History of Calvary Chapel
Calvary Chapel began in Costa Mesa, California in the late 1960’s as a single, non-denominational church of 25 members pastored by Chuck Smith. God began a great work among the youth of California at that time and thousands of people began coming to Christ, many through the ministry of Calvary Chapel. This revival spread across the United States and beyond and became known as “The Jesus Movement”. Today Calvary Chapel has grown into a movement of more than 1700 churches in over 60 countries, including some of the largest churches in America. Calvary Chapel also began Calvary Chapel Bible College with over 20 campuses worldwide.
History of Calvary Chapel in Ukraine
After the Soviet Union fell and Ukraine gained its independence in 1991, the doors to the Gospel opened wide and a number of missionaries from the West responded to the great spiritual need. Among these were George Markey and his family. George was pastoring a Calvary Chapel in a small city in Indiana when in 1992 he felt the call of God to move to Kiev, Ukraine and share the good news of Jesus. He planted the first Calvary Chapel in Ukraine, and God did an amazing work, bringing many to Jesus in that city and beyond. From the Kiev church other Calvary Chapels were planted in various cities around the country. Today there are around 15 Calvary Chapels in Ukraine. After 15 years in Kiev, Pastor George felt he had finished the work God called him to in Ukraine. He passed the church on and moved to Kyrgyzstan to plant a church in the capital there. A few short months later, the Lord took George home at the age of 65. The Calvary Chapel movement in Ukraine continues to grow and carry on George’s vision to reach the nation for Christ.
History of Calvary Chapel Svitlovodsk
Benjamin Morrison took his first trip to Ukraine in 2001 with Calvary Chapel Bible College of Indianapolis. During that first summer, God laid a burden and calling on his life to share the Gospel of grace with the people of Ukraine. After graduating Bible college, Benjamin moved to Ukraine in January of 2002. He served as youth pastor at Calvary Chapel of Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine for over three years. During this time he and Lena were married (Sept. 2003). God gradually began laying a burden on their hearts to start a new work where there was no grace-teaching church. In March 2005, Jesus confirmed His call for them to move to Svitlovodsk, Lena’s home town of 50,000. Benjamin began a Bible study in their apartment that June. Since then Jesus has been faithful to grow Calvary Chapel Svitlovodsk and to change lives by the power of His grace. The church continues to grow and reach out to the community with the Gospel today. Benjamin serves as lead pastor of Calvary Chapel Svitlovodsk and occasionally travels as a speaker around Ukraine.