Calvary Chapel of Leesburg (Florida) is an affiliate of Calvary Chapel Association (CCA), which began in Southern California in 1965 through the ministry of Pastor Chuck Smith. CCA is not a denomination, but an association of independent churches worldwide. Our congregation began in 2004 as a home Bible Study and grew into a church, led by Pastor Bill Love. When Pastor Love relocated to Chicago, 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. This is accomplished by a process of affiliation. Each Senior Pastor within Calvary Chapel Association must first affirm his agreement with the CCA Statement of Faith and the Calvary Chapel Distinctives. Then he is sponsored by an existing CCA Senior Pastor and examined and approved by a CCA Council Member, through a process of ordination and “association.” Each Senior Pastor is then 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. There is lots of accountability.
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. Other services include Children’s Church, Nursery, Monthly Meetings at Church for the men and for the ladies, Home Fellowship Groups, and several ministry opportunities.
Other Activities And Ministries
Salvation Army – On the second to last Thursday of each month, we cook breakfast and feed the homeless and other people of the community.
Disaster Relief – From time to time, we sponsor a person(s) to go work in physical relief after disasters like hurricanes.
Operation Christmas Child – Each Calvary Chapel of Leesburg member gathers or hand-makes items to pack hundreds of gift boxes for children around the world for Operation Christmas Child, a work of Samaritan’s Purse, led by Franklin Graham (the son of Billy Graham).
Haiti Elementary School – Run by International Christian Development Ministry, in Bayonnais, Haiti. From time to time, Pastor Ron goes there to teach, or the Church will send a team to work.
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, and have a tender place in our hearts for children.
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 generally “contemporary.” We also value the old hymns and incorporate them into worship.
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 the “ministers,” meaning we are all called 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. These budgets are always “balanced.” The church has a modest savings account, and the only debt is a mortgage on the property, which is due to be paid off in 2023. 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. The pastor does not write checks or control the money. Pastor expenses are reported and approved monthly in a written report.
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 (with several children still living at home). 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, his teaching emphasizes personal responsibility and self-support and de-emphasizes politics and 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!