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Beach baptism

Beach baptism

May 6, 1973: Hundreds of members of the Santa Ana-based Calvary Chapel line Corona del Mar beach for a baptism ceremony.

This image by Los Angeles Times staff photographer Steve Rice was one of several published with a story on pastor Charles (Chuck) Smith and the explosive growth of Calvary Chapel.

Under the headline “The Church that Chuck Built,” the Los Angeles Times’ Leslie Berkman reported:

It all started with a small chapel in the middle of a Santa Ana bean field and a pastor who possessed “a big smile so full of peace that you had to resent it.”

Earlier in his career the pastor, Charles (Chuck) Smith, had put aside 17 years of denominational ministry to reach a broader cross section of people with the teaching of Jesus Christ.

He pioneered an interdenominational church in Corona. Then, just as the new church was flourishing and Smith had entered middle age, he was called upon to shepherd a fledgling church called Calvary Chapel that had only 25 members and was on the brink of financial ruin….

…[E]ight years ago Smith took over the little congregation and the rest is becoming legend….

Each week an estimated 10,000 people attend the Bible studies, services and Saturday night concerts….

Those who attend Calvary Chapel are asked only to believe in Christ. There are no altars and no rituals other than a baptismal ceremony at the beach, which, although dramatic, is only a symbol, not a sacrament.

Calvary Chapel has grown into an international organization with more than 1,000 congregations.

1 Comment

  1. February 15, 2011, 12:33 am

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by PhotojournSG and rupeshnandy, Mickey Tachibana. Mickey Tachibana said: Beach baptism: May 6, 1973: Hundreds of members of the Santa Ana-based Calvary Chapel line Corona del Mar beach … […]

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