Welcome to Calvary Episcopal Church
A parish of the Episcopal Diocese of Kentucky, Calvary is an inclusive faith community in downtown Louisville. The teachings of Jesus Christ are central to our faith as we strive to make God's love known in word and action.
Calvary draws its members from all walks of life and from many different neighborhoods in and around Louisville. We take great joy in the way our members join together in worship of God and in service, drawing from our many backgrounds. We affirm individuals of marginalized groups and welcome people of all gender identities and sexual orientations as full members of our church community, staff, and leadership.
We invite you to come worship with us and serve our community. As the sign outside says, "The Episcopal Church Welcomes You." Calvary and its sacraments are open to all people.
Click on the link If you to take the 3D Tour of Calvary before attending a service.
A Brief History
Calvary Episcopal Church was founded on December 24, 1860, after the congregation of Sehon Chapel seceded from the Methodist Episcopal Church and became a parish in The (Protestant) Episcopal Church (TEC). The congregation still worshiped in the former Sehon Chapel while pursuing plans to build a new church structure.
On July 2, 1872, the cornerstone was laid at 821 South Fourth Street, Calvary's current location. The elegant high-Victorian, Gothic stone church was completed in 1888 by the Louisville architecture firm, McDonald Brothers. Calvary's interior is blessed with beautiful stained glass windows from the studio of Louis Comfort Tiffany. Since Calvary's founding, it has called 16 rectors and completed several structural additions.
In its 158-year history, the church has persevered through lean and fat times, two World Wars, the Great Depression, the Great Flood of 1937, and many other upheavals. As Marshal B. Hardy, Jr., a life-long member of Calvary, wrote, "At every turn, Calvary has been blessed, rescued, resuscitated, and revitalized. Someone up there looks after us."
The commitment of Calvary's parishioners continues to be one of its best assets. We will continue preserving what those that have gone before us strove to build, not only with bricks and mortar, but also with dedication inspired by the divine. In recent years, Calvary has strengthened its two major programs, Music and Outreach, as it serves out its mission at 821 South Fourth Street in Louisville.
New To Calvary?
Whether you have been a life-long member of the church or are visiting for the first time, Calvary welcomes you into an inclusive community of faith. If you are new to Calvary, the section below will paint you a picture of what to expect should you decide to visit.
Q: How long do services typically last?
On Sundays, the services run for about an hour.
Q: What should I wear?
At Calvary, members of the congregation typically dress in business casual attire, although we stress that it is not required to do so. Some attendees wear jeans and tennis shoes. Please consider yourself welcome no matter what you wear.
Q: How do I follow along in the service?
When you enter, an usher or greeter will welcome you to Calvary and hand you a bulletin which overviews the service. All prayers and congregational hymns are printed for your use. The Calvary uses the 1979 Book of Common Prayer for all its services. If you prefer, you may use the Book of Common Prayer and the Hymnal 1982 which are found in the pews. You can also watch our Facebook Live stream every Sunday by visiting Calvary's Facebook page.
Q: May I take Communion?
All are welcome to receive Communion, also called Holy Eucharist. During COVID, communion (in the form of bread only) will be brought to the pews by the priest.
Q: How do I get to Coffee Hour?
Unfortunately, during this time, coffee hour has been suspended. We look forward to resuming our social gatherings soon.