Calvary Assembly of God
Home of Port Charlotte Christian School
Welcome to Calvary Assembly of God

Calvary Assembly of God was founded in August of 1959 by the late Pastor Henry A. Swain. Following graduation from Southeastern College in Lakeland, FL in 1959, Pastor Swain with his wife, Lydia, and small daughter, Karen, moved to Port Charlotte to establish the church. The endeavor began with two families, Mr. and Mrs. J.R. Miller from Indiana and Mr. and Mrs. Ridenour from Ohio, who had moved to the new city to retire, followed by many other families.

During the first year, services were held in the Charlotte Harbor Community Center, south of Port Charlotte. Through a grant from General Development Corporation, a plot of land was given to the Assemblies of God fellowship for an Assemblies of God church in Port Charlotte. Plans were laid to erect a second church in the city for the many families who were moving there from all over the U.S.

During the building, growth, and development of the church, Henry worked at Maule Cement Industries in North Port Charlotte, while Lydia took Karen in a stroller daily to visit many homes and invite newcomers in the city to the new church. The church grew and soon a new Calvary Assembly was built and dedicated and also a new family member arrived at the Swain home, Lorne Paul Swain.

When attendance had reached 100, the Swains turned over the ministry of Calvary Assembly to the next pastor, Chester A. Freede in the summer of 1963 and made application for missionary work in Korea and Thailand where they served for a total of 31 ½ years.

Pastor and Mrs. Freede served until 1965 and were followed by Rev. George W. Brooks who served from 1965 – 1968. His wife was Mabel H. (Erickson) Brooks and they had two grown children one of whom was in the military. Pastor Brooks supplemented his income by working 8 to 12 hours per week for a pest control company. Pastor Brooks became very ill and had to leave the ministry in 1968.

Pastor Lloyd Beverly followed Pastor Brooks from 1968-1969. Pastor Earl Donald Cox followed Pastor Beverly from 1969-1972. Pastor Eugene Williams followed in 1972 until transferring to the mission field in Africa in 1977. Pastor Daniel Kolenda followed in 1977 and is credited with enlarging the building, starting Port Charlotte Christian School and WVIJ radio station. After his death in 2006 his son Daniel Kolenda Jr. moved from associate pastor and principal of the school to senior pastor.

Calvary Assembly has a rich heritage of growing and sending pastors, missionaries and other successful people into the work place. This is a memorable day in our history. We are not just entering a new season as we have completed the rebuilding after the hurricane. Rather, we believe that God is moving us into a new era. We lay hold of and receive the blessing that God has bestowed on us. To God be the glory, great things He has done.