Calvary Episcopal Church

Who We Are

Making God's love visible in downtown Memphis

Founded in 1832, Calvary today is a vibrant parish that comprises 1000 baptized members. Although a growing number reside in downtown, our parishioners also come from elsewhere in Memphis, Shelby County, and other neighboring communities.

We have enjoyed our historic nave, our space for worship, since the 1840s. The original Parish House was completed in the early 1900s. In 1992, we completed the addition of an education wing to the church, which also houses Calvary Place Child Care Center, a service to the working parents of downtown.

Calvary offers abundant opportunities for personal and spiritual growth, and for helping others. Our Christian education program comprises Godly Play, a Sunday school curriculum for children (age 4 to 5th Grade), the Episcopal Curriculum for Youth tailored for middle school and high school youth, and Sunday forums and adult classes covering a variety of topics. Children ages 5 and under enjoy an introduction to Bible stories in the nursery. Our Community Service Ministries help the less fortunate in our neighborhood and the larger Memphis community. We have myriad parish ministries that provide opportunities for fellowship among and assistance to our parishioners.

Not only does our music program beautifully enhance Sunday services and special concerts, but it also creates a supportive community for all who participate in it. We encourage you to attend one of our worship services, and afterwards to visit the Great Hall next door for coffee and fellowship.

All people are welcome at Calvary Church. If you are traveling through our community or searching for a church home, you are warmly invited to worship with us and to learn more about Calvary. We would love to welcome you into this community of faith.

Our Services

Service Times

  • 08:00am - Traditional Eucharist
  • 10:00am - Eucharist with Children's Chapel

What to Expect

What are services like?
As you enter the church, you will notice an atmosphere of serenity and reverence. Most Episcopalians try not to talk to one another in church before a service, but instead to use this time for personal meditation and devotions. You may notice that some worshippers bow to the altar on entering and leaving the church as an act of reverence for Christ. Children are welcome at all Calvary worship services. We have noticed that young children are most likely to follow the actions of the service if they sit up front where they can see. The seating at Calvary is not reserved and there is always room for visitors. An usher will give you a printed worship bulletin that will list page numbers in the blue hymnal and the red prayer book. The scripture readings are printed in the bulletin, along with additional service music and psalms. On the left side at the front of the church there is a pulpit, where the sermon is preached. On the right side there is a lectern, the place where the Scriptures are read. Next to the lectern is the baptismal font, placed at the front of the church as a reminder that baptism is the entry point into the life of the church for all Christians. We stand for the Gospel, sit to hear the other lessons, sermon, and announcements, and stand to sing, and kneel or stand to pray. Members of the congregation will be glad to help you follow along in the prayer book, and you may stand, sit, and kneel with the congregation, as you feel comfortable. Any Christian who has been baptized is welcome to participate in receiving Holy Communion, regardless of age. Visitors who are not baptized Christians are invited to the altar rail to receive a blessing. At the end of the service some persons kneel for private prayer before leaving. Others sit to listen to the organ postlude. Following the service, the clergy greet worshipers as they leave. The doorways adjacent to the organ (at the front) and through the Bride’s Walk (at the rear), lead to the Parish House ( where education classes, Coffee in the Great Hall, and the exit to the back parking lot are found). The Narthex doors at the rear of the Nave open onto Second Street.

What Members Say

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