Our Story

How it all started...

In the late 1960s, the first Calvary Chapel was started in Costa Mesa, California, as a small non-denominational church of 25 members, pastored by Chuck Smith. The Lord blessed that small group, and now Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa is home to some 30,000 believers.

From the beginning, Calvary Chapel has been focused on leading people to Christ and discipling them so that they can go out into the world and lead others. The Lord has blessed this commitment, and Calvary Chapel has grown to 850 churches in North America and almost 200 churches in South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. We truly take to heart our Lord’s command in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Part of Calvary Chapel’s discipling ministry is “The Word for Today,” which publishes Bible study books and tapes all over the world; KWVE, which broadcasts God’s Word to all of Southern California; and Calvary Chapel’s Bible College, which provides Bible education to thousands at its home campus in Twin Peaks, California, and more than 20 extension campuses worldwide.
Because of its size and influence, many Christians have asked exactly what Calvary Chapel believes and what makes us distinct. At Calvary Chapel, we have always been hesitant to answer those questions, not because we are unsure 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 God’s Word; the virgin birth of Christ; Christ’s sinless life, death for our sins, and bodily resurrection; Christ’s ascension to glory; and His personal return to rule over the earth. This is the essence of Christianity and agreed upon by all born-again believers.

When Christians move away from these foundational doctrines to those that are less essential, there is always a risk of setting barriers up in the church, something we at Calvary Chapel have no desire to do.

It is not our purpose to cause division or discord in the body of Christ; rather, we long for unity among all of God’s people, and we allow for a great deal of flexibility even within our own church.

Expanding the vision...

We believe it is the aim, duty, and privilege of every believer and local church fellowship to glorify God by responding as active participants in the Great Commission call of Jesus Christ to go and make disciples of all nations. We are not to be just church-goers, but witnesses for Christ (Mark 16:15; 2 Corinthians 5:20).

Things to Come

We believe in and expectantly await the glorious, visible, personal, premillennial return of the Lord Jesus Christ. The blessed hope of His return has vital bearing on the personal life, service, and mission of the believer (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). We believe in the bodily resurrection of both the saved and the lost. The lost will be raised to judgment and experience eternal wrath in hell. The saved will be raised to eternal joy in the new heaven and new earth in the manifested presence of God (Acts 1:3, 9; Hebrews 7:25-26).

Be a part of our story...

Join us every Sunday as we gather to worship together a 9:00 am and 11 am.