Calvary Orthodox Presbyterian Church
Sunday, November 27, 2022
To know Christ and to make Him known.

Our Congregation

The area of Holland township was settled in 1845 by emigrants from Holland, founding the lakeshore settlements that would later become the modern communities of Oostburg and Cedar Grove. The strong Reformed faith of the settlers resulted in the establishment of many area churches, including the First Presbyterian Church in Cedar Grove in 1853.
By the 1930s, the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., the national church of which the congregation in Cedar Grove was a member, began to embrace liberal theological views at odds with the historic Christian faith. The national church no longer considered it necessary to believe in the inerrancy of Scripture or the virgin birth, deity, miracles, atoning death, or resurrection of Jesus Christ. This growing liberalism distressed many in the national church, among them J. Gresham Machen, a Presbyterian minister and professor at Princeton Seminary. Machen, who worked for years to uphold biblical Christianity in the national church and the church’s foreign missions, was eventually removed from office in 1936. (More detailed information on the issues  or J. Gresham Machen) Meeting in Philadelphia on June 11, 1936, Machen and other ministers formed a new organization that would later be named the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
In Cedar Grove, the Rev. J. DeWaard who pastored the First Presbyterian Church, also outspokenly opposed the growing unbelief of the national church. He maintained his congregation’s right to support only missionaries who truly preached the Gospel. Subsequently, steps were taken to remove him from office. On June 7, 1936 the Moderator of the Presbytery of Milwaukee came to Cedar Grove to announce the dissolution of the relationship between Reverend DeWaard and the First Presbyterian Church, during that morning’s service. After the sermon, the Moderator stood up to make his announcement. Before this could happen, over 300 members walked out of the church with Rev. DeWaard.
The meeting that followed in the village hall led to the formation of Calvary Church, with Rev. DeWaard continuing as pastor. The congregation shortly joined the newly formed denomination. The village hall was used for worship services while construction began on a new church building. The cornerstone was laid on November 6 of that year and the basement was used until the upper structure was completed and dedicated on November 14, 1940. Since then an education wing and expansion to the entrance, including an elevator for elderly and disabled members, have been added.
As the physical building has grown so have the activities of the congregation. A variety of classes and societies provide opportunity for spiritual growth and service, and Calvary church has worked with other area congregations to plant new churches in southeastern Wisconsin. Now in its 84th year, Calvary Orthodox Presbyterian Church continues as a congregation of the founders’ families and new members from the vicinity. We work to reach out to the community and gather God’s people, to know Christ and to make Him known.