Buildings and Facilities
Ground was broken for the present sanctuary on Easter Sunday, 1923. The Church Structure was formally opened on Easter Sunday, April 4, 1926 at a cost of $186,000 inclusive of building, carpeting and stained glass. The Sanctuary was not dedicated until it was fully paid for. Services of Dedication were held on January 25, 1931 with the Rt. Rev. Edward Rondthaler serving as the officiating Bishop. The architecture of the Calvary sanctuary is remarkable for its immense belfry supported not by bearing walls or pillars underneath, but by an intricate truss system. The belfry is so harmoniously proportioned to the remainder of the building that its size and weight are not apparent. Some indication can be gathered from the fact that the clock face alone is more than five feet across.
The Clock and Belfry
The Old Town Clock was an object of sentiment in Winston-Salem. The newspaper noted it had tolled for the funerals of prominent citizens, had rung “riot call” to rally the home guard when disturbances threatened, and had served as the Town fire alarm for years. When it was announced that the Town clock would become a part of the new Calvary sanctuary, the newspaper rejoiced that “when Third Street is extended as planned”, the Church would be on an important corner and “practically in the heart of the City.” The newspaper continued to extol the elevated location of Calvary Church and was delighted the sound of its bell would continue to be heard in the heart of Winston-Salem.
When in the Town Hall the Clock had been wound on Friday of each week by W.T. Vogler Jewelry Company. Hand winding by a system of pulleys continued until around 1972 when the clock was electrified. It hasn’t been as dependable since. The Seth Thomas Clock Company had built the clock itself as number 739 in the series. The works are dated February 1, 1893. The works also bear the name of A.J. Hotchkiss, whose role in the construction of the clock is unknown. The Seth Thomas Clock Company was contacted to supervise the installation of the clock and happily, was able to fit it into the belfry where, from a height of 74¼ feet, it could be heard and seen a substantial distance. It was no small job: The clock face alone measures sixty-three inches in diameter.
Calvary’s bells are another unique feature of our sanctuary. A rope in the attic rings the larger bell manually. It was cast in 1892 by the McShane Bell Foundry in Baltimore, Maryland and is a whopping 41 inches in diameter measured across the mouth. The smaller is attached to the clock and was cast in 1890 by E.A. Williams & Sons Foundry. It measures 23¼ inches diameter across the mouth.
The Hook and Hastings Organ
Calvary’s organ was built by the Hook and Hastings Co. of Boston, Massachusetts which was in business from 1827-1936. The Opus Number 2510 is inscribed in various places inside the organ. A graffito on the wall inside the organ says: “organ installed March 18, 1926, W.C. Greenwood, J.B. Wilson.” Mr. Greenwood was descended from Joseph Greenwood, who established an organ-building company in England about 1825.
The organ is the only specimen of its type surviving in this area. It is part of the original equipment of the building and was unaltered until 1983, when E.C. White carried out a conservative modernization plan drawn up by James Boeringer. The console (originally at the far right of the choir loft) was moved to the middle of the case. Twelve bass pipes extended the Tuba into a Pedal Trombone, and twelve new treble pipes in each Great stop made the four-foot coupler functional. A new setter board put the couplers under piston control. All original parts were preserved unchanged. After the modernization of the original organ, a Dedication Service was held on October 9, 1983.
Stained Glass Windows
Our stained glass windows were made by Payne Studios of Patterson, New Jersey over a period of more than 20 years. The last was commissioned in 1942 at a cost of $600.00, shortly after Payne advised us that the “garment glass” which would match the earlier windows was rapidly being depleted. More recently, the beautiful stained glass windows on the front were designed and executed by the late Russell F. Biggam, one of our own members and contributed to Calvary in 1959 in Memory of the late Bishop, Edmund Schwarze.
Christian Education Building
A new Christian Education wing was erected on the west side of the building beginning in 1962. Adams and Pegram, a Statesville architectural firm, was selected to design the addition and estimated that the project would cost no more than $120,000.00. Frank L. Blum Construction Company was the general contractor. The addition was completed and occupied by the Sunday School on September 29, 1963. This addition added some 6,000 square feet of classroom space.
The William J. Dizor Memorial Elevator was added to the west of the educational wing in 1997-98 to service all three floors of Calvary’s building. The elevator was dedicated on March 7, 1998. Since a majority of the funds used to build the elevator were given through the Beulah Dizor Trust, the church elevator was named the William J. Dizor Memorial Elevator.
The Fellowship Center
The Fellowship Center to the rear of the sanctuary contains a kitchen, bathrooms, meeting space and pavilion. This Center is used both by the church and the community. In recent years Calvary’s youth have used the facility as a meeting room and Calvary Café events are held here.