Fifty Year History of CBTS

Posted by: Garret Pick on Thu, Sep 30, 2004:

timeline from 1954 to the present

“the idea of a new Lutheran Church in Hawaii came from Dr. Phillip Dybvig, Director of Home Missions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and Dr. Gaylord Falde, Bishop of the South Pacific District of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.  The funding of the new church was handled by the Churches of the  Austin circuit in Southern Minnesota in late 1953.  On that day that the Austin circuit decided to sponsor the mission by providing loan money, Dr. Falde and Dr. Dybvig gave Pastor Stand Gjervik the Letter of Call to become the mission pastor in Honolulu.
Pastor Stan & Doris Gjervik arrived in Honolulu on July 26, 1954.  They went to work the first afternoon they arrived to find a possible church site.  Sven Anderson at M’s Ranch House (now the Jehovah Witness center at the corner of West Hind Drive and Kalanianaole Hwy) offered the use of his banquet facility for a place of worship and Sunday School.  The first service was held on October 17, 1954.  The big day came.  Dr. Philip Dybvig was a guest.  Forty-two people were present at the fist service. Sunday School was started on October 24, 1954.   Attendance climbed gradually until there were about 95 by Christmas and 120 by Easter.
While Dr. Dybvig was here, the congregation began negotiating for property.  A realtor by the name of Mr. Wright found the present site.  For four days we worked with a  Mrs. Wild and her advisors at the Hawaiian Trust Building.  The band was wonderful.  We explained that we had $90,000 to invest, but that this would have to include the purchase price of the land and the first unit of the church (now Ohana Lani).  The result was that the church purchased 63,000 square feet of land for $60,000. The church continued to meet at the Hind Company office building
1955 - 1957
 Later the church received a gift of 10,000 square feet where Hale Aloha is located.  An additional 10,000 square feet of land on the highway end of the property was a gift in 1955. Plans were soon ready and by the end of September 1955 we were in our new building.  Children’s programming began on Thursday afternoons. Women of the church began meeting once a month, and later we started a regular weekly Wednesday morning Bible study.  Everybody seemed to take hold of the work, and supporting the congregation seemed to be natural thing to do.  In fourteen months, we began carrying our own weight, and no longer needed the monthly Home Mission Grant in Aid. In 1956 a pledge of $10,000 covered a promissory note to Mrs.Wild.  Plans for the pastor’s house (parsonage now Hale Aloha) were started.
The church was active from the beginning.  Visitors were abundant during those years.  Participation in Kiwanis and P.T.A became an important community service.  In 1958, we began broadcasting our worship service on KAIM FM.  Additions were built to both sides of the sanctuary in 1958.  The church had now taken its place in the community.
(This ends the already written history)
1959 - 1967
Pastor Stanley Gjervik was described as a pietist, meaning personal faith was very important to him.  He was a good preacher and reached out to the Japanese people in the neighborhood with lots of nurturing.  At that time Calvary by the Sea had the highest per capita giving in the American Lutheran Church.  There was great strength  and joy in stewardship.   Pastor Gjervik remained until April 2, 1961.  Just 32 days later Pastor James Bergquist arrived. 
Pastor Bergquist was here for 3 years and during that time the church continued to grow.
After Pastor Berquist left it only took 60 days for  Pastor Obed Sunde to arrive.  He also stayed for 3 years and when he left it took almost one year before Pastor Doug Olson was installed.
 ( I do not have the records from 1961 to 1970)
This was a time of transition from 1968 to 1970 or so.  There were life style challenges and talk of topics like Open Marriage, Vietnam, War & Peace caused some people to leave.
·        The first Bethel Training was held by Pastor Olson
From here on the history is gathered from the congregation’s annual reports that we have.
·        At the 15th annual meeting 48 members were present and Pastor Doug gave the names of visitors for the members to visit.  Churches grow best when the members reach out to the visitors and invite them for more.
·         The council was reorganized to “provide meaningful task orientated work.”
·          Plans were laid to begin the Bethel Bible Study in 1971.
·        That year there were no adults to lead Sunday School. That year President of the congregation Gunther Ditzel wrote “One of our weakest areas is our Sunday school, which is being reorganized.  There is a definite need for a stronger program with a more regulated schedule.  Not without frustration, but with stimulating dialog about the Purpose of Sunday School.”
·        There were about 30 Preschool students and two teachers.  Helen Dixon was the director and she wrote. “ Our children are of varied ethnic and religious backgrounds and need to be visited, they are learning love and cooperation through enriching  experiences and social adjustments.”
·        That year there was no mission support sent to the American Lutheran church and only $345 was sent to synod and $1,540 to local missions.  The total spent that year was $42,645.  Members were asked to renew a covenant of membership by signing a affirm of faith and support.

·        The first Clown Sunday was started

·        The ACTS program began
·        This was the 24th annual meeting and 48 members present.  Stewardship was low and only 52% of the members made a commitment.  Mission support was also low and only $6000 was given.  Dale Noble asked that it be raised to $9,100 again, it was passed that it would be 10% or $7,200. 
·        A vote was taken to build a new sanctuary.  37 said yes and 2 said no.  Ann Stratton the president of the congregation wrote “The building fund for our new sanctuary has been a rallying point, a concern, a hardship – and we experienced a VICTORY…”  There were 201 families in the congregation and 79% of them made a commitment or contributed for the new sanctuary.
·        The New Green Hymnal the Lutheran Book of Worship was also introduced this year.  This was also the year of the 25th anniversary of the congregation.  Ann Stratton wrote, “ Memories of times, good bad, exciting, funny emotional were shared each Sunday during the month and a successful luau climaxed our celebration.  We all appreciated the effort it took for this special committee to make those 25 years come alive for us all.  Mahalo”
·        There were 18 children in the preschool and 2 teachers.  Director Patricia Halpern wrote “Since the inception of ACTS it has been my experience that the school has come out of the wilderness and that there is love and support available for us here at Calvary.”  There were 27 children enrolled in Sunday School and Pat Kowal was hired as Education Counselor and Director.
·        Pastor Doug Olson wrote in his Pastor’s report.  “the year of our Lord, 1980 will certainly be acknowledged as one of the historic years in the life of our parish.  It will be historic for the considerable time, talent, and finances that went into the Building Program, but mostly it will be remembered as the year of incredible pastoral and lay leadership. We are a people of God on the move.  At no time in my ministry has it been as clear to me that God’s kingdom is building us.  We are the materials that have been called to transform our community and world.  What an exciting mission!”
·        In Sunday School there were 25 students enrolled from preschool through 7th grade.

·        Pastor Nic Christoff was called as associate pastor with additional staff of

·        Birgitta Llewellyn    Education
·        Kate Miller             Education assistant
·        Lynn Misztal                       Counseling
·        Mahi Campbell       Pastor’s executive assistant
·        The new sanctuary is now up and people are in it and now stewardship is a major focus.  Already the termites are attacking the Koko head windows and leaks are appearing in the Brides and Grooms rooms.
·        Average Worship attendance is       62        at 8:15 am
195            at 10:00 am
·        Counseling services were expanded with Lynne Misztal as Parish worker/counselor.  “Through our divorce and separation workshops we have successfully enabled women who are experiencing trauma of separation and divorce to establish trusting and supportive relationships with other women in similar situations.”

·        This year a third worship was started

           8:15 AM          Communion
            9:15                 Education
            10:30               Ohana Worship
            5:30 PM           Sunset worship
·        The mortgage on the new sanctuary was burned on Pentecost Sunday in just two years.
·        Pastor Olson went on Sabbatical to Norway and Germany
·        The Tin Man Tri athletes raised $5,000 for world hunger
·        Pastor Olson focused on inreach and strengthening shepherding and nurturing.
·        Pastor Christoff focused on outreach.  He was paid as half time staff but worked 27 hours.  He also worked half time in campus ministry.
Here are some fellowship activities:
·        Picnics
·        Softball games
·        Barbecue and potluck dinners
·        Maundy Thursday supper
·        Ice skating
·        Easter breakfast
·        Tea dancing at the Royal Hawaiian
·        Camelot night
·        Halloween party and haunted house
·        Honolulu Symphony & theater night
·        Kamehameha School Christmas concert
·        Marathon Sunday Chili picnic
·        Calvary day at Castle park
·        Family Retreat weekend
·        We also received a gift of land in Arizona from George & Shirley Isaacs that was just sold in 2004
·        Worship
Clown Sunday
Worship team held four potlucks suppers a year to pick hymns to sing
Started a new organ fund
·        Stewardship total pledges were 97 households pledging $2,407 per week

·        The church council was renamed from “Church Council” to “Council of Deacons”

·        Pastor Nic Christoff left in June and stayed on in Campus ministry

·        Sunday School enrollment increased by 100%.  The nursery expanded to 15-20 children each Sunday.
·        The parish hall was renovated
·        Tuesday night group discussed nuclear disarmament
·        Hymn composed by C.A. Manu Boyd (page 28 of annual report what is tune?)
·        Calvary by the Sea received its first intern from the seminary.  He was Robert Blew.
·        Human Resource fund:  About $24,000 were received into this fund from counseling, Tuesday Night seminars  and wedding deposits.  Expenditures included $4,131 to Pastor Olson, $3,810 to Calvary ‘s general fund for weddings and $6,000 in loans and or gifts to support individuals in crisis situations.  The rest of the funds were paid to the wedding coordinator, organist and teenage office assistant.
·        A new organ was purchased an dedicated on March 27.  $5,087 was raised for the down payment and $35,000 was borrowed for a total price of $40,086.
·        Deanna Thornhill was the choir director with 20 members
·        Bryannt Thornhill designed the processional cross candle and Koa table in the entrance.  These were first used and dedicated at the 30th anniversary.  Bishop Nelson Trout preached and founding pastor Gjervik participated.  A set of hand bells were gifted.
·        Rev. Balina Sarka of the Ethiopian Evangelical church Mekane Yesus spent October to December with Calvary by the Sea.  He taught the congregation about hunger and life.
·        Intern Pastor Blew led the sunset vesper service and worked with Father Crane of Holy Nativity to make this an ecumenical worship followed by a picnic supper and fellowship.
·        Linda Henning, the Sunday School coordinator wrote, “Our goal for remodeling the parish hall is still a dream, but we refuse to give it up.  Space and privacy are still a pressing need for us.”
·        Pastor David Hustoff was called as associate pastor.  His focus was Education, outreach, stewardship and youth.
·        Delorese Gregoire was hired to also work with youth and Linda Cluney became the office assistant. 
·        This was the year Calvary by the Sea voted to become part of the new Evangelical Lutheran Church in America or ELCA.  The vote was 67 yes, 20 no and 2 abstensions. 
·        The congregation gave $65,557 to missions
·        The Preschool now had 50 families and ten staff.
·        Sunday evening worships were no longer held.
·        The theme for the year was “Blessed to be a Blessing”. 
·        The idea was raised about a new building to replace the parish hall.
·          Associate Pastor David also was married.
·         Youth ministry was vibrant.  (See annual report pages 18-19.)
·         On Clown Sunday there were two services and 150 new visitors were contacted.
·         A new sound system was also installed.
·        A new constitution was introduced
·        Bishop Preus said there must be a youth group if CBTS is to grow.
·        CBTS started “Angels with Broken Wings” with $10,000 for the 1990 budget for local missions.  It was called the Calvary Ohana fund and became the beginning of Angel Network.
·        From 1979 to 1989 there was a 1,200% increase in giving for missions or about 10% per year.
·        Membership was listed at 1,286 although 379 were inactive = 907
·        Teens at Calvary washed 272 cars at a Divine Shine event.  That year they raised $10,016 in fund raising events!!!
·        Evangelism provided monthly potlucks on the first Sunday of the month for 25-36 people
·        Clown Sunday brought in 160 new people.
·        Deanna Thornhill left as choir director & Dale Noble directed and Bob Flowers directed the bell choir.
·        This was the 10th anniversary of ACTS
·        Stewardship was great!  Total giving to mission this year was $227,442, an increase of 22%  General fund giving grew by 11%.
·         20 CBTS babies were born.
·         130 new members joined.
·        Angel Network expanded  to include 4 houses serving 17 adults & 25 children.
·        A new basement was created under the sanctuary
·        The parish hall was remodeled with a loft and new office space.
·        Youth washed 289 cars for divine shine
·        There are now 3 worship services
·        Human Resource Fund included receipts of $25,960 from counseling fees, $121,762 from wedding fees plus others for total of $159,761
·        Pastor Olson began to do some chaplaincy work for the FBI
·        In March the congregation voted unanimously to start a Pastor’s housing fund, so that the congregation could use the parsonage and Pastor Olson could have his own home.  The goal was to raise $400,000, they raised $114,699
·        A third pastor was called Pastor Virginia Georgulas.  She was ordained on July 14th and became Pastor of Lay Ministry here.  She started Saturday evening worships.
·        Intern David Hollowell also was on staff
·        Over 1.1 million dollars flowed through CBTS and 50% went to missions
·        Angel Network now became incorporated and had 6 houses and was working on establishing a homeless village in Hawaii Kai.
·        Sunday School averaged 96 children with 20 teachers and two per class.
·        A new mission statement was adopted this year
·        The parsonage was redesigned so that Angel Network would have space for a thrift store and there would be a large meeting room for Bethel & Tuesday Night Group.  Bedrooms were made into a caretakers studio.  There was a “Miracle Sunday on October 25th when everyone reached and exceeded the goal of $100,000 to renovate the parsonage.
·        Angel Network housed 49 families or 201 individuals and on Molokai supported 28 families or 100 people.
·        Hurricane Iniki flooded the sanctuary in September but members did a great job of cleaning up.
·        Pastor Ginger Georgulas left
·        Sunday School averaged 35 with 13 teachers
·        Pastor Georgulas position was replaced with two lay positions.  Lisa Tuttle for worship and Lise McNally for education and office assistant.
·        Pastor Hustoft said his role now became more of a management position
·        Pastor Doug Olson experienced cancer and recovered
·        The policy manual for the staff was begun
·        President Clinton gave the President’s Volunteer Award to Angel Network
·        The Angel Network program on Molokai ended.
·        The parsonage was dedicated on October 31 as Hale Aloha
·        Candice Stime was called as Youth Intern
·        In October, Dr. Pat Keifert spent a full weekend with the congregation on strengths, dream and visions for the next five years.  Pastor Doug began to make references to sadness about the ending of his work in a few years.
·        Pastor Hustoft changes his title to Family Pastor
·        Calvary by the Sea staff and members attended Kennon Callahn’s Twelve Keys to an effective church. 
·        In May the music and worship team went to Minneaplolis for a Changing Church for a Changing World conference.  Focus was on maintaining excellent preaching and having the people hear the message already 5 times before they hear the sermon.
·        Dan Dirksen is organist and choir director
·        The Education Team used Group curriculum and also used ideas from Steven Covey in Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
·        The nursery was painted and a play ground  created with sand  Yellow stripping was laid to slow down drivers for Keiki in cross walks.
·        Dr. Keifert met with 55 members and staff and they selected these characteristicds to center on.
·        1. Strong leadership resources
·        2. Significant relational groups
·        3. Several competent programs and activities
·        4. Pastor and lay visitation.
·        Pastor David Hustoft leaves
·        The 20th annual Clown Sunday was celebrated
·        The 40th anniversary was celebrated.  Dr. Bob Flowers wrote a one act musical
·        Linda Hansen went to Nashville, Tennessee for a Shared Ministries conference
·        Sources of congregation income were:
·        30% Offerings
·        45% Weddings
·        20% Preschool
·          3% Other
·        Angel Network sheltered 239 people = 65 families & 13 singles
·        Money sources for Angel Network were:
·        40%     State
·        3%       Grants
·        5%       Fund Raisers
·        6%       Calvary by the Sea & Churches
·        16%     Individuals
·        2%       Board Members
·        28%     Participant’s rent
·        Over 2,200 Japanese wedding were done this year.  It became a problem for stewardship.  The congregation voted to put 35% of all Japanese wedding monies into an endowment fund, 35% into a community Missions Fund, 25% into a facilities fund and 5% into the general fund.  This was to be done over a three year time period.
·        CBTS went back to two services on Sunday with education hour in between
·        UI Productions took over the Japanese weddings.  Pastor Olson was to decrease the number of wedding he did over the year until he would be doing no Japanese weddings by February 1, 1997.  In the addendum to the 1995 Annual report it was written, “ This reduction in schedule w2ill be done with minimal financial impact to Pastor Olson as UI Productions has offered to independently compensate Pastor Olson.”  “The most disturbing feature of our financial life at Calvary over the last hew years has been our increasing dependence on the income from Japanese ceremonies.  As a source of general fund spending this ceremony income has grown from 12% in 1991 to over 40% or $248,000 in 1995 while our stewardship support has actually declined.”  “As part of Vision 200, the congregation ratified a plan to reduce this dependence by shrinking the general fund receipts from the Wedding fund.  We will make a start this first year by reducing the amount to $220,000 or 34% of general fund spending.  This creates the opportunity to continue funding our core activities while we concentrate on our Stewardship mission.”
·        The following principals were ratified at the congregation meeting.
·        Start reducing our dependence on Japanese ceremony income to the general fund and redirection of this income to mission.
·        Acceptance of our personal stewardship mission as reflected in the estimated offering
·        A church administrator to free Pastor Olson to concentrate on ministry
·        Adding a shared ministries coordinator to mobilize the gifts of all members.
·        Reinvestment in our physical facilities and pre-school mission
·        Separate designated offerings from the general fund income for clarity of accounting.  This change will not affect Calvary’s generous support of Angel Network or our other missions.”
·        Pastor Olson was now the highest paid pastor in the Pacifica  Synod and when the Japanese wedding money was included his compensation in 1995 was $197,891.
·        This was the year that then Assistant to the Bishop Murray Finck came and led the congregation through a Bridge Builders process.  It was designed to help identify conflict and to resolve it.
·        Giving was down and Vision 2000 did not go as planned
·        Each month an additional 1% of general fund went into the mission and endowment fund
·        The relationship between the church and preschool needed to be clarified
·        Dr. Arthur Harvey came a new staff person.
·        The personnel hand book was started
·        100 people sang on two Holly Trolleys at Christmas
·        98 teens went to the first Christian Winners camp
·        Angel Network sheltered 309 people
·        A parent advisory board was created for the preschool
·        Pastor Olson wrote “I feel that 1997 has been primarily a year of crisis for many of us at Calvary by the Sea.  We began the year with a confusing and failed election process and ended the year with a constitutionally supported attempt at recalling two members of our church council.  Also, there’s been the presence of the IRS investigating your Pastor and its effect on the congregation.  The program of support through the Pacifica Synod known as “Bridge builders” was unsuccessful in bringing peace, healing and the fruits of the Spirit to any of us.  Many, but not all, of our committee meeting took on the attitude of political maneuvering rather than spiritual leadership.  Finally, at year end I discovered I had cancer.  It felt like a fitting conclusion to a year of crisis.  Yet is said the Chinese kanji for “crisis” consists of two characters meaning “Danger” and “Opportunity.”  While the dangers are clearly present it is also true the Lord of the church, Jesus Christ has provided “opportunities for doing His ministry.”
·        President Doug Carlson said, “ This was a most difficult year in the life of our church.
·        Auditing and Financial Procedures were addressed and various accounts were merged to provide better over site. 
·        The three year decline in giving ended
·        Youth Director Delorese Gregoire wrote, “ Our youth programs are wonderful and reach many young people, but they could be better if more of our adults made a commitment to the future generations.  Our hope is to have 50 teens confirmed as active members of the church by 2000.”
·        The sanctuary was refurbished
·        Tim Sprowls was hired as business administrator
·        Neal McHenry was  hired as lay ministry coordinator
·        CBTS gave $98,961 to benevolence !
·        Income from Japanese wedding was $734,620
·        We missed the stewardship goal for the 2nd year
·        A complete and formal audit of all funds was done for the first time
·        The employee hand book was completed.  It is to be reviewed by the council and personnel team each year.
·        New carpet was laid in Hale Aloha
·        Opposition arose to Pastor Doug Olson’s doing Japanese weddings on his days off.
·        The new millenium began with 512 members
·        Denise Acklin became the Director of the Preschool
·        Youth Director Delorese Gregoire left.
·        Membership was now  473
·        Japanese wedding income was in serious decline because of 9-11
·        The council set an offering goal of $25,000 and only $114,308 was committed.  Out of 212 household only 52 made commitments.
·        This was a year of transition.  In April, Ivy Olson died of Cancer, and Pastor Doug Olson retired after 34 years of ministry at Calvary by the Sea.  It was a time of grieving and a deep sense of loss.
·        Interim Pastor Russ Creydt and Dana arrived in May to begin the interim time.
·        Ten adults help to start a youth and confirmation program Called FINK.  (Faith Inkubators)
·        Study bibles were presented to all children and youth in 1st through 12th grades
·        An Evangelism team was started
·        ACTS continued with a group.  ACTS has now been going for 24 years and almost 475 people have gone through this experience
·        A property team was established
·        Small groups met to express what brought people to Calvary by the Sea and what hopes they have for the future.
·        A Legacy Dinner & Stewardship event was held in the Fall to celebrate our past and future.
·        21 adults studied “the Use of the Means of Grace”.  All about our Lutheran understanding of the Bible and Sacraments
·       In May the congregation voted on whether to buy the adjoining land on the Koko head side for 2 million dollars.  After much discussion and a vote that was tied.  The congregation had another meeting and the decision was made not to purchase the land.  The congregation did this discussion very well.
·       In June the congregation elected  a Call Team to help select the next  Pastor.
·       We also did a visioning and mission development event. The Mission is “Share the Blessings of God’s Grace with Aloha.  We prioritized our focus.  The top three were Worship, Evangelism & Property.  The middle three were Youth, Fellowship & Stewardship,
·       In August a wedding ministry team was set up to look at how we do weddings and the role of the staff in doing them.
·       An Intergenerational Sunday School was started in the Fall but it did not bring increased attendance.  Sunday School needs lots of attention.
·       A new web site was developed by our Evangelism team and now many of our members can have an active role in putting it together.
·        We adopted a Wedding Ministry policy so that all couples who are not from Japna will receive premarital counseling.  The Pastor or Director of Worship & Music will also not receive any additional money for doing these weddings.  This is part of their salaried work.
·        We adopted a Reducing the Risk of Misconduct policy so that all of our volunteers will be screened and have back ground checks before they can work with our children.  We also set guidelines to protect the children, volunteers and staff.
·        We voted 90 to 2 to call Pastor Tim Mason as the next Pastor of Calvary by the Sea.

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