EVERETT — It is a church on the move.
After leasing space inside the Trinity Lutheran College building in the 2800 block of Wetmore Avenue for three years, Calvary Everett is heading to 2918 Hewitt Ave.
In some ways, it is a venture back in time.
The congregation is moving from what originally was the Rumbaugh-MacLain Department Store, which opened six months before the stock market crashed in 1929, to a building that has been around since the 1890s.
Pastor Billy Wheeler said Calvary enjoyed its relationship with the college and having a home on the fifth floor of what once was the Bon Marche department store, but the move will allow it to be more visible in downtown Everett.
“Everything about it was great, but it wasn’t our place,” Wheeler said. “It is nice to have a building of our own. Over there, we will have our signs up and our doors open.”
The new digs also provide a kitchen. The building once was home to God Rocks, a Christian coffee house.
Calvary Everett will be in a building with a colorful history. Built in the 1890s, it originally was home to Metzger Grocery until 1905. It then became the Wildes, Metzger &Requa Grocery until 1912 and later Wilson Grocery until 1945.
“From 1945, it was known as Gables Furniture,” said David Dilgard, a historian with the Everett Public Libraries Northwest Room. “Most old-timers, including me, tend to think of it as Gables Furniture.”
With a storefront presence, the move promises to give the church more visibility, Wheeler said.
“We want to help out the area any way we can,” he said. “We will definitely have more opportunities.”
Wheeler last year took training to become a chaplain with the Everett Fire Department.
Making another move is nothing new for the pastor. Born and raised in Texas, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at age 17 and was deployed to many countries, including the Middle East. His time in the ministry has taken him to California, Texas and Lynden, Ellensburg and Everett in Washington.
The husband and father of four school-age boys is enjoying his time in Everett.
“It is definitely feeling like home,” he said.
The first service in Calvary’s new building is set for 10:30 a.m. Nov. 29.
As the congregation continues to grow, the church will add another service, he said.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; firstname.lastname@example.org.