About Calvary Chapel

CityLight Hamburg is a part of the Calvary Chapel worldwide family. In Germany there are currently 22 Calvary Chapels churches. 

What “Calvary Chapel” means

“Calvary” comes from the Latin word “calvariae”, hebrew “golgota”, meaning “skull”. In English it is the common expression for Golgotha, the place where Jesus was crucified.

“Chapel” is also an English term and comes from “capella”, which means “assembly room”.


As with Creation, every great work begins with Him. So it was in the sixties. God looked down on a lost generation of hippies and had compassion. As in the past, God chose a man with a simple faith in a great God.

Calvary Chapel was a small Christian community in Costa Mesa, California. In the 1960s it was faced with the decision whether to continue or not as the pastor retired. They contacted Chuck Smith with the question of whether he wanted to take over the position of the pastor.

Chuck had been working for a long time in another denomination and felt that God was asking him to take this step. For years he had the feeling that God had something larger in mind than the restrictive view that denominational thinking permitted. And so he took over the Christian church “Calvary Chapel” in Costa Mesa, with 25 members.

In the meantime, the hippie movement had reached its climax and a whole generation of young people had strayed to a psychedelic world of sex, drugs, and far-eastern mysticism. Chuck’s wife, Kay, was the first of the two who had a heart for reaching the hippies. So they began to pray to God that they could reach them.

The first contact resulted from their children. Soon their house was full of hippies and they baptized in their pool. God had begun his work. A short time later, young people turned into masses. They turned their backs on their empty lives, looking to the next kick or hope in meditation, and found a new hope in God. Down at the beach, Chuck baptized hundreds of hippies, and the small building was replaced by a large tent to accommodate all the hippies who climbed out of their VW buses at every event because they wanted to hear God’s word.

Today Calvary Chapel has communities throughout North America as well as in Europe and is still determined to preach the Word of God.

We know that for Jesus jobs or positions are not important. He looks at the heart of the person. Therefore, for us, God’s truth and love exist, whether long hair or short hair, shoes or no shoes, doctors or mechanics. Everyone is always welcome with us.

Zechariah 4:6: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.” A simple faith in the Lord is enough. God used and still uses the fact that Calvary Chapel has nothing to boast of. Many pastors are former drug addicts and are happy that they are still alive, not to mention that they are pastors of a church.

We see that God’s Word is alive and powerful. We believe that God’s Word does God’s work through verses-by-verse teaching from pastors.

A balanced theology. We believe that when the whole Word of God is taught (Genesis to Revelation) many controversies about the spiritual gifts and other theological standpoints disappear by themselves.

These are the facts. We are not the only Christian community or the best in many areas, but point is that Jesus loves you and died for you and your sins. You must accept this and repent … today! We would be glad to help you in whatever way. But do not forget: It is not about us … it is about Him!