Calvary United Church of Christ began with a meeting of local people at a crossroads in what was to become the village of Niantic. They met in the spring of 1836. Oral history tells us the meeting took place under a chestnut tree on land owned by John Michael Huber in Douglas Township, Montgomery County. Here, these ordinary people erected a house of worship.
The church was used by Lutherans and Calvinists. The Rev. Henry Bassler of the High German Reformed Church was called to pastor the Calvinist congregation. Christ Church was dedicated in June of 1837. The name "Huber's Church" was commonly used.
The original building stood for only 32 years. In 1872, it was replaced by the current structure still in use by the Lutheran congregation in Niantic.
Joint use of the building by both the congregations lasted until June of 1964 when a vote of dissolution took place. The Reformed congregation (now part of the United Church of Christ) chose to migrate to a piece of land along Route 100 in Barto. A new building was erected. Dedication took place on December 5, 1965. In 1993, an addition was built that added a large fellowship hall and much needed classroom space for Christian Education.
Calvary's history indicates a strong laity as well as dedicated pastors. Few churches are built by lay people who then call a pastor. In the original land deed for the building in Niantic are these words "for and in consideration of the natural love and affection which they have and bear to the Christian religion and for the purpose of promoting the same in the neighborhood by getting a House of Public Worship erected, and to have a common Burying place at said Christ Church.". The deed is signed by Elizabeth Huber, widow of John Michael Huber, and his son Jacob Huber and Jacob's wife Elizabeth. John Michael died during the construction of the first building and is buried at the south corner of the present structure. Through the years, there have been many people who have felt the same "natural love and affection". They have served and sacrificed so that the Christian Church might flourish in their time in their neighborhood. We become part of that long line when we come to this place to worship and serve our God.
History of Calvary United Church of Christ
By Pauline Weller