As Memphis’ oldest public building in continuous use, Calvary can proudly claim special status in the city and in the faith community. While much around our sanctuary has changed for better and for worse, Calvary has always prospered. Our membership is strong, important outreach to the city is an integral part of our culture and work has begun to renovate Calvary’s new property on Jefferson. There are positive things in the larger neighborhood too. The Napoleon Hotel with its delightful Luna Restaurant has opened at Madison and 3rd, several more hotels are in the planning stages and River Dogs Day Care has opened on Court. But there are still large empty buildings and too many structures with boarded up windows. Perhaps it is time to look around and envision ways to deepen our connection to and awareness of downtown and to our neighbors to make things even better.
On October 23, 2016, a group representing congregations, property owners, residents, businesses, the diocese and community development leaders participated in a walking tour to see all of this with a conversation afterward to talk about it. The goal was awareness and the focus area was between Main, Court, Fourth, and Washington - a part of town that really has not had an advocate. The information you see here describes some of the things that we learned and some things that have happened as a result of the walking tour.