New Calvary

Under Edmund Schwarze’s pastorate, Calvary continued its steady growth, reaching the 700 mark in communicant membership and 600 in Sunday School by 1921. Schwarze also was tireless in incorporating traditional Moravianism into the very bones and blood of our members: Each New Year’s Eve he prepared and read a memorabilia of the congregation, and it became a tradition that at this same service the support for our foreign missionary would be subscribed.Each month the “Calvary Visitor,” a four page newsletter printed on slick paper and containing a page-long report from our missionary, would be mailed.

Virtually each Sunday the litany plus the appropriate liturgy was used. Pastor Schwarze was a great advocate of the liturgical tradition, recalling the old saying that “a well done liturgy can make up for a lot of sorry preaching.” He was secretary of the Southern Province Committee which published in 1920 a “shorter Moravian Hymn Book” containing liturgies and approximately 200 hymns “every one of which is useable.” The pericopes (scriptures assigned for each Sunday of the year and listed in the rear of the hymnal) were faithfully followed by Pastor Schwarze, thus assuring a balanced diet of Christianity rather than an over-emphasis upon a current pastor’s favorite topics.

Dr. Schwarze even attempted to establish a sort of modified “choir system” in the congregation. On September 17, 1922 a “Covenant Day of Married People” was held, with communion for our married members only—couples, widows, widowers, following a congregational lovefeast. The next year he held a “Single Sisters and Older Girls Festival” on May 6, again with a lovefeast followed by communion limited to that choir. Seventy five members of this Single Sisters “Choir” attended. Ultimately this attempt to establish a choir system was discontinued.

Lent and Passion Week was a focus of the Church calendar. Mrs. F.G. Schaum who lived across the street, kept palm trees so large a special wheeled platform had to be built for them and two people required to move them across the street and into the sanctuary for Easter season decorations. There are those who say that the palms where so tall “Granny Schaum” had to cut a hole in her parlor ceiling to allow for them. In 1919 Schwarze records “our old palm made its journey from Mrs. Schaum’s house to the Church for the 24th year.” Lenten services before Palm Sunday were held jointly with St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in the early years.

In June 1920 missionary Hamilton reported from Sandy Bay in Nicaragua a widespread famine, and asked for money to buy beans and flour for his people. A special collection was promptly dispatched.

Also that year, Pastor Schwarze was given a new car, with the understanding he would go to Detroit to pick it up, “freight shipments being almost impossible to get through.”

In 1921 Kenneth Hamilton was transferred from Sandy Bay in Nicaragua to begin a new work among the lumberjacks at Waunta Haulover. That summer the Winston-Salem aldermen were considering weakening our local blue laws prohibiting trade on Sunday. Schwarze preached a “strong sermon” against this on July 17.Summer was the time evening services were held outside on the west lawn of the Church. New benches were acquired in 1921, fresh paint applied, and they were pressed into service before entirely dry. The “Calvary Visitor” reported “one gentleman had his suit stick a little to the newly painted benches” but noted this gentleman was the manager of a laundry and so “was not in bad trouble.”

Rally day in October was notable for a hymn written by the pastor to the tune of Penitence (141E):

Draw to thee each member
Old and young, today:
Father, may each render
Love and loyalty.
Each thy sweet voice hearing
Right might each heart be with thee
Patient, persevering
Pray for Calvary.

That fall was the 150th anniversary of Salem congregation (1771–1921). On November 6, each constituent congregation held anniversary services using the same program. Salem congregation was at this time supporting a number of lay and ordained missionaries: Home Church supported six, Calvary two, Christ one, Fairview one, and Trinity one.

The 1920s were good years for Calvary, with healthy growth and unflagging optimism. By 1929 communicate membership had hit 831. During this period, too, “Dr. Schwarze” 1 was repeatedly sought by the Northern Province: A tentative call was received to Nazareth congregation, another to become Superintendent of the Moravian Boys School in Bethlehem, still another to Central Church in Bethlehem.

Although Calvary was preparing to build its own new sanctuary in 1922 it nevertheless took the lead in starting a new congregation in Winston-Salem. Our Board of Elders some two years before had authorized the formation of a “Moravians of Ardmore and Calvary Committee” to consider the advisability of a new work in the rapidly expanding residential development around the Hawthorne Road and Academy Street intersection. Calvary’s members of the Committee were C.E. Johnson, M.L. Lanchester and L.E. Fishel. Ardmore’s were A.B. Elam, M.A. Hahn and P.B. Davis. In 1921 Dr. Schwarze and C.E. Johnson had begun visiting in Ardmore, and then in December of that year began holding prayer meetings in various homes. The enthusiasm was apparently present in Ardmore for a Moravian Church, and the ground work having been carefully laid, in the Spring of 1922, the Central Board of Elders purchased a lot at the corner of Ardmore Avenue and Bank Street. Ground was broken on November 20th for a “bungalow church” where a small group could meet till ready to construct a sanctuary, after which the “bungalow church” could become a parsonage. The Central Board recommended that Dr. Schwarze preach in Ardmore twice each month (note the parallel to the way Calvary was itself formed and initially ministered to).

When Ardmore Church was founded, some Calvary members living in that area moved to the new church, causing some concern at Calvary of whether we were fostering our own decline. This was not to be the case: One of the mysteries of Christianity is that somehow the more one gives, the more one gets. Calvary continued her growth.

Older members of the congregation still remember the good times at Calvary during the 1920s—the various church suppers arranged for the congregation by Sister Emily (Mrs. Carl) Ogburn at the Belo Home, the lawn parties where “mother goose” (an arm with a white stocking stretched over it) would reach out from behind a sheet and take coins offered by the children, giving them trinkets in return.

The Sunday School was blessed by wonderful and dedicated teachers such as Mrs. Prather, whose “boys” included Eldridge Carter, Frank Jones, John Fulton, George Burke, Austin Burke and L.C. Bruce, Jr. (L.C.’s father L.C. Bruce, Sr. was chief usher during this time and L. Montgomery Miller was sexton).

The Band during this period was led by such men as W.A. Holder, H.E. Enochs, Robert Mills, and James Kapp. Before the custom of playing on the lawn was begun, the band would play from the steeple. Perhaps this should be reconsidered today since the height would give increased coverage of our now sprawling downtown neighbourhood. An interesting sideline to Calvary’s groundbreaking on Easter Sunday 1923 was that that Easter it was so cold when the band made its early rounds that the valves on the horns would freeze up and have to be thawed from time to time.

The 1923 congregation diary records that Dr. Schwarze accompanied Donald Conrad to the train station on September 18 to see him off to the theological seminary. It records, too, that the Thanksgiving service was “extra special” with enough food offered to allow Brother J.W. Brown to administer the Calvary Relief Fund through the entire winter. Additionally, $1,500.00 was raised toward the roof of the new sanctuary. R.E. Gribben, Rector of St. Paul’s made the address.

In the 1920’s evangelists would come to Winston from time to time to preach revivals. Typically a tobacco warehouse would have rough benches and a platform installed to handle the enthusiastic crowds. One of the greatest of these evangelists was Billy Sunday. In 1925 he conducted an “Evangelical Campaign” beginning Sunday, April 19. All the city’s churches cooperated, canceling all their activities except Sunday School. Twice a day at 11:00 o’clock a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Billy Sunday would preach, backed by a gigantic local choir (to which Calvary contributed 30 members). The Campaign ended a month later. As a direct result, Calvary received 30 new members, 23 by profession of faith and 7 by letter of transfer.

The immense workload borne by Dr. Schwarze took its toll in 1926. Pastoring some 800 communicate members, building and financing a new church, establishing the Ardmore congregation and preaching there twice a month, his provincial duties, plus three services per week at Calvary, were simply too much. Following an attack of influenza earlier that spring, Dr. Schwarze reports in the congregational diary that he “suffered a general breakdown” on May 3rd and had to rest until he recovered adequately on September 10 to return to Calvary. He was welcomed at the train station by the entire Board of Trustees and Board of Elders. That October, however, the Boards took steps to lighten the load, and called the Reverend Samuel J. Tesch as Assistant Pastor. Reverend Tesch took over the evening services and also shared the visiting.

At the Thanksgiving service for that year, the offering was sufficient to have built the granite wall along the south (Second Street) sidewalk 275 feet long and 3 to 4 feet high, plus a 40 foot lighted walkway which gave the impression that Poplar Street was being continued up to the south church entrance. The walkway was later removed in 1975. Additionally a granite wall 180 feet long was built between the parsonage and the church.

It was during the late 1920s that a beloved roster of Sunday School teachers was taking shape: Miss Janet Blum, Mrs. H.D. Kester, Mrs. C.R. Craven, Miss Vivian Fearrington in the kindergarten class; Mrs. H.H. Kapp, Mrs. W.A. Shore, Mrs. W.E. Shore, Mrs. Paul Henning, Mrs. L.M. Miller in the Primary departments; Mrs. W.J. Dizor, Mrs. W.L. Petree, Miss Margaret Schwarze, Donald M. Conrad and Hege Kapp in the Junior department.


  1. for so he became upon being awarded his PhD on June 7, 1922. His dissertation was entitled “Moravian Missions Among the Southern Indian Tribes,” still the major work on that subject. No one knows how he had time to write it.

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