Mount Calvary Lutheran Church was formed as a daughter congregation of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in 1955. The name “Mount Calvary Lutheran Church” was chosen and in 1957 construction began. On September 15th the first service could be held in the new church, albeit without pews, windows or heat! The first pastor was E.H. Polster.
In 1982 Mount Calvary celebrated its 25th anniversary. Several of the founding members were present, and Lily Kropp and Walter Winges were recognised for their many years of service to the church. Three years later the mortgage was paid off.
In June of 1990, after exactly 25 years of service, Pastor Jon Keekley and his wife Carol returned to the United States to be nearer to their children. It was probably one of the most challenging times for the congregation.
In 1994, St. Mary’s Parish (R. C.) of Ottawa donated a pipe organ to Mount Calvary. Installing it required major renovations and the removal of some pews.
From 1990 to 1996, Pastor Ed Hackbusch and his family, along with organist Mary-Ann Foley, brought a love of music to the church that continues today. He also went camping many times with parishioners, introducing them to the backcountry of Algonquin Park.
During Pastor Deborah Taylor’s tenure (2002-2015) at Mount Calvary, the congregation became increasingly involved in all aspects of worship leadership, and expanded its programme of community outreach. The hallmark of this is the garden and labyrinth on the church grounds. Long-time member Cyril Benson’s tireless support of the congregation is memorialised in this beautiful space.
Mount Calvary, active as it is, and having enjoyed 140+ children in its church school and 300+ members in its heyday, could not escape the worldwide trend of diminishing church attendance, and the gradual dispersal of members and their children throughout the Ottawa area and beyond. In 2018, shepherded by Pastor JoAnne Lam, the congregation merged with Martin Luther Church, a Lutheran church offering predominantly German-language services in Ottawa. The new Martin Luther church now offers services every week in English and in German.