History of Calvary Chapel Lebanon
In 1995, Midway Church of the Brethren planted a new church in Lebanon that went by the name of Cornerstone. The vision behind Cornerstone was for it to be a church for the un-churched — a church that would attempt to reach people who were outside of the church but who were open to seeking a relationship with God. From the very beginning, a core principle was that nothing would be done at the expense of the unbeliever who was seeking God. The message of Christ is timeless and never changes, but as culture changes, so too must the methods.
In the summer of 2001, Cornerstone Church in turn planted their first daughter church – Community Christian Fellowship. Community Christian Fellowships first service was held on October 7, 2001 at what had at one time been the Builders Barn located behind the McDonald’s along 422 on the east side of Lebanon.
Because both Cornerstone and Community Christian Fellowship had been organized and planned following many of the guiding principles of Calvary Chapel, a fellowship of churches based out of Costa Mesa, California, the newly formed Community Christian Fellowship elected to organize under the banner of Calvary Chapel. After receiving the blessing of the District Superintendent of the Church of the Brethren, we made application to Calvary Chapel Fellowship.
After a long “dating” relationship with Calvary Chapel, on February 9, 2005 Community Christian Fellowship became an official Calvary Chapel Fellowship under the oversight of Calvary Chapel Philadelphia. It was at this time that we changed our name to Calvary Chapel Lebanon.
On January 1, 2005, Calvary Chapel Lebanon moved to the former Elks building located at 9 South 9th Street in Lebanon. This building afforded us more classroom space and seating for approximately 250 people.
This was in Community Christian Fellowship before we were Calvary Chapel Lebanon.
Calvary Chapel when we were at 9 South 9th Street
In December 2007, as an outreach ministry, we began renovation on what is now Legends Café which is located on the main level of the 9 south 9th property. The vision behind Legends Café was to be a screen door to the front door of the church – a way of introducing people to the life of the church by way of a non-church, non-confrontive, recovery safe, entertaining, fun environment. To visit the Legends web site, click here.
By the summer of 2010 it became apparent that we would need a larger building. As a result, a search began for a building within the city of Lebanon with adequate classroom space, auditorium space, and parking.
In the early spring of 2011, we entered into negotiations to purchase the former Catholic high school located at 740 Willow St. This property had 26 classrooms, a full gymnasium, cafeteria, as well as a beautiful auditorium with balcony – and was located next to a large city parking lot.
The opportunity was made known to the Fellowship and within three weeks, God provided all the funds to purchase the building debt-free – a true miracle of God.
In the fall of 2012, Calvary Chapel Lebanon began a partnership with Lebanon Valley Youth for Christ whereby YFC began using the lower level of the facility for their weekday children and youth programs.
Today, Calvary Chapel Lebanon, in addition to teaching the Word of God without compromise chapter by chapter, serves the community with multiple ministries to help those in need.