CLEARWATER (FOX13) - A Clearwater church is celebrating a big birthday this weekend.
Calvary Church has been around for 150 years, making it one of the oldest churches in the Bay Area. It was founded back in March of 1866. Many of the precious artifacts from it's original congregation are still in their possession.
The church has bounced around Clearwater a few times over the years as they've grown. Now, they're on a sprawling campus on McMullen Booth Road, with nearly 4,000 people in attendance each Sunday.
Pastor Willy Rice says their secret to longevity is to never forget their mission and why they exist in the first place. They also stress the importance of staying connected to the community.
"Calvary's been a part of this community for years and years. There's so much history that ties into the community of Clearwater, located in downtown Clearwater for over 80 years. The building was a landmark. So I think people that even weren't members of Calvary, they still know Calvary. They think of it as a community church, as Clearwater's church. We love that, we own that, we want to be a blessing to our community," Rice said.
Saturday evening, Calvary Church celebrated it's 150th with a big gathering on the church grounds. There was a special Saturday evening service to commenerate the milestone.