Dear Friends, we want to welcome you to the Calvary Chapel South Bay website. Whether you’ve been to our church many times in the past or if this is your first time, I urge you to take a moment to browse through our site. It will not only answer many of the questions you might have, but it will provide you with a good overview of our church — where we stand on certain fundamental issues relevant to Christianity, how our theological position becomes the practical application upon which we base our lives, what we believe our mission and our purpose to be, and where exactly you might fit in.
History of Calvary Chapel South Bay
Steve Mays, the Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel South Bay, came to the Lord in 1970 when he attended Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and became part of the revival that swept through Southern California during that period. Taken quite literally from the gutter by the miraculous workings of the Lord, he was brought up in the faith under the instruction of Pastor Chuck Smith, Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and the founder of the Calvary Chapel movement.
Within a few years after his conversion, Pastor Steve planted and started several house ministries, which helped individuals get off the streets, off drugs and into God’s Word. In 1978, Pastor Steve started and became the Senior Pastor of a new Calvary Chapel in the city of Cypress. By January of 1980, the Lord had led him to Calvary Chapel South Bay where he has been the Senior Pastor ever since.
Calvary Chapel South Bay had approximately 50 members when Pastor Steve first arrived. The original church, located only a mile away, started with a 6,000 square foot building and grew to a facility with 26,000 square feet. The church remained there until June of 1998 when it outgrew the facility and moved to its current location.
Today, Calvary Chapel South Bay has a weekly attendance of over 9,000 people that attend either the Sunday morning services or the Thursday night service, or both. The campus has four buildings compiling close to 140,000 square feet of building space on 8 acres of property. This includes a Bible College extension campus, a 4,000 square foot cafe and a bookstore, children’s ministry, teen ministry, a main sanctuary that seats over 2,000, and a separate Children’s Sanctuary that seats over 800. There are close to 40 ministries operating within Calvary Chapel South Bay that reach throughout South Bay and the greater Los Angeles area.
Pastor Steve Mays was the Regional Overseer and Pastoral Leader over Calvary Chapel Outreach Fellowship, which included over 900 Calvary Chapel ministries, both domestic and international from 1997–2005. He also collaborated with the CHP and developed the South Los Angeles CHP Chaplain program, in which Calvary Chapel Pastors assist the CHP in critical incidents, death notifications and debriefings. He was invited to speak in Nigeria at the Gideons International Convention in 2002 with Mr. Ken Speakman, sharing with businessmen the truth of God’s Word and the fundamentals of studying His Word. Pastor Steve was also invited to participate at Oxford University’s Round Table in London, England. The Oxford Round Table is a symposium for learned discussions of contemporary issues of significant consequence. Pastor Steve’s topic of discussion concerned the relevance of religion. He was also one of the guest speakers at the Pro Family Legislators Conference in Dallas, Texas, hosted by Wallbuilders in 2006. In January of 2008, he was invited to conduct a Bible Study at Prison Fellowship Ministries, the Pentagon, and at the White House, where he also attended a special breakfast gathering with President Bush.
Steve Mays has become a well-known conference speaker, commencement speaker, author, and has a national radio broadcast, “Light of the Word” which is heard on many radio stations throughout the country. Currently, Steve is the president/director of Calvary Chapel Bible College, Extension Campus located in South Bay. Steve is a graduate of Azusa Pacific University, holds a master’s degree in Theology and on Friday, July 27th, 2007 at APU, he was awarded the highest academic honor — an honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree, in recognition of his ministry at CCSB and for his leadership qualities in advancing the cause of Christ.
We can say without reservation, that the Lord has truly blessed us! As you enter the foyer of the church sanctuary and look up, you will see a sign painted, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”. This serves as a constant reminder to us that we are who we are today because of the Lord’s faithfulness. To God alone be the glory for the great things He has done!