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Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa is a Christian church located near the boundary between the cities of Costa Mesa and Santa Ana in Orange County. Its postal address is read Santa Ana. It is the original Calvary Chapel from the "tent days" and was founded in 1965 by Chuck Smith, who is still the senior pastor of the church. Outreach Magazine's list of the 100 Largest Churches in America lists attendance as 9,500, making it the thirty-ninth largest in America.

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History

Chuck Smith started pastoring at Calvary Chapel in 1965 with a congregation of only twenty-five. Smith's style was to preach straight through the bible, mostly without deviation. In 1968 Smith, who was looking for a way to bring Christ to the current generation of hippies and surfers invited Lonnie and Connie Frisbee to work along side John and Jackie Higgins to work with the hippies in the area at "The House of Miracles". Within a week it had 35 new converts.[1] Lonnie's charismatic, Pentecostal style caused some disagreement within the church since he seemed focused more on gaining converts and experiencing the presence of the Holy Spirit than on teaching newer converts Biblical doctrine.[2] This was the breakthrough that brought thousands of young people living in in Southern California, and beyond, to Jesus Christ. This was part of what was later coined the Jesus movement. This stirring of the Holy Spirit spread from California coast throughout the state in the early part of the 1970s, then though the US, and beyond.

As of 2009, there are more than 1500 Calvary Chapel congregations worldwide. Pastor Chuck has subsequently started other ministries including a record label: Maranatha! Music; and a publishing/radio broadcasting ministry; The Word for Today.

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