“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work…will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
Pastor Chuck Smith started Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa in 1965, and since then more than 1,500 fellowships have been established around the world. In South America, Calvary Chapel has a presence in the following countries: Colombia, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil and Argentina. The movement is now being introduced in Uruguay, although there is no official presence yet in Venezuela, Bolivia, Paraguay, Suriname and Guyana.
This is a brief account of the stories of the Calvary Chapels presented in chronological order that they were established. We currently have over 50 established churches throughout South America.
The first missionary effort in reaching South America came from "Calvary Chapel West Covina" (now “Calvary Chapel Golden Springs”) in 1972. The wife of Pastor Raul Ries, Sharon, had lived her childhood in the Colombian plains, where her parents, Edmund and Naomi Farrel, had been missionaries thirty years earlier since 1942.
In 1972, a work began to reconstruct the mission. In early 1980, Pastor Edmund Farrel and his wife Naomi returned to Colombia with Calvary Chapel and opened free English classes, music, and youth-oriented Bible studies. This group became known as "Calvary Chapel" based in the city of Villavicencio, Colombia.
In 1981, while a university student, God called Hector Martinez to teach his word. He attended Bible school in West Covina. In 1985, he took over the first church of Calvary Chapel in South America for 20 years. In 1992, the educational program at “El Secreto” commenced under his supervision.
Currently there are about 14 churches spread throughout the Colombian Republic: Meta, Casanare, Bogota, Boyacá, Cauca, Tolima and Valle and there are four Bible studies in the process of affiliation.
Calvary Chapel Colombia hosts its national pastors conference in November each year. Other anual events include the cycling classic, seminars to upgrade ministerial skills, and missions in different parts of Colombia. God has blessed our nation with the visionary leadership of Pastor Raul Ries, the missionary love of his wife, Sharon, and the wonderful teachings that they have given us.
If you want any information regarding the work of Calvary Chapel in Colombia, please contact Pastor Hector Martinez: Hectorm@calvarygs.org
Pastor Raul and Sharon Ries at the entrance of CCBC El Secreto at Villavicencio
Pastor Valentin (CCA South America Regional Team) and Arq. Jorge Rodriguez
The Calvary Chapel cycling classic at Villavicencio
Calvary Chapel came to Chile in the years 1985-1986 when the country was living under the military dictatorship and the evangelical church was steeped in religion, tradition and legalism. The “Calvary Chapel Style” of teaching and music attracted hundreds of young people and adults. God used a radio show on a secular station and a Christian Rock festival called 'Exit' to kick start planting of the church in the city of Santiago.
At the same time churches began in Valparaiso, Viña del Mar, Longotoma La Ligua, all in the ‘V region’ of Chile. Then Bible studies began in the north: Iquique and Arica, which are now churches. In the South, Bible studies began in Temuco and Puerto Montt, which also are churches. Today we have in "Santiago" three churches and a Bible College. In total there are ten Calvary Chapels throughout Chile, and pray to the Lord to continue expanding its work throughout the country.
Once a year we have our pastors conference with Pastor Raul Ries and other pastors that come with him from the US and we have a ladies conference with Sharon Ries of Calvary Chapel Golden Springs, every Year.
We currently have a web page for all the Calvary Chapel churches in Chile. You will find there any information you need regarding our ministry in Chile: www.calvarychapel.cl
PASTORS CONFERENCE 1996, VIÑA DEL MAR
PASTORS CONFERENCE 2015, SANTIAGO
Invitation to the Exit, Rock Festival (late eighties) Santiago
In 1987 Pastor Jeff Johnson from "Calvary Chapel Downey", CA, came to Peru to do a youth outreach at the National Stadium in Lima. Three years later Calvary Chapel of the Verde Valley from Cottonwood, AZ, came with a missionary team to Lima, they met Lucho Garcia and explained to him about the Calvary Chapel movement.
Lucho studied at the "Calvary Chapel Bible College" Twin Peaks, CA, in 1993-1994. Returning to Peru he began a Bible study in Lima on November 1994 and the first Sunday church service was in March 1995 (It has continued for 20 years). That study gave birth to Grace Calvary Chapel, which is the longest running Calvary Chapel church in Peru.
God brought US missionaries who began Bible studies that are now churches. Currently we have 15 affiliated churches and eight Bible studies in the process of affiliation. We have churches in twelve districts of Lima and churches widespread throughout the country in the departments of Arequipa, Cuzco, Pucallpa, Loreto, Cajamarca and Ica. The following different CC churches have helped us plant churches: CC Miami Beach, FL; CC Golden Springs, CA; CC Melbourne, FL; CC Downey, CA; CC Fort Lauderdale, FL; CC San Diego, CA; CC Coastlands, TX, and more.
We also have an English speaking church in San Miguel, Lima. An excellent Bible College, located in the beautiful city of Cajamarca in the highlands of the Andes. An orphanage of Calvary Chapel in the city of Chaclacayo called: “El Amparo” (The Shelter) Children Cottage, a prison ministry and Jeremiah House ministry.
The main events of Calvary Chapel Peru are Pastors and leaders conferences, Women conferences, youth outreaches, missions and evangelism
If you want any information regarding the work of Calvary Chapel in Peru, please contact Pastor Lucho Garcia at the following email: email@example.com
Peruvian Pastors February 2015
First Church of CC in Peru since 1995
Children from the orphanage of Calvary Chapel in Peru
The first Bible study started in December 1999 / January 2000. The church began in the house of missionary’s, Kevin and Diane O’Neil in the city of Cuenca. From the start the church was called, Calvary Chapel of Cuenca.
There are currently three Calvary Chapels in Ecuador, one in Cuenca, another in “Gualaceo” forty-five minutes from Cuenca and another in “La Troncal” two and a half hour form Cuenca. These works are the fruit of the church of Cuenca. We have two Bible studies in “Azogues” and “Cañar” that we hope could be future churches in their areas.
The main yearly events of CC Ecuador are outreaches for children and conferences for youth and for women. The purpose of these events is to reach out and evangelize the lost. In our main church in Cuenca, we have two Sunday morning services. The first at 9 am is for English speakers and our second service at 11 am is for Spanish speakers.
If you want any information regarding the work of Calvary Chapel in Ecuador, please visit our webpage: www.calvarychapel.ec/Inicio/, or send us an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Calvary Chapel Cuenca
Calvary Chapel Cuenca
The first Calvary Chapel Bible study in Brazil started in the year 2000. The church began in the house of Tim Rogers in the city of Sao Vicente. From the start the church was called, Calvary Chapel of Sao Vicente.
Currently Brazil has eight affiliated Calvary Chapels churches and one more in process of affiliation. All of them are in the Southern part of Brazil, in the cities of: Campo Mourao, Curitiba and Sao Lorenzo, Foz do Iguazu in Paraná; Rio do Janeiro; Porto Alegre in Rio Grande do Sul; Florianapolis in Santa Catarina; Sao Vicente and Guarulhos in Sao Paulo. We also have Bible studies in Londrina (Paraná), Sao Jose do Rio Preto (Sao Paulo) and Fortaleza (Ceara), that we hope could be future churches in their areas.
The main events of CC Brazil in the year are: Pastors and Leader Fellowship.
If you want any information regarding the work of Calvary Chapel in Brazil, please contact John Hwang at the following email: email@example.com
Calvary Chapel Retreat at Campo Mourao
The first Calvary Chapel Bible study in Argentina started in 2008. The church began in the house of Leo Gimenez in the city of Maipu, Mendoza. From the beginning the church has been called, Calvary Chapel La Vid (The Vine).
We currently have one Calvary Chapel affiliated church in Argentina. We also have a Bible study in Cañuelas, Buenos Aires. Our hope is that it will grow and become a church.
The main events of CC Argentina in the year are: The Pastors and Leaders Conference at the end of March every year.
If you want any information regarding the work of Calvary Chapel in Argentina, please contact Leo Gimenez at the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the web page: www.calvarychapelargentina.com
Exterior of Calvary Chapel La Vid in Mendoza
Mendoza Argentina – The Gimenez Family
Presently, there are no official Calvary Chapels in Uruguay, but two years ago Sergio Perelli, along with his wife Silvia, and his youngest son Giovanni moved from Chino Hills, California to Uruguay’s capital city, Montevideo, with the vision of preparing the way of the Lord and making straight a highway in the desert for God (Isaiah 40:3).
Located between Brazil and Argentina, Uruguay is the second smallest nation in South America (68,000 square miles) and has an estimated population of 3,300,000. Statistics show that Uruguay is the most agnostic and secular country in the Americas, where Church and State are officially separated, and less than 9% are considered evangelical Christians. This percentage, however, includes sects like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), and others.
During 2013 and 2014, God opened the door for Sergio to teach three semesters of discipleship and biblical counseling as well as the Book of Acts at the Assemblies of God Bible College and The Global University.
In February of 2015, Sergio started the Methods of Biblical Study course with an emphasis on inductive Bible study at the central church of the Camino de Gracia organization in downtown Montevideo. Fifty adults are currently taking the class, including the senior pastor and his wife, and four other pastors and leadership members from churches within the organization.
For the first time in Uruguay’s history, a representative from Calvary Chapel is teaching other pastors the importance of teaching the Bible book by book, chapter by chapter, and verse by verse, a distinctive cornerstone of our movement and philosophy of ministry.
Sergio and Silvia are very grateful to God for the visits they have received in the past from Pastors Phil Twente, Dave Eason, John Chubik, Sergio López and Jaime Siman, and pray that other pastors from the Calvary Chapel family will not only be praying for their missionary work but will plan a visit to Uruguay in the near future.
If you want any information regarding the work of Calvary Chapel in Uruguay, please contact Pastor Sergio Perelli at: email@example.com
Sergio Perelli teaching at the School of Ministry
Methods of Bible Study (Camino de Gracia Church, Montevideo)
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord”
(1 Cor 15:58)