Way back before the foundation of the world, God had a plan to place a church in the Hanover/Glen Burnie, Maryland area. In 1964, God directed Evangelist Paul Wilbur and his wife, Rachel, to start a church. He eventually became drawn to an old country church on top of a hill on Ridge Road in Hanover. Evangelist Wilbur started putting the word out about the vision from the Lord.
The small congregation soon became busy getting the old church on Ridge Road cleaned out. It had been vacant for awhile and there was so much debris in the building, they had to use a shovel to remove it all. The first members did not enjoy the comforts of today, as there was no running water or bathrooms. The holy Spirit’s wooing seemed to have overshadowed those inconveniences and the presence of God’s grace was more than enough as the altar was filled with people hungering for God.
The fist message that Pastor Wilbur preached to the new congregation was to set the vision for many years to come. He challenged the congregation to become a “Lighthouse to the Community” and to point the lost of our community to Jesus Christ.
The congregation soon outgrew the old church with the outhouse and founded another church nearby on Ridge Road. I suppose if you were to ask any of the original members if they missed having a church without bathrooms, they would say “no.” They would be more inclined to say that they miss the precious memories the church held for each one of them.
On September 10, 1972, Faith Chapel (Pastor Orlando Miller, Jr.) merged with Calvary Chapel.
Pastor Wilbur retired in the summer of 1975 and shared with Rev. Anthony Spero that he believed God wanted him to become the next pastor of Calvary Chapel. Rev. Spero was reluctant at first because he enjoyed traveling as an evangelist. He soon realized that God wanted him at Calvary Chapel. Subsequently, God spoke to Pastor Spero’s heart impressing him that Calvary Chapel was to become a lighthouse and hospital to the community and to the uttermost parts of the world. Rev. Spero and his wife Mary, pastored Calvary Chapel Christian Center until January 2000.
In 1998, All Nations Worship Center was a small group of believers who began utilizing space in Calvary Chapel. The leader was someone who had a passion to worship God. When this leader walked through Calvary Chapel’s doors for the first time, God spoke to him that he would one day pastor Calvary Chapel. A year later when God directed Pastor Spero to accept an assignment in Florida, God told him that Rev. Shawn Murphy, was to become the next senior pastor of Calvary Chapel. Subsequently, All Nations Worship Center and Calvary Chapel Christian Center merged to become Calvary Chapel International Worship Center.