Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church celebrates 60th anniversary

Roots of the Mission congregation began in the Matsqui community of Abbotsford

Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church celebrates its 60th anniversary on July 30 and 31.

Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church celebrates its 60th anniversary on July 30 and 31.

A church that started life as a outreach of Goshen Lutheran church in Matsqui is now celebrating its 60th anniversary.

Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, located at 32420 Seventh Ave. in Mission, is marking its 60th anniversary with two days of celebration on July 30 and 31.

Lutherans in the central Fraser Valley had immigrated from Scandinavia and Germany and by the 1950s had established churches in Abbotsford, Matsqui and Whonnock.

In 1954, a survey conducted by the American Lutheran Church board discovered there were enough Lutherans living in Mission to establish a congregation.

Pastor Martin Knudson was called to serve both the Goshen Lutheran Church in Matsqui and a new congregation in Mission.

There were 35 people who attended the first service, held in the Odd Fellows Hall on Nov. 27, 1955, and the congregation was officially organized on April 15, 1956.

The congregation grew and became independent of the Matsqui congregation in 1972.

As the congregation grew, a larger building was needed and work began in 1982 on the current building. By late summer, volunteers had the roof on and the building enclosed.

An open house takes place at the church from 2 to 5 p.m. on July 30. This will be followed by a celebration banquet with Pastor Karl Keller.

The following day, there will be a praise and worship service at 10 a.m., followed by a free sandwich lunch.

If anyone had historic photos, or memorabilia of the congregation or would like banquet tickets, call the church office at 604 826 8587 or email mtclc@telus.net.