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CC History

History of Calvary Chapel

Come see what the Lord has done!

Calvary Chapel

Calvary Chapel was a small Christian church in Costa Mesa, California, USA. In the 60’s the church faced the decision to continue or not existing, since the pastor had retired. It was when they contacted Chuck Smith to offer him the position of pastor.

Pastor Chuck

Chuck had been serving for a long time in a denominational church and felt in his heart that God was asking him to take this step, because God had something bigger in mind than the restrictive view that denominational thinking allowed. And that’s when he accept being the pastor of the Christian church called “Calvary Chapel” in Costa Mesa, with 25 members.


the Hippie movement had reached its climax and a whole generation of young people had drifted into a psychedelic world of sex, drugs and mysticism from the Far East. Chuck’s wife, Kay, was the first of the two who had the heart to catch up with the hippies. Then they began to pray to be able to reach them.

The First Contact

was made by his children. Many were born again and soon their house was full; They were baptized in their pool. God had begun his work. A short time later, the youths became large groups. They turned their backs on their empty lives, looking towards the next kick or hope in meditation, and found new hope in God.

Then On The Beach

Chuck baptized hundreds of hippies, and the small building was replaced by a large tent to accommodate all the hippies who left their VW buses at each event because they wanted to hear the word of God.

It Was In 1965

when Pastor Chuck Smith began his ministry at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa with only twenty-five people. At a pivotal moment in history, Pastor Chuck welcomed everyone, young and old, without judgment, to the local church. With sincere concern for the lost, Pastor Chuck and Kay Smith made room in the church and home for a generation of hippies and sufferers, serving in the midst of a powerful movement of the Holy Spirit that stretched from the west coast to the east coast and around the world.

It Has Been Estimated

that in the mid-70s, in a period of two years, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa had made more than eight thousand baptisms. During that same period, we were instrumental in the conversion to the Christian Faith of 20,000 people.

At The Beginning

of the 21st century, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa is home to some 30,000 believers. “The Word for Today” publishes biblical study books and various messages and materials around the world.

The Fundamental Emphasis

of Calvary Chapel was the clear teaching of the Word of God. In 1975 this led to the establishment of a Bible University in Murrieta, California. Today, the university also has at least 50 affiliated campuses around the world. In the same way, the movement of the church has spread throughout the world: There are more than 1700 churches of Calvary Chapel (Chapel of Calvary) that extend to all continents.

Pastor Chuck

had been the pastor of Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa for almost 50 years and in Christian ministry for some 65 years. He was 86 years old when he entered Glory. His impact on the Christian Church in the 20th century was like few others. Directly and indirectly: Because of its size and influence, many Christians have asked exactly what Calvary Chapel believes in, what its distinctive features are and what distinguishes it from other Christian groups. We have always hesitated to answer those questions, not because we are not sure of our beliefs, but because we are cautious to avoid division within the Body of Christ. After all, what really matters is what we have in common as Christians: the “essential” doctrines of the infallibility of the Word of God, the virgin birth of Christ, His life without sin, His death for our sins, His resurrection body, His ascension to glory, and His personal return to rule the earth. These are the essences of Christianity and agreed by practically all born-again believers.