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Calvary Chapel History

Page history last edited by MrTundraMan 7 years, 6 months ago

Calvary Chapel History


Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa

Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa (CCCM) went from 25 people in 1965 to tens of thousands and spawned an entire movement. Calvary's version of the story of how is here.


Chuck Smith claims a word of prophecy about how he would start Calvary Chapel:


So we came down to Costa Mesa and started pastoring Calvary Chapel in Dec. of 1965. Two years prior to our coming to Calvary Chapel the Holy Spirit spoke to me. He said that He would make me a shepherd over many flocks. He would bless and enlarge the ministry, and the place where we gathered wouldn't be adequate to handle all the people. The Lord gave me a spiritual name. He said that it means “shepherd” because “I am making you a shepherd of many flocks.” We put these things away in our hearts, not really understanding. Link


Why did Calvary Chapel actually grow so fast?

How did Calvary Chapel go from a flat growth for the first ten years to such a phenomenal growth rate later? Surprise, it wasn't Chuck Smith that caused that. The untold story of the early days is that of Lonnie Frisbee.


Vineyard Split

In 1982 John Wimber, Calvary of Yorba Linda split to become Anaheim Vineyard. Legend has it that the split was so acrimonious that Smith himself came and took down the Calvary Chapel sign at Calvary of Yorba Linda. Seems unlikely since CCYL met at Canyon High School in Anaheim Hills at the time. Calvary Chapel kicked out Wimber for the same reason that they tossed out Lonnie Frisbee - the charismatic gifts.


Published Histories

Calvary Chapel has a published history. It's in the book "Harvest". The history in "Harvest" is a hagiography.


There is also a history of Calvary Chapel from 1981.


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