the property was a gift in 1955. In 1956, a pledge of $10,000 covered a promissory note to Mrs. Wild. Plans for the parsonage (now Hale Aloha) were started. Harold Hicks was the builder but was assisted by Nolan Wold, a volunteer who came in January, 1955.
Paul Jones of Wimberly and Cook was engaged as the architect. Plans were soon ready, and the church accepted a bid from C. W. Winstedt for under $24,000. By the end of September, 1955, we were in our new building. Special gifts came for the finishing touches.
We continued to meet at the Hind Company Office Building behind M's Ranch House. Sunday School started on October 24, 1954. Children's programming began on Thursday afternoons in November when we moved to the new church site. Women of the church began meeting once a month. Later we started a regular weekly Wednesday morning Bible Study. Everybody seemed to take hold of the work, and to support the congregation seemed to be a natural thing to do. In fourteen months, we began carrying our own weight, and no longer needed the monthly Home Mission Grant in Aid.
The church was active from the beginning. Visitors were abundant during those years. Participation in Kiwanis and P.T.A. became an important community service. In 1958, we began broadcasting our worship service on KAIM FM. Additions were built to both sides of the sanctuary in 1953. The church had taken its place in the community
The spirit of the first congregation still exists. Words of early pastors continue to describe Calvary Lutheran: From Stan Gjervik (2/1/54-4/2/61): "Every car that drove up was a miracle." From James Bergquist (5/4/61-5/31/64): "Calvary Lutheran has always been a unique and wonderful congregation." From Obed Sunde (8/1/64-9/6/67): "Thanks to God for the blessings He has showered on the congregation."