About Calvary Chapel

Calvary Chapel began in the late 1960’s in one small, non-denominational church. Pastor Chuck Smith, who’d spent 17 years in churches throughout California and Arizona, became the pastor of a church in Costa Mesa which called itself “Calvary Chapel”. Through his many years of pastoring, Pastor Chuck became convinced that a new approach to ministry was needed. Rather than preaching an evangelistic message every Sunday, he began to teach line-by-line through the Word of God, starting in Genesis and working his way through to Revelation.

Within two years, the small church in Costa Mesa had grown so dramatically that there was no longer room in the church to hold all the members. Around the same time Pastor Chuck’s wife, Kay, began to feel that they needed to reach out to the “hippies” of that era. They eventually made the decision to open their home and their church to these young people, teaching the revelation of God’s love for them through the sacrificial death of His Son, Jesus. Pastor Chuck became the founder of what was known as the “Jesus Movement” witnessing God’s miraculous power as the Lord dramatically transformed the lives of these young people. The Calvary Chapel saga had begun.

Today the church, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, California, is listed among the world’s twenty largest churches with more than thirty-five thousand calling it their home church. It is one of the ten largest Protestant churches in California. From this first Calvary Chapel many men were raised up who went out to plant new Calvary Chapel churches. These in turn also raised up new pastors and church planters so that today there are over one thousand Calvary Chapels around the United States and the world.

For a more detailed history of Calvary Chapel, please read the “History Of Calvary Chapel.”

For more information about Calvary Chapel’s philosophy of ministry, read, “The Philosophy of Ministry of Calvary Chapel” by Chuck Smith.