Kelly Steuck

Ten years ago, the Rev. Tim Bowman and his wife, Cathy, felt a calling to leave their home in Roseville, Ill., to pioneer a church in the Quad-Cities.

"We tried to run from that leading," Tim Bowman said.

Fortunately, for the congregation of 1,500 at Calvary Church of the Quad-Cities, 4417 53rd St., Moline, the Bowmans were true to their path.

The couple had been part of Living Light Singers, along with Bowman's three sisters, when the idea for the church began. They released 16 albums together in Nashville. The couple announced their dream to 45 attendants of a concert at the Ramada Inn in March 1995. About 35 of those people joined the couple afterward to further discuss the idea.

On April 16 that year, Easter Sunday, a core group of 45, along with 83 of their family and friends, celebrated their first service at Moline's Viking Club.

This Sunday, the church will be celebrate its 10th anniversary from 2-4 p.m. at the RiverCenter in Davenport.

"I'm going to preach a message that honors our heritage, celebrate our present, and promotes our future," Bowman said.

Key people in attendance will be the Rev. John Bray and Tim McGovern. Bray, pastor of Heritage Wesleyan Church, Rock Island, will represent pastoral ministry. It was from Bray's church that Calvary purchased their current location in February 1997 after Heritage moved to a location in Rock Island.

McGovern, of Cleveland Insurance in Rock Island, will represent the Quad-City business community. He is also president of Moline Rotary and on the board for Night To Honor Israel, and organization that helps Jews relocate back to Israel.

Moline Mayor Stan Leach also also been invited to represent local government and townships.

Seating is available for 2,500 at the RiverCenter, and the event is open to the public. Included is a video presentation of the church's first 10 years. The Living Light Singers also will reunite and perform.

"We're hoping to have it packed," said Nina Little, business administrator for Calvary.

The church's own facilities are just too small to host such a large event. Already having outgrown its main building, services are held at the Youth Ministry building down the street at 4700 53rd St.

The foundation for the 1,000-seat building was completed in 2001 and was the first phase of Project 2000, plans for expansion on their 80 acres of land. In 2003, construction of the Sports Complex began and the 180zone Skate Park opened. The next phase is to add 40,000 square feet to that building.

"Without the people, the building is nothing," Bowman said.

The church has a paid staff of about 20 who manage office activities. So volunteer support is very important, especially because most activities are open to non-parish members. There are about 900 who actively volunteer there.

"We couldn't do these things without the volunteer staff," Little said.

According to Bowman, the "multi-racial and multi-generational" community at Calvary is home to 39 religious backgrounds. He is very proud of the fact that they attract both "churched" and "non-churched" people in their interdenominational environment.

Sunday services are well attended by both young couples and older families. They have a 50-voice choir, accompanied by a 15-piece orchestra.

Marc Nelson of Moline is one of the bass players for Sunday services. He also designed and maintains the Calvary Web site at www.calvaryqc.org.

He believes that the variety of Latin, Gospel, R&B, rock and other music played during services is what gets people in the door. Bowman is who gets them hooked, he said.

"The first time I walked in that place it was just wall-to-wall people," Nelson said. "After awhile, you don't think about (how crowded it is) there, it's just home."

Nelson has been a member of the church for about six years. His wife, Penny, works in the church office. Their two sons, Ian, 8, and Kyle, 5, participate in Calvary Kids, which targets newborns through sixth grade.

There are five age brackets: nursery, preschool/kindergarten, first/second grade, third/fourth grade and fifth/sixth grade, known as the 56ers. The belief is that children can better witness the importance of God if they are involved with adults of all ages.

"It's awesome," Nelson said. "It's a very good program. The kids like it, and that's important."

For the junior and senior high school students, there's Oneighty. The group meets every Tuesday at 6 p.m., and has about 400 members. Students even come from as far away as Aledo and Keithsburg in Mercer County.

According to church Web site, this group is unique because "We believe in keeping the 10 Commandments, but breaking most of the other traditional rules associated with church."

The teens have some free time to socialize before the ministry portion of the evening begins. They are provided with air hockey, Xbox and other games. Then, they participate in praise and worship.

"We have a pretty innovative youth ministry," Little said. "We've got people who have graduated and still want to be a part of it."

The city desk can be contacted at (563) 383-2245 or newsroom@qctimes.com.

Communities of Faith is a feature designed to showcase houses of worship of all faiths in the Quad-City region that runs every other Tuesday in the Celebrate section. If you would like your congregation to be considered for a feature story, please e-mail contact information to dschorpp @qctimes.com.

ABOUT THE CHURCH 

Name: Calvary Church of the Quad-Cities

Address: 4417 53rd St., Moline

Affiliation: Interdenominational fellowship

Founded: 1995

Web site: http://www.calvaryqc.org">www.calvaryqc.org

Church hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday

Service hours: Celebration and children's ministries, 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Sunday (praise and worship); Family Hour (casual attire), 6 p.m. praise and worship and teaching from the Word; Spanish translation, 10:30 a.m.; Hearing impaired/deaf ministry — 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Phone: (309) 762-4166.

Pastors: Tim Bowman, Dr. Clayton Bowman, Gary Ellis, Will Mouer, Jim Powell