In September 1980, The Rt. Rev. Lloyd Gressle consecrated Holy Cross Episcopal Church. It was a new beginning for the parishes of St. James, Pittston and Calvary Church, Wilkes-Barre. Both of these parishes relate a history of serving God through its worship services steeped in the Anglo-Catholic tradition for over 100 years.
St. James began in August 1848. With land donated by The Pennsylvania Coal Company, the cornerstone of the first church was laid on June 24, 1858. In 1904 the property on Water Street was sold and a new lot purchased on Charles Street, where a new church was built on land undermined by the coal companies.
Once again St. James had to find a new home. Through the love and friendship of Calvary Church, a new home was made. On April 21, 1974, The Rt. Rev. Lloyed Gressle with the rector of St. James, the Rev. James Stevenson led the parishioners of St. James to a new beginning with Calvary Church, Wilkes-Barre, sharing their lives and worship together under one roof.
Calvary church was erected in 1894, but began its ministry as Sunday school around 1850. In 1871 a new church building was built on ground given by Judge John N. Conyngham. A few years later F.M. Kirby, one of the church school teachers saw the need for a parish house and as a result Calvary house was erected adjacent to the church. The original stone and slate church was built at a cost of $15,000. The first service was conducted by The Rev. Walter DeForest Johnson on September 9,1894.
During the intervening years both parishes, grew in friendship and love and in September 1980, St. James and Calvary became Holy Cross Parish. Since 1980 to the present many wonderful things have happened. The church building over 100 years old needed to be refurbished. In 1985 plans were formulated to begin refurbishing the church from stem to stem, including its stained glass windows which had deteriorated with the passing of time. Through the unique talent and abilities of the members of the parish new windows were design, built and installed by them. We rejoice in the new ministries which sprang forth from this joint venture.
Holy Cross is now in existence thirty-three (33) years, we are truly thankful that God is guiding us and with glad hearts we enter still another era of deepening our spiritual growth through our Angelo-Catholic worship, prayer, church school and community outreach knowing that God is with us leading us in our journey through this, our earthly life. Together we prepare for the future sharing the love and joy of our Lord, as we seek to know Christ and to make Him known.