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Walking Together

Early in the 1920's, three to five Lutheran families began thinking about beginning a small mission, but this was abandoned due to transfers, etc. Then, in 1930, contacts were established with eight Lutherans and, in 1931, a regular pastor was commissioned. Reverend R.A. Steude was ordained in St. John’s Episcopal parish hall. The first worship service was held on August 9, 1931, with 25 in attendance. In 1932, a lot was purchased at 12th and O. Streets and a field unit chapel was brought and the first service had 44 in attendance. This chapel was dedicated with 35 in attendance. The first pews were installed in 1941. All of this time was a testing period because, with the exception of two families, all of the others were on some form of government relief for support. Pastor Steude resigned in 1943.

Iin 1944, Reverend Rudolph Rehmer accepted our call. Pastor Rehmer served well until he accepted a call to Cleveland, Ohio.

In 1948, Reverend Arno Krentz was installed. Under Pastor Krentz’s time, a building fund was established. Pastor Krentz is remembered for his substantiation of doctrine and his distinctive clerical collar. At the end of two years, he accepted a call to Cleveland, Ohio.

Pastor Ralph Bird accepted our call, and, in 1950, became our fourth pastor. Pastor Bird stated, "The power behind any preacher is the prayers of the people. We can reach our goals with folded hands." During Pastor Bird’s service of ten years, the frame chapel was remodeled. Pastor Bird was often seen in the early hours working on the building. The Ladies Guild purchased a Baldwin organ and an annex with a full basement was added. In August of 1955, Calvary became a self-supporting congregation. In 1960, Pastor Bird accepted a call to Garland, Texas.

Pastor Fred Bahr became our fifth pastor in 1961. He accepted a call in 1965 to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Reverend Karl Dunker became our sixth pastor in July of 1966. In 1969, the chancel was remodeled, the altar reset, kneelers installed, and the communion rail enlarged. Pastor Dunker with Augie Mohr obtained a beautiful stained glass window from Louiseville, Kentucky. A new Allen organ was purchased and dedicated to the memory of Pastor and Lavon’s baby daughter. Pastor Dunker accepted a call to Anderson, Indiana in 1971.

Reverend Walter Hannemann was installed as our 7th pastor in 1971. He accepted a call to Minnesota in 1973.

Reverend Donald Schrage became our eighth pastor in 1974, and at that time the church received a gift of ten acres of land on Highway 37 for use as a future building site. This was presented by Dr. and Mrs. Austin. In 1975, the food booth at the Lawrence County Fair became a yearly project. "The Lutheran Hour" was sponsored by Calvary on WBIW. Pastor Schrage accepted a call to Peace Lutheran Church in Louisville, Kentucky.

Pastor Bruce Beisenthal came to us in June of 1976. More work was done on the sanctuary, a new ceiling, insulation, wiring, new light fixtures added. The church was air-conditioned and new carpeting added. A Parish Development Committee was formed in 1977 to decide on possible relocation. In 1979, it was voted to construct new facilities on the Highway 37 site. In 1980, Pastor Biesenthal accepted a call to Michigan.

In 1980, Reverend Paul Schuth became our 10th pastor. A final mortgage agreement was granted by the Church Extension Fund and plans were made to sell the existing property at 12th and O Streets. Pastor Schuth was a "visiting" pastor and often welcomed at one’s door. He accepted a call to Illinois in 1988.
Pastor Don Wickleman came to us in 1991 and left the ministry several years later.

Pastor Sam Schlie came as a vicar in 1995, and accepted our call in 1996. Many enjoyable times were spent at his home enjoying an annual fish fry - blue gill caught by him and his four sons. Pastor Schlie accepted a call to northern Indiana and went to his heavenly home a short time later.

On January 9, 2000, a call was extended to Reverend Paul Neuman, and on April 30th, he was installed as our 13th pastor. He came to us from Faith Lutheran Church in Girard, Pennsylvania along with his wife, Sharon, son Jeff, and daughter Stephanie. His sermons always end with this blessing, ”May that peace of God that surpasses all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus to life everlasting!" He is now serving Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Leesville, Indiana.

Reverend Charles Groth joined out congregation as interim pastor in October 2011.  Pastor Groth continued as interim pastor until November 2013.
On January 12, 2014 Pastor Greg DeVore was installed as Calvary's 14th Pastor.  Pastor DeVore came to Bedford from California.