Looking back over the past 90 years where we grew from a small, struggling church to what we are today, we have much for which to thank God. Some have planted, some have watered, but God has given the increase.
In the summer of 1920, a tent was pitched on Terrace Street where John Inman presently resides. Meetings were started under the leadership of Rev. William Killam, who was assisted by Bernie Oakes and Rev. Charlie Flewelling, along with many other workers who came from Maine and Carleton County.
Meetings were held throughout the summer months. The tent was often crowded with people, with many curious on-lookers outside. Sometimes as many as 300 people were present.
In the summer of 1921, the tent was pitched again. In the beginning it was discouraging, but on July 12 an All-Day-Meeting was held, and many people made a public decision to follow Christ. The tent remained until fall when plans were made to build a church. Opposition would not allow the purchase of a lot within town limits. Finally a lot was purchased for $75 just outside town limits where the Perth-Andover Clothing Depot now stands.
On October 31, 1921, church construction began. The first mortgage payment of $600 was given by William Hawthorne of Upper Kent, who also gave six weeks of labor. The second mortgage payment of $300 was given by Mrs. F.D. Sadler of Perth-Andover. The interest rate was 8%. It was difficult even to pay the interest as times were hard and the members were poor.
The first service was held December 25, 1921, amidst piles of lumber, scaffolds and makeshift seats. Rev. Killam was chosen as the first Pastor of the church with Rev. Crabtree assisting. Revival services were held in January, 1922.
For several years the church remained unfinished. All the Sunday School classes were on the main floor. Wooden seats were used and two wood stoves were located at the back of the church. Fires had to be built hours before the service to melt the frost and warm the building.
Because the church was located outside town limits, hydro lines were run from Terrace Street to the church. Lights had only been used a short time when orders were given from the Hydro Commission to unhook them because the church was outside of the Electric Light District limits. During this time, dim oil lamps were used. None of the church people owned cars. They either walked to church or came by horse.
In 1925, Rev. Arthur Clark became pastor for two years. During this time a barn was built to accommodate 12 horses. It sat where the parking lot is now located.
Following this period there were no acting pastors, but the church doors were kept open by Frank Nevers and Clarence Sisson.
Rev. Ralph McCluskey became Pastor in the early 1930's followed by: Frank Flanagan, Amos Steeves, Rev. Ray Hatheway and Willis Shaver, who built a two-room apartment on the back of the platform where he, and later Rev. Cady, lived.
During the late 1930's there was no pastor and the work dwindled. The last business meeting, with 9 people in attendance, was held in May, 1941. Two faithful members, Lucy Larlee and Marjorie Green, met at the church each Sunday to pray. But, sad to say, the church doors were closed and grass and bushes grew up around the door.
In August of 1944, Frank Nevers was feeling a heavy burden for the church. While standing behind the pulpit and looking at the back door, he prayed that the Lord would open the doors and re- establish the work.
A service was arranged and held on August 24, 1944, with 19 people present. Betty Plant was named as Pastor. She was assisted by Rev. W.J. Rolston, who later served as Pastor.
At the business meeting in May, 1945, it was decided that church construction would be completed. The basement was put in, a furnace installed, church walls were finished and a piano was purchased. Over the next several years, new siding was put on the outside, an outside entrance was built, the platform remodelled, new lights installed, Sunday School rooms added, a balcony built and the parking lot paved. Eventually a PA System was purchased as well as an electric organ and a communion table.
In November of 1956, Rev. Carroll Ireland became Assistant Pastor for three years under Rev. Rolston. In 1959, the church parsonage was purchased on McCrea's Flat - currently the home of Carvell and Geraldine Hanscom. Also in 1959, Rev. A.W. Post became Pastor. He was succeeded by Rev. Ken Davidson in 1965. In October of 1970, Rev. H.M. Lewis became Pastor and in 1971 our church celebrated its 50th Anniversary.
On May 6, 1973, Norman Mersereau was appointed Assistant Pastor. He married while here and left Perth-Andover in September, 1974.
By this time, many new members had been added and the existing facilities would not allow space for necessary expansion, so on August 27, 1973, our present site was chosen. Under the leadership of Pastor Lewis, a beautiful new edifice was erected. A section of our property was designated as Hillcrest Cemetery.
In January, 1977, Ron Hanscom, who had previously served as youth leader, was appointed Assistant Pastor and remained until January, 1979. He then accepted full-time pastorate in Windsor, Ontario. Rev. Lewis also resigned in 1979 and accepted the call to Hatfield Point, NB.
Rev. E.S. McKeen became Pastor in February, 1979, and remained until July, 1981. Jack Long assisted Rev. McKeen from July, 1979 until July, 1981, at which time he entered the full-time ministry. James Walton also assisted Pastor McKeen from May, 1980 until May, 1981.
The church membership continued to grow during Pastor McKeen's ministry and a new addition was added to the church during the summer of 1980.
Rev. Lewis returned to pastor the church in October of 1981 and Gary McAllister was appointed as Assistant Pastor in January, 1982. An advisory Board of Elders was appointed on February 6, 1983 to assist the Pastor and the Board of Deacons.
In May of 1983, the Perth-Andover assembly adopted the Home Missions work in Campbellton, NB. A special adoption service was held on June 5, 1983.
July 1-3, 1983 marked another memorable occasion for the church when we welcomed all who had come from near and far to celebrate a Homecoming Weekend.
In February of 1985 vestibule renovations began. In May of that same year, Gary McAllister resigned as Assistant Pastor, and two months later, Paul Hambrook began his term as Assistant Pastor.
Attendance records were broken on March 30, 1986, with 965 people in total attendance in Perth-Andover and the “daughter” church in Blue Bell, on Easter Sunday.
An important milestone was reached in June of 1986. Pastor Lewis celebrated 25 years in the ministry with a weekend of special services with Rev. & Mrs. Cecil Robinson from Middleton, Tennessee.
In May of 1987, the church became officially incorporated with the Province of New Brunswick under the name Calvary Tabernacle. This was done for legal purposes only and in no way does this affect our close fellowship with the United Pentecostal Church International nor its teaching.
Also in 1987, the renovations for our present sanctuary began. The walls were built creating a "church within a church". On March 2, 1988, a special service was held to honor the opening of the Prayer Room, which was the first room to be completed.
In 1988, a wheelchair ramp was added to the outside of what was then the entry. The following year the vestibule was extended and the present entry was added, enclosing the wheelchair ramp.
In September of 1989 Paul Hambrook resigned as Assistant Pastor and Eric Smith was appointed as Assistant Pastor. During this time, Rev. A.W. Post was appointed Bishop and Church Overseer.
Also in 1989, the new church parsonage, located on Skyline Drive just above the church, was purchased. The parsonage was finished in late 1990. This has proved to be a great blessing to our Assistant Pastors, many missionaries, and ministers in transit as it provided a "Home Atmosphere" and resting place.
The church cornerstone was erected and on May 13, 1990, the church pillars were dedicated in memory of Paul Gee.
In the winter of 1990, the old church structure was removed from beneath the new church. Following this, construction of the Sound Room and stairways was completed.
On September 7, 1992, the dedication of our new church sanctuary took place during Labor Day Convention. Rev. C. M. Becton, Rev. G. E. Hatheway and Rev. R. A. Beesley officiated. It was a powerful service with the Lord promising to bless and honor the saints for their sacrifice.
Eric Smith accepted the Pastorate in St. Anne, NB, in April of 1993. In June of 1993, David Gee became the new Assistant Pastor.
During the fall of 1993, the church basement was enlarged. The west side was opened up creating two spacious Sunday School classrooms, a new Sunday School office, the Sunshine Room and the church Library.
On December 13 & 14, 1993, a Holy Ghost Crusade with Rev. Billy Cole was held. During these services, more than 50 people received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.
In 1994, the east side of the basement expansion was finished and the Fellowship Hall enlarged. This endeavor yielded a large Youth Room and two more Sunday School classrooms.
Over the past several years there have been many student ministers appointed to work with our youth. These included: Lloyd Taylor, Peter Pelkey, Dwayne McCarty, Mark Lewis, Dave Ferrell, Seth Goodine, Dana Lanto, Chad Laking, Brad Boivan and Gary Bartlett. In March of 1995, John Gratto was installed as full-time Youth Pastor.
On June 4, 1995, our church celebrated Pentecost Sunday with Rev. Louis Pio. The Spirit of the Lord fell and over 10 people received the Holy Ghost.
A new central air system was installed and the church kitchen was renovated to complete our present facilities.
In April of 1997, John Gratto left to take the Pastorate in Presque Isle, Maine. Mark Anderson, a young Bible College student, served as Youth Pastor during the summer of 1997. On December 31, 1997, Rev. David Gee left Perth-Andover to go to Montreal as a Metro Missionary.
In April of 1998, Rev. David Ferrell became the new Assistant Pastor. In May, 1998, Mark Anderson returned to Calvary Tabernacle for the summer to serve as Youth Pastor, assisted by Brentt Willliams.
In September of 1998, Stanley O’Donnell, a Bible College student, became our Youth Pastor. He traveled to Perth-Andover every weekend during his last year at NCC. After graduating from NCC in the spring of 1999, he moved to Perth-Andover permanently and continued to serve in the office of Youth Pastor. He left us in January of 2004 to pastor the work in Blacks Harbour.
Matt McLaughlan served as the next Youth Pastor from January 2007 to March 2008, then moved to British Columbia.
Rev. Lewis retired in July of 2007 and Rev. David Ferrell was elected pastor.
Our active and growing church with a Missions vision has seen many workers go out into the Harvest Field. "Search For Truth" Home Bible Studies have brought several new members into the church.