A Winston-Salem native, Bishop Hughes had spent most of his career at Home Church, first as Associate Pastor in 1947 then as Senior Pastor from 1954 to 1971. Called to the Northern Province, he served Lititz for 10 years before returning to the South and Calvary. In 1974 while in the Northern Province he had been elevated to the Episcopacy. Married to the former Virginia Maurita Cox, the couple had two children. Bishop Hughes had a marvelous voice and our rich Moravian musical tradition was a focus of his ministry.
Bishop Hughes was ably assisted in this by Dr. James Boeringer, a composer, musicologist, and organist who had served as Director of the Moravian Music Foundation before coming to Calvary as organist (before that he had served on the Susquehanna University facility for 15 years, with 2 years as head of its music department). Dr. Boeringer and Bishop Hughes provided a rich musical collaboration to Calvary. During these years the organ was repaired and its range expanded to include an increased baroque range, and Dr. Boeringer composed a number of original works for our choir, as well as descants and interpretations of old Moravian works.
On January 31, 1982 Dr. Boeringer presented a public concert on the Calvary organ, a concert he later duplicated in Georgia and Louisiana.
In 1982, also, the Board of Trustees approved the construction of a multi-purpose recreation shelter on the south lawn of the church, to permit outdoor use for picnics, meetings and church suppers. One motive for this was to provide a facility the entire neighborhood could use, and a collateral concern that Calvary was not reaching out into the rapidly changing neighborhood as it should. The “neighborhood” in 1982 was no longer the residentially rooted area of 50 years before, but was composed more than 80% of renters and more than 50% of single person households. Those households with children were only 15.6%. Racially the neighborhood was being integrated. A bit less than 50% were statistically “lower income.”
By 1983 total membership at Calvary was 754, a decrease from 1982. Average attendance at church was 241 and at Sunday School 128—the latter a reflection of an aging congregation.
Sidelights of 1984 included the visit of Tres Fordham, Katie Price and Christian and Riddick Weber to Guyana as youth missionaries. Tres worked there as athletic director at a Moravian summer camp. That year, too, the Winston-Salem Sentinel featured the James Alfred Blum Ukranian-style Easter Egg Collection. Dr. Blum had run away from Hillsborough Academy to join the Confederate Army, and later had become a prominent Winston-Salem dentist and had lived at the corner of Poplar and Holly.
1985 saw Bishop Hughes receive an earned Doctor of Ministries degree from Princeton. His dissertation was “Preparing Parents for the Baptism of their Children.” The “Fellowship Center” was dedicated on May 19 with the band, choir and Hussite Bell Ringers participating. Also in 1985 we had the good fortune of securing as Assistant Pastor, John David Rights, fresh from Seminary. John remained with us until November 1989 when he was called to Bethania as Senior Pastor there.
The Moravian church customarily requires retirement of its ministers when they reach 65, but permits the church Boards to request PEC to issue calls thereafter of one year duration. When Bishop Hughes reached 65 in April 1988 the Calvary Boards, anxious to continue his services, called him to another year—through March 1989. Also in 1988 Calvary hosted a 16 girl Moravian choir from Honduras under the leadership of Sam Gray, son of Reverend Joe Gray and Lahoma Poindexter Gray, who, it will be recalled, were Assistant Pastor and Calvary member respectively.
With the retirement of Bishop Hughes, Calvary entered an interregnum from the spring of 1989 until June 19, 1991 when the Reverend Gary T. Marsh accepted our call. During these months the congregation was ably and happily served by three interim pastors, the Right Reverend Edwin Sawyer and, subsequently, the Reverend Herbert Weber, and The Reverend Joe Gray, who even though their tenure was short, had a deep impact on Calvary.