History


oldcalvary.jpg Mt. Calvary A. M. E. Zion Church is the oldest African American congregation in the city of Monroe, NC. The first church’s location isn’t explicit, but was destroyed by fire in 1875. The membership purchased land from Enoch Hart on Church Avenue in 1875 and deeded it to the Trustees of the newly erected church. This structure was an oblong wooden building with frontage facing a four room parsonage on the west side. Ministers appointed to serve the church during this time were Rev. McClain, Rev. Arnold and Rev. George W. Hunter in 1918.

Under the leadership of Rev. Hunter a new ornate Victorian red brick church was constructed. The style of the structure was reminiscent of the 19th Century Medieval Cathedrals’ of Europe. Its hallmark was the painted arch with opal glass windows. A black contractor, Mr. Will Blount of Monroe was in charge of this project. The family names who helped to erect the church were: Alexander, Barbour, Brook, Blount, Boyd, Caudle, Chapell, Crawford, Cress, Crowell, Cunningham, Davis, Dennis, Featherson, Gaston, Henry, Hood, Hough, Houston, King, Laney, Massey, McCall, McKeithan, Perry, Porter, Richardson, Rippey, Shipp, Simpson, Sitgraves, and Smith.
       
 In 1930, World War I caused the church to fall into deep financial stress. The mortgage on the church was in foreclosure and members homes were at stake. Dr. Nathaniel Truss of the A.M.E. Zion Publishing House in Charlotte was appointed to the church to help liquidate the mortgage. Rev. J.T Newby, Rev. Tunstall, Rev. DeBerry, Rev. L.R. Williams, Rev. S.S. Riggs, Rev. Blair, and Rev. L.C. Asbury all worked diligently to eliminate the indebtedness of the church. In 1936 the debt was paid and the mortgage burned. Dr Truss returned to his original position after a job well done. Other pastors serving during this time were: Rev. Montcur, Rev. B.J. Dunn, Rev. Walls. Rev. Hall served in 1949. Rev. T.H. Harris served from 1950-1960, Rev. W.D. Carson (1960-1964), Rev. J.A. Lipsey (1964),and Rev. J.P. Mumford (1964-1975).

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In 1975 Dr. Teba Sada was appointed pastor. Under his leadership the new edifice was erected at 800 LaSalle St. The first service was held on September 23, 1979. The church was dedicated December 16, 1979 by Bishop George Leak in the absence of Bishop Dunston.
          
Other spiritual ministers at Mt. Calvary were: Rev. C.O. Caldwell (1981-1985) Rev. Victor Carson (1985-1987), Rev. Robert Moore (1987-1990), Rev. Kevin Lewis (1990-1991), Rev. J.C. White (1991- 1995), Rev. Ronald Miller (1995-2000), Rev. Leonard McClung (2000- 2003), Rev. David L. McClendon (2004-2010), and , Rev. David A. McLean (2010-2015).
          
Our present pastor is Rev. Melvin L. Tate. He was appointed by Bishop George George Edward Battle Jr., in 2015. The church continues to provide relevant ministries to serve this present age. To God be the glory for the things he has done.