Calvary Episcopal Church is located within the Glenn Springs community of Spartanburg County. The village was once a resort town, formed when John B. Glenn built an inn on his land around 1827. On Glenn’s land sat a mineral spring, said to possess healing properties. The spring and inn were promoted by Glenn and attracted visitors from around the Southeast; soon the area became a popular destination. Subsequently Glenn Springs, as the town came to be known, developed into a thriving community complete with churches, residences, a grand hotel, and a store. Calvary Episcopal Church, founded in 1848, was one such church, and its first edifice was erected in the resort village in 1850.
The original Calvary Episcopal Church church was a simple frame building located by the churchyard, about a half mile from this site. It was replaced by this Carpenter Gothic-style edifice in 1897. The present church building’s design is attributed to the Reverend John D. McCullough, the first rector of the congregation.
Glenn Springs’s status as a fashionable retreat fell after a hotel fire in 1941, and the town’s popularity further declined when the new interstate altered previous traffic patterns, resulting in fewer visitors. Fortunately, Calvary Episcopal Church continues to play an active role in this historic community.
Calvary Episcopal Church is listed in the National Register as part of the Glenn Springs Historic District:
Glenn Springs Historic District is located in the community of Glenn Springs, which is situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The history of the community focuses around the reputation of the mineral springs for their medicinal value and the related development of a popular resort hotel. The district contains nineteen properties, including several residences, two boarding houses, the ruins of a residence, two churches, a store, a post office, a pavilion, a cemetery, and the site of the Glenn Springs Hotel. Historically, the district represents the nineteenth and early twentieth century (ca. 1840-ca. 1940) development of Glenn Springs as a health resort and the community that grew up around it. Several buildings in the district are of local architectural significance as well, representing various vernacular and high styles of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries such as Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, Queen Anne, and Bungalow.