History

At Calvary, we remember and honor the days of old and consider the many generations that laid the groundwork for our mission and purpose today. Take a look at a timeline of our history below, and you’ll see how our past inspires our future.

At Calvary, we remember and honor the days of old and consider the many generations that laid the groundwork for our mission and purpose today. Take a look at a timeline of our history below, and you’ll see how our past inspires our future.

1967: A Church is Born

Calvary Temple holds its first official service in June at a little church on Benton Street in downtown Naperville. Founded by Bob and Karen Schmidgall (and a handful of Bible college kids), this small church quickly grew in faith and in numbers!


1993-1994: A Move to Route 59

Outgrowing its third building, Calvary relocates to the corner of Montgomery Rd. and Rt. 59 to build a new, larger campus. Around this same time, the church also changed its name from Calvary Temple to Calvary Church.


1998-2000: Unexpected Loss &
A New Pastor


After 30 years of leading Calvary Church, Pastor Schmidgall dies suddenly in January of 1998 from heart failure. After a two-year search, the church elected Pastor Randal Ross in 2000. Under Pastor Ross' leadership, the congregation more than doubles in size and diversity over the next two decades.


2005-2018: Time for Expansion

A massive campus expansion project is completed in 2005, which creates new spaces for kids, youth, and Calvary Christian School. In 2005, Calvary en Español launches its ministry to the Hispanic community. In 2018, Calvary Indian Church launches its ministry to the growing Indian community in our area.


2020 & Beyond: Looking Forward

After 20 years, Pastor Ross retires as lead pastor, and the congregation elects Pastor Marty Sloan to lead the church in 2020 and into the next season. Calvary becomes a house of prayer and a place that helps shape people into fully devoted followers of Christ.


We’re thankful for our rich foundation and for our visionary leaders, Founding Pastor
Bob Schmidgall and Pastor Randal Ross. These men are not just a part of our history;
they are a deep part of who Calvary is today.

Pastor Bob Schmidgall

Founding Pastor

1967–1998

In June of 1967, newly graduated Bob and Karen Schmidgall and eight of their friends from Central Bible College, decided to start a church in a slightly "backward" way: Instead of growing a congregation and then finding a church building, they bought the building and then grew a congregation.

And it worked! Under the leadership of Pastor Bob, the church outgrew three locations until it found its current corner on Rt. 59 and Montgomery. It also added a school, children's center and was a leader in mission giving for AG churches.

On January 6, 1998, after 30 years of leading Calvary, Pastor Bob Schmidgall died of sudden heart failure, but his legacy lives on through the continued mission and vision of Calvary. It also lives on through his wife and children, Robb, Joel, Amanda and Lora, many of whom are still deeply invested in the life of Calvary and visit as special guest pastors and speakers. 

Pastor Randal Ross

  

2000–2019

In spring of 2000, Reverend Randal Ross was voted Calvary's next lead pastor. A third-generation Assembly of God minister, he brought his passionate, spirit-led style from his southern churches to Northern Illinois. Under his leadership, Calvary's attendance grew in size and diversity, and because of his vision to reach the community, the church added new campuses including an Indian ministry (now church) and Spanish-speaking, Calvary Espańol.

During his time, Pastor Ross also traveled throughout the world as a teacher and keynote speaker at seminars and conferences. He also wrote several books include Tapping the Power of Your Emotions, Not Without My Children, The Next Seven Great Events of the Future, From the Cross to Eternity and Redefine: Life God’s Way.
 
In 2019, after over 40 years of ministry, Pastor Ross heard God calling him to his next stage of ministry—retirement. Today, he and his wife, Andrea, have two children, Matthew and Jessica, and two grandchildren who inspired Pastor Ross' newest role: Doting grandfather.