In 1965, Pastor Chuck Smith began his ministry at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. 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 revival known as "The Jesus Movement" during the 70's. This movement of the Holy Spirit has spread from the West Coast to the East Coast, bringing thousands of young people to Jesus Christ.
As these young people matured so did their passion to go out and share the gospel of salvation. As a result, these young men became became teachers, pastors, and evangelists. It wasn't long before Calvary Chapels were established in other cities, then throughout the United States, and now worldwide. These churches were modeled after Chuck Smith's church. While Smith approved them and set the basic theology, he had no interested in starting a new denomination. Pastor Chuck knew that this movement of churches was the work of the Holy Spirit not his own work or planning. As a result, there is no desire to establish governing entities for these group of churches but rather a submission to the Holy Spirit and following the distinct movements of the Holy Spirit. These distinctives have been the common thread among all Calvary Chapel churches. Please see below for more information about these distinctives.
On October 3rd, 2013, Pastor Chuck went home to be with Christ Jesus! The ministry that God called Pastor Chuck to begin in 1965 continues strong today by the power of the Holy Spirit. Although Pastor Chuck is no longer with us, his resources and teachings are still available as well as his belief that Calvary Chapel should and always be a movement by the Holy Spirit and not man.