History of Calvary Chapel

Calvary Chapel

a venture in faith

The roots of Calvary Chapel can be found in Costa Mesa, California. A non-denominational Christian church, Calvary Chapel was founded by Pastor Chuck Smith in 1965. It has been estimated that over 8,000 baptisms were performed in a two year period at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa in the mid 70’s. During that same period, Pastor Chuck Smith and his church were instrumental in bringing 20,000 conversions to the Christian faith. Chuck Smith has come to be known as a leading figure in what is today called “The Jesus Movement.”
In 1965, Pastor Chuck Smith began his ministry at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa with just 25 people. 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 drew 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, and now, throughout the world. What began as a small local church has now grown into an international ministry of over 1,800 fellowships throughout the world.

Here in our website, we invite you to find out more about who we are today, what we believe, where we are throughout the world; and we invite you to join us as we meet and worship our wonderful Lord and Savior, study His Word, fellowship together, grow in His grace, and desire to make disciples and go into all the world.

For a more in-depth look at the history of Calvary Chapel, we recommend reading The Reproducers. You can download a free digital copy as a PDF. Courtesy of Calvary Chapel Association.