Our Story2017-12-14T11:41:43+00:00


Calvary is one church meeting in multiple locations. Under the leadership of Senior Pastors James and Samantha Macpherson, Calvary has grown to become a key church of influence across Australia and internationally.

The origins of Calvary go back to 1924 when Charles Enticknap preached to a small group of people at a house in South Townsville. The first convert, Mrs Howell, gave the equivalent of $5000 she had invested so that a tent could be purchased for church meetings.

They met in varied locations until, in the mid 1970s, Pastors David and Marie Cartledge led the church to purchase a significant parcel of land in Mount Louisa. A church auditorium was built to house the growing congregation and, on the same property, Australia’s second ever independent P-12 Christian school, Calvary Christian College, was begun.

James and Samantha took on leadership of the church in October 2007, overseeing the growth of the Townsville congregation as well as expansion into other cities.

The first expansion was to the Sunshine Coast where James and Samantha were invited to take on leadership of what had been known as Kings Christian Church. Kings, which under the leadership of Pastors Steve and Marion Penny had purchased 16 acres of land and built a wonderful facility, was rebranded as Calvary Christian Church, Sunshine Coast. Pastors Daniel and Elise Pappas lead our team there.

A third campus was added in 2013 when Calvary began public meetings in the tropical city of Cairns in Far North Queensland. The two couples who relocated there quickly grew to hundreds and Calvary Cairns is today a vibrant, growing congregation under the leadership of Michelle and Mathew Fredericks

Calvary’s fourth campus began in February 2015 when what had been Harvest Life Christian Church in Emerald became a Calvary congregation. For many years, under the leadership of Pastors Ron and Mary Anning, Harvest Life had been the key ACC church in central Queensland. The church has been rebranded as Calvary Emerald and is going from strength to strength with Pastor Chris and Beck Yelland providing pastoral ministry to the 12,000 people of Emerald.

A fifth campus began in the coastal town of Yeppoon in May 2015. Pastors Ernie and Cheryl Peters had ministered faithfully in Yeppoon for more than 20 years before offering Calvary the opportunity to replant what had been Yeppoon Christian Family Church as a Calvary campus. Pastors Daniel and Joanne James have spearheaded this endeavour.

Calvary Rockhampton began on Sunday 6th March 2016 when Pastors James and Paula Hensley (who had established the Cairns congregation) relocated to Central Queensland to start Calvary’s sixth campus. This congregation has already grown to hundreds calling Calvary Rockhampton home.

Pastor Andrew and Christie Kirk planted Calvary Gold Coast in April 2017 at Robina State Primary School. Services are at 5pm and this congregation is steadily growing with numbers of people making commitments to Jesus.

Our next locaton will be East London, South Africa. In February 2018 Pastors Dustan and Sarah Bell will move to South Africa with a team to take on leadership of what is currently City Life Church, led for many years by Pastor David and Bev Grenetzki. Under Pastor Dustan’s oversight, City Life will become Calvary East London and the hub of our expansion into Africa.


The Reason We Exist:

Calvary exists to help every person – no matter who they are, where they’ve been or what they’ve done – know how much God loves them.

Our Vision:

We see a large, influential church – meeting in multiple locations – equipping and empowering increasing numbers of people to live victorious lives through faith in Jesus Christ.

Our Culture (Or For You Under 35s, “How We Roll”)

In Matthew 25 Jesus commended the good steward: “Well done good faithful servant.” This five word commendation describes the Kingdom life and the way we typically roll at Calvary.

Well = Excellence. We will do the best we can with faith.

Done = Persistence. We will do whatever it takes to get done that which God has asked of us.

Good = Humility. We commit to keeping a right spirit at all times.

Faithful = Faith. We will stay full of faith, no matter the circumstances.

Servant = Generosity. We insist that we are called to serve and to refresh others.