Our history

Calvary Chapel of Dayton is affiliated with the Calvary Chapel movement, centered in Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, California.

The Calvary Chapel movement began in 1965 when Pastor Chuck Smith, who had already spent 17 years in ministry, became the pastor of a small church in Costa Mesa, California which called itself Calvary Chapel. While serving there, he began using a simple, direct style of teaching, working line-by-line through the Bible from beginning to end. God blessed his ministry, and within two years the fellowship’s original group of 25 had outgrown their building.

About this 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. This outreach sparked what has become known as the “Jesus Movement,” in which God miraculously and powerfully transformed the lives of many young people.

Today, the Calvary Chapel movement has grown to include over a thousand churches around the world. These churches are independent ministries, unconnected by any official network, and some do not even bear the name of Calvary Chapel. However, they are all connected by the fellowship and like-mindedness of the men who serve as their senior pastors and by particular ministry distinctives, including an emphasis on the clear teaching of the Word of God.

Calvary Chapel is not a denomination. It is not opposed to denominations as such, only their over-emphasis of doctrinal differences that have led to the division of the body of Christ. Our purpose at Calvary Chapel of Dayton is to build up believers and to see them used by God wherever He might lead.