The New Calvary Chapel: Chuck Smith announces in letter to pastors “the changes he has made” to Calvary Chapel (but I thought…err…he has no say in what goes on in the CC Movement)
We mentioned here that CCOF had “dissolved” and that big changes to Calvary Chapel were dead-ahead (pardon the pun or double entendre)…in the form of some sort of new denomination and new Board.
The picture has become very clear now, as Michael Newnham over at PhoenixPreacher.net has released this letter from Calvary Chapel’s Don McClure explaining the “New” Calvary Chapel System. Curiously enough, the opening confirms that Chuck Smith, unfortunately, is in fact fallible and can tell lies. In my presence with Dave Rolph, Janet Carter and my brother…Chuck said he had no responsibility or control over the Calvary Chapel Movement. In a recent radio interview where he and I discussed the Bob Grenier situation and Chuck’s inaction…he re-stated that he has “no responsibility for what goes on in the Movement” and was “only responsible for Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa”…and Chuck also stated such from the Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa pulpit where he issued a warning to me that God would vaporize me or give me cancer or something for touching His anointed.
Apparently Chuck Smith does have quite an influence and control over the Movement…SHOCKER!…as if that untruth wasn’t obvious.
Here’s the information in its entirety courtesy of PhoenixPreacher.net:
As you know, last week Pastor Chuck sent out an email to the Calvary Chapel affiliates throughout the world briefly explaining the changes he has made concerning the movement. This is a follow-up email to try to fill in some of the details. While there is still much to be worked out, the following is basically what has changed.
CCOF is being dissolved and a new plan has been established. Chuck has asked a group of men that have been with him for many years to take over the oversight of the movement. The name is “Calvary Chapel Association” or CCA. There will no longer be a central headquarters or anything like that. The leadership of the movement has been regionalized throughout the United States. Soon, we hope to get working on the rest of the world and set it up with regional leadership as the states, but that will take a little more time. The regions of the country are broken up mostly by state boundaries, with a few exceptions which will be cleared up on the new website. The names of the regions and states which they will cover are listed below. Each region has a leader of a team. The leader is listed and his team members are listed as well.
Northeast: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Washington DC
Leader – Joe Focht
Deep South: Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia
Leader – Sandy Adams
Leader – Malcolm Wild
Mid- West Great Lakes Area: Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin
Leader: Bill Goodrich
Central Region: Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas
Leader: Jim Stewart
Southwest: Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma
Leader – Skip Heitzig
Leader – Rick Coburn
Northwest/Alaska: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Alaska
Leader – Wayne Taylor
Central-West Region: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming
Leader: Tom Stipe
Leader – Bill Stonebraker
Leader – Damian Kyle
California: Santa Barbara/Ventura/San Fernando Valley
Leader: David Guzik
California: LA/Orange/San Bernardino Counties
Leader: Jeff Johnson
California: San Diego/Other southern counties
Leader – Mike MacIntosh
The team of pastors in the regions will essentially assume the role in the region that CCOF used to fulfill and much more. They will oversee affiliations and hopefully the process will return to church planting based on relationships. It will be their responsibility to see that the process becomes strong and personal and when someone comes into the family of churches they are well connected with their fellow ministries. They will also be places for anyone in their region to go to for most any reason that a person would contact a church. The website under construction right now is very user friendly with regional team members photos and a place to go for questions.
They will handle problem letters, calls and emails that now come into either Calvary of Costa Mesa or CCOF. Any of this will be immediately forwarded to the regional team and the matter can be handled locally with leaders who are there in the area. Hopefully this will be a help and blessing to all.
The regional teams will help oversee regional conferences that help bring the Calvary affiliates in the their areas closer together. It is Chuck’s desire that these men who have been with him for years will become looked to more and more to help guide, bless, encourage, inspire and give fresh vision to the movement.
As to the central office, yes, there will still be one of sorts, but, it is more of a clearinghouse and database for the movement. I (Don McClure) and Michelle Wright (a very capable secretary you may have spoken to in the past) Will be overseeing it. There is, however, a major change from the previous time we attempted the regional idea about 10 years ago. And that is that both Chuck Smith and I will not be having any authority over the decisions of the regional teams. Though we sit on the council of CCA, the true leadership is being handed over to the regions. My personal involvement is as an administrator/facilitator among the council members and handle planning and helping the regions all work together and oversee the home office. I will continue with my present ministry for the most part but, consider it a joy to help in this manner.
Chuck has asked the CCA council to take over the vision and leadership for the senior pastors annual conference and thus become the planning board for that. Those men are listed below:
Chuck Smith, Skip Heitzig, Rick Ryan, Mike MacIntosh, Raul Ries, Damian Kyle, Joe Focht, Bob Coy, Bob Caldwell, Jack Hibbs, Brian Brodersen, David Rosales, Malcolm Wild, Steve Mays, Jeff Johnson, Bill Stonebraker, Wayne Taylor, Greg Laurie, Tom Stipe, David Guzik, Ray Bentley, Lloyd Pulley, Sandy Adams and Don Mc Clure.
Chuck has also asked the CCA council to oversee the pastors wives annual conference as it is Kay’s desire as well. The board servicing the pastors wives conference is as follows. Leader: Sandy MacIntosh, Karyn Johnson, Cheryl Brodersen, Debbi Bryson Cathy Dickinson, June Hesterly, Laura Jackson, Cathe Laurie, Gail Mays, Sharon Ries, Marie Rosales, and Jean McClure
Hopefully this helps answer a few questions that are floating around.
I believe that as a group of ministries, we are all truly thankful for the foundation that both Chuck and Kay have laid for us and it is a great challenge to have them pass the movement on. I am sure I speak for all the council when I ask for your prayers and patience as we seek the Lord’s anointing and blessing on this new plan. Many have been praying for the Lord to show us the direction for the future and we believe He has. Personally I am very thankful to be a part of this family and to be surrounded by such a tremendous group of brothers and sisters. I am thrilled and blessed to see where He would lead us now. As for the moment, the old website is still functional and we can all be found there until things get freshened up.
Thank you all, in His love
Michael Newnham is convinced the whole thing will implode very quickly. Maybe, maybe not. If it does hold together, there are some things I like…and some concerns.
The things I like:
1. “They will handle problem letters, calls and emails that now come into either Calvary of Costa Mesa or CCOF. Any of this will be immediately forwarded to the regional team and the matter can be handled locally with leaders who are there in the area. Hopefully this will be a help and blessing to all.”
If this is true, and if “They will handle problem letters, call and emails” means they will help folks (non-member members) with problems with CC Senior Pastors etc…then good. Unfortunately, “They will handle problems…” probably means exactly what I experienced…it means, “We will help be a buffer between the CC Senior Pastor and the trouble-makers, gather as much information as the person will give us and help you prepare a defense against them”.
I hope the skeptical side of me isn’t right…but from my experience (and yours) it’s probably a shield for the CCSP rather than a “help” to you the non-member giving unit at Calvary Chapel. We’ll see.
I’m already preparing my “problem letter” to send to Damian Kyle regarding Bob Grenier….
2. I like that there are some good dudes on the list of Regional Cardinals…except Skip Heitzig (Long list of disqualifying issues and history of corruption) and Raul Ries (Long list of disqualifying issues, alleged adultery and corruption). I also like that guys like Bob Grenier and Lance Cook are not on that list. If Bob had made that list (and I bet Chuck thought about doing it just to tick me off)…I don’t want to speculate the outcome of my reaction
3. I like that there is a form of Shared Power and some sort of Ecclesiastical Structure and that there seems to be some good thought put into this New System.
4. I like that Chuck Smith DID exercise control and authority in making this happen…and not so he can be sued…but because it’s the right thing as the “Anointed Leader” of the Movement to do. If Chuck really is hearing from God in some special way with regards to the CC Movement…then by all means, take some responsibility and put some things in place to deal with issues that come up in the Movement…don’t leave folks high and dry who trust that Calvary Chapel has some of their best interests at heart.
1. Potential that it’s more of a business move in an attempt to limit liability for what are probably more Calvary Chapel Child Molestation Lawsuits.
2. Potential that the “they will handle problem letters” is “handle” in the sense of deflection and insulation of the CCSP and not a true “help” in a Matthew 18 style to try and bring reconciliation and correction to a situation at a local Calvary Chapel affiliate.
3. There is no mention of System-wide mandated rules to help protect children from molestation and child abuse to be an “official” Calvary Chapel affiliate. I hope this will be corrected soon. They need to require all affiliates to perform background checks on anyone who will be with kids under a Church capacity. They need to have a Zero Tolerance policy for accused and/or convicted child molesters and child abusers…and they need to black-ball any person found to have an issue with pedophile or child abuse from holding a Position of Trust in the Calvary Chapel System in the form of being a pastor or youth leader or youth volunteer etc.
I don’t have any faith that Calvary Chapel will do the right thing on their own. My hope is that the Trend in our Society and Legal System brought on by the Jerry Sandusky and Penn State example will scare CC into doing more of the right things…or face lawsuits, criminal prosecutions for not reporting etc. Unfortunately, “anointed” doesn’t necessarily equal moral and ethical and doing the right thing all the time…as exampled many times over by these fallible and human leaders.
It is still a disgrace that a guy like Bob Grenier of Calvary Chapel Visalia is an official Calvary Chapel affiliate despite all the evidence and pile of testimonies from so many witnesses to his wrongdoing. Chuck Smith took our interactions personally and he has listened to guys like David Rosales who are Bob’s BFF’s…rather than doing the right thing. God knows the truth…but that’s not good enough for me and many others. Something still needs to be done, since Bob won’t cop to sin and won’t repent and try to make it right.
Transparency and Information needs to be a priority in the New Calvary Chapel as well. Which Calvary Chapel affiliates perform background checks? Which have open finances?
As a CCSP said at the recent Calvary Chapel Senior Pastor’s Conference, “If you’ve got nothing to hide…you’ve got nothing to hide”. Amen.
Categories: Pastor Chuck Smith