CALVARY, THE CHURCH ON THE HILL
Calvary Lutheran Church was established in the early 1950’s by a small group of believers who saw the need for a church in Parma, Ohio, a burgeoning suburb of Cleveland. Most of this little flock shared a Slovak heritage, and all of them knew Jesus Christ as their savior. Calvary Lutheran Church was created in 1955 as a mission congregation of the Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches. By 1957 the Reverend Albert Marcis was installed as pastor, and 12 acres of property were purchased. A small cottage was situated on the property and remains a part of the current facilities. With financial help from the synod and with church members performing most of the labor, the first sanctuary was constructed and dedicated in 1958.
In the early ‘70’s, the Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches merged with and became a non-geographic district of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Calvary thus became a congregation of the new SELC District of the LCMS.
The current sanctuary was dedicated in 1970. Later renovations included moveable dividers in the fellowship hall, a transformed entry area, restroom improvements and an elevator.
Dr. Marcis served as Calvary’s pastor for 37 years and retired in 1994. During his tenure at Calvary, Pastor Marcis also served many years as president of the SELC District.
The Reverend Todd Biermann became Calvary’s pastor in 1995. James Hurst was installed as Deacon in 2000, and he assists the pastor and oversees Christian education, music and technology. Pastor Biermann served until 2007, when he accepted a divine call to a congregation in Michigan.
In November 2008 the Calvary church family was pleased to welcome the Reverend Jeffrey Stone as their new shepherd and to include his family in the Calvary family. Pastor Stone served until June 1, 2017, at which time he and his family moved to Indiana.
Senior members of the Parma community will remember the tall fluorescent cross that was a landmark of the Calvary Lutheran Church during the early years. It was easy to identify Calvary to strangers by telling them that Calvary was the church with the big cross on the hill. During the preparation of the site for the present sanctuary, that very large beacon was accidentally demolished. However, the Holy Spirit has imprinted on the heart of each member of Calvary a cross that illuminates a living faith. By sharing that faith, the people of Calvary continue to draw others to the church on the hill and to Show Everyone Life in Christ.