History of Calvary Chapel

Calvary Chapel began in the late 1960's as one small, non-denominational church.  Pastor Chuck Smith, who had spent 17 years in churches throughout California and Arizona, became the pastor of a church in Costa Mesa, California which called itself Calvary Chapel.  Through his many years of pastoring, Pastor Chuck became convinced that a new approach to ministry was needed.

Rather than preaching a "topical" message every Sunday, he began to teach line-by-line through the Word of God, starting at Genesis (the first book in the Old Testament) and working his way through to Revelation (the last book in the New Testament).  Within two years, the small church in Costa Mesa had grown so dramatically that there was no longer room in the church to hold all the people.

At about the same time, Pastor Chuck's wife Kay began to feel that they needed to reach out to the "hippies" of that era.  They eventually made the decision to open their home and their church to these young people, teaching the revelation of God's love for them through the sacrificial death of His Son, Jesus. Pastor Chuck became the founder of what was known as the "Jesus Movement," witnessing God's miraculous power as the Lord dramatically transformed the lives of these young people.  The Calvary Chapel saga had begun.

Today, Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa is home to some 30,000 believers.  The Word for Today (Pastor Chuck's radio ministry) is heard throughout the United States and publishes study books and tapes which are distributed throughout the world.  KWAVE, Calvary Chapel's radio station, broadcasts God's Word to all of Southern California.  Calvary Chapel Bible College provides Biblically-based education to thousands at its home campus in Murietta, California and to over 20 extension campuses worldwide. God has truly done a mighty work!


History of Calvary Chapel Eastside

In the summer of 1975, Wayne Taylor, pastor of Calvary Fellowship, Mountlake Terrace (Seattle), began a Bible study in the Somerset (Bellevue) home of Carmen Bueno. 

In the early 80's, Lorne Gunther became the pastor of this fledgling group and faithfully taught them God's Word until 1996. During that time CCE grew to about 200 strong and began looking for some property upon which to build a gathering place. A beautiful site was selected in the Lakemont District. As 1996 came to a close, Robert Case was installed as senior pastor and that which was begun in faith and love has continued to prosper under God's gracious hand.