Our Story

Chuck Smith
Original Founder & Pastor of Calvary Chapel
Charley Johnson
Founder & Pastor
Chris Funk
Current Head Pastor

History of Calvary Chapel

established 1965

In 1965, Pastor Chuck Smith began his ministry at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa with just 25 people. 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 drew 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 movement of the Holy Spirit that spread from the West Coast to the East Coast, and now, throughout the world. What began as a small local church has now grown into an international ministry of over 1,800 fellowships throughout the world.

Calvary Chapel Apache Junction

established 1987

Calvary Chapel Apache Junction began  when Pastor Charley Johnson felt the call to plant a church in Mesa,  Arizona. After teaching home bible studies and temporarily leading a church plant in Tucson, he was ordained in January 1987 by Pastor John Higgins. With Higgins' blessing and support, Pastor Charley and his wife began a small fellowship out of a Motel 6 in the valley along with a few other families. The ministry swelled and eventually moved into a building off of Recker and University where Charley was able to begin teaching and pastoring full time with Lonnie McKellips serving as the assistant pastor. Lonnie served alongside Charley for several years until  he was called to the flock at Calvary Chapel Cottonwood in 2003.  During this time the church location moved several times meeting in an old theater, member's homes and even a charter school. The church finally found its permanent home when it moved to Apache Junction in 2007. Our current pastor, Chris Funk, came in as assistant pastor the same year, getting ordained in 2008 eventually taking over after Charley's retirement in 2020.

In Spring of 2022,  Pastor Chris was called to attend to the physical state of our church and  construction on our current church property began. As this construction nears completion, our church body is temporarily meeting in Avalon Elementary just down the road from our property. Many thanks to the school administrators and staff members who made the relocation possible. We are excited to see how God uses both Avalon and our future buildings to minister to those in Apache Junction and surrounding areas!

Since day one, Calvary Chapel Apache Junction has continued to keep its emphasis on the Word of God, teaching chapter by chapter and verse by verse.  Over the years, our church has ministered to those around it through home Bible Studies, park outreaches, Harvest Festivals, retreats,  Vacation Bible Schools and even a church plant in nearby Superior. Our mission has always been, and continues to be, spreading the Word of God as Jesus commanded us in Matthew 28.  We've seen babies born, children get married, and beloved members of our body go on to be with the Lord. We are a small, tight knit body that  feels like home to our members and we hope our visitors feel that same warmth and love that only a body founded in Christ possesses.