Calvary Chapel of Leesburg (Florida) is an affiliate of Calvary Chapel Association (CCA), which began in Costa Mesa, California in 1965 through the ministry of Pastor Chuck Smith. CCA is not a denomination, but an affiliation of independent churches worldwide. Our congregation began in 2004 as a home Bible Study and grew into a church, led by a volunteer pastor who lived two hours away. When that pastor relocated to another state in 2014, he, the elders, and the church called businessman Ron Stauffer (a church member) as Pastor.
Although each Calvary Chapel Association church is “independent,” there is still accountability, by a process of affiliation. Every new CCA Pastor is sponsored by an existing CCA Senior Pastor and then examined and approved by a CCA Council Member, through a process of ordination and “association.” By this process, each Senior Pastor is thoroughly vetted by CCA leadership, examined, approved, and ordained, then held accountable to CCA for doctrine, leadership, stewardship, and behavior. Pastor Ron Stauffer meets monthly with a group of 7 other North Central Florida CCA Senior Pastors, three times a year with a larger meeting of the Florida CCA Senior Pastors, and monthly with the Elders of our own church.
Today Pastor Ron leads Calvary Chapel of Leesburg, advised and assisted by a Board of Elders. We hold services at 1601 W. Main Street, Leesburg, FL 34736, at 10 a.m. Sundays, and 6 p.m. Wednesdays.
Calvary Chapel is theologically conservative but culturally informal. We meet to worship God, and renew bonds of friendship and fellowship, in an atmosphere that is conducive to getting beneath the surface. There is no “dress shirt and tie” code. Come dressed for comfort, informally. People of all backgrounds are always welcome, regardless of ethnicity, economic status, ability, or age. We value seniors, singles, young people, families of all stages. Children are valued and welcome in our services. We believe in “age-integrated worship” where families sit together.
The teaching and preaching of God’s Word is central in our worship. We accept the Bible’s authority in our faith and lives. Sermons are generally “expository,” learning a book of the Bible over several months, through teaching chapter by chapter, and verse by verse, in simple language, and with an emphasis on “How do I apply this Scripture to my life, today?”
Calvary Chapel began during the “Jesus People” movement of the 1960s and 70s, founded by Pastor Chuck Smith. Our style of worship music is a combination of contemporary songs and old hymns. We choose songs with lyrics that contain good doctrine, and not watered-down.
Church Leadership & Government
Our Pastor leads the Church, equips the saints through in-depth teaching of the Bible, and is accountable to the Elders. The members of the Church are taught and equipped to share Christ with others, and to love, support, comfort, help, and hold each other accountable. We do not have congregational meetings with voting. Instead, important decisions about the church are made by the Pastor and Elders together. Pastors and Elders are selected by the Elder Board with input from the entire congregation.
Annual Church Budgets are prepared each year by the Elder Board and Bookkeeper and approved by the Elders. The church has a modest savings account, and a small mortgage on the property. The Elder-approved Budget is presented to the Church in a special meeting each year. All regular attending persons are encouraged to ask questions and welcome to review our financial statements and account balances at any time. Pastor and Elders do not see who gives what; only the Bookkeeper does. We do not “pass the offering plate” but provide a tithe box at the door to the sanctuary for people to drop in their offerings and tithes as God leads them.
Pastor and Elders do not see who gives what; only the Bookkeeper does. At Calvary Chapel, we believe and teach that the Bible does teach that we Christians in the New Testament age (today) should give a full “tithe,” that is 10% of our income, to the local church. For the “snowbirds” who live half the year in Florida and half the year “back home, up north,” we suggest that you divide your tithe between your two churches proportional to how long you spend in each state. Beyond that, we just don’t talk about money very much; you won’t hear urgent “appeals from the pulpit” and no “Building Fund Pledge Drives.”
About Our Pastor
Pastor Ron Stauffer is a graduate of Fresno Pacific Seminary (formerly named “Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary,” Fresno, CA), and worked in the business world for over 30 years before becoming our pastor. Ron and Ruth have been married since 1982 and have raised nine children together. Ron has been our pastor since May 2014.
Ron has been active in prison ministry, pro-life organizations, homeschooling, and leadership in ministries and organizations focused on building boys and men of strong, godly character and responsibility. Raised in the family of a United States Air Force fighter pilot, Ron’s teaching emphasizes personal responsibility and self-support and de-emphasizes politics and discourages dependence on government. In the nation where God is large, the government can be and should be small. Pastor Ron, therefore, emphasizes Christ and the Bible as the answer to man’s problems, and Biblical wisdom as the best way for America to prosper.
Pastor Ron says…
All who would learn about following Jesus are welcome here!