A Brief History of Calvary Chapel
In 1965, Pastor Chuck Smith began his ministry at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa in Southern California. Only twenty-five people attended. What began as a small chapel has now grown into a church that seats over 2000 and is filled almost nightly. From the beginning, Pastor Chuck welcomed all, young and old, without judgment, placing his emphasis on the teaching of the Word of God. His simple, yet sound, biblical approach draws 25,000 people weekly.
With a sincere concern for the lost, Pastor Chuck made room in his heart and his home for a generation of hippies and surfers; generating a movement of the Holy Spirit that spread from the West Coast to the East Coast, bringing thousands of young people to Jesus Christ. Included among this generation of new believers were Greg Laurie, Mike MacIntosh, Raul Ries, Jon Courson and Skip Heitzig, as well as hundreds of others who now have ministries of their own.
Each Calvary Chapel is autonomous; that is, there is no denominational hierarchy. Each fellowship is free to pursue that call which the Father has placed on it as the Spirit leads, so long as that fellowship remains within the parameters of what a Calvary Chapel is.
At Calvary Chapel:
✤ We Believe that the only true basis of Christian fellowship is God’s unconditional (agape) love, which is greater than any differences that we may possess and without which we have no right to claim ourselves Christians.
✤ We believe worship of God should be spiritual. Therefore: We remain flexible and yielded to the leading of the Holy Spirit to direct our worship.
✤ We believe worship of God should be inspirational. Therefore: We give a great place to music in our worship.
✤ We believe worship should be intelligent. Therefore: We place great emphasis on the teaching of the Word of God in our services so that He may instruct us as to how He should be worshipped.
✤ We believe worship of God is fruitful. Therefore: We look for His love in our lives as the supreme manifestation that we have truly been worshipping Him.
We welcome you to worship God with us!
- One of the hallmarks of the Calvary Chapel Churches is the simple and relevant verse by verse teaching of the Word of God.
- We await the pre-tribulation rapture of the church, when Jesus Christ comes for His church before the 7 year tribulation period when God’s wrath will come upon the earth. This motivates us to holy living, heartfelt worship, committed service, diligent study of God’s Word, regular fellowship, participation in adult baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper.
- We believe the spiritual gifts are active today and that the Bible clearly delineates that the spiritual gifts are for the edification of the body and that they are to be exercised in love. We believe that love is more important than the most spectacular gifts, and without love, all exercise of spiritual gifts is worthless.
- We believe in the Baptism with the Holy Spirit whereby the Believer is empowered by the Holy Spirit for ministry and to be His witness. We believe the Baptism with the Holy Spirit is different than Salvation where the Believer is indwelled by the Holy Spirit. The baptism with the Holy Spirit may happen subsequently to salvation or simultaneously.
- We believe in the laying on of hands for the sending out of pastors and missionaries, and in conjunction with the anointing of oil by the elders for the healing of the sick.
- We believe that Christ Jesus died for the sins of the whole world and that “whosoever” may come to Christ and be saved. We therefore disagree with the Calvinistic doctrine that teaches that Christ died only for the “elect” or those who are saved and that God chose some to be saved for eternity and some to be damned for eternity.
- We believe that God has a plan for the Nation of Israel (Romans 11) and we do not believe in what is called “replacement theology” where the church replaces Israel. While many of the promises in the Old Testament can be applied to the Christian and the Church, we believe that God has made certain unconditional promises to the Nation of Israel which shall be fulfilled and realized in the future.
- We believe in a literal future millennium (1000 years) when our Lord Jesus Christ will rule and reign as King of kings and Lord of lords, for a literal 1000 years, after He returns.
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