Steve Whinery ~ SENIOR PASTOR
“I was born in 1959 in Central California. When I was a baby, my parents moved to Riverside, in Southern California, and spent much of the rest of my childhood in the Riverside area. Coming from a broken home, I had much of the baggage that can come along with a “dysfunctional family” and by the time I was in high school had become pretty cynical about life in general and people in particular. It was at this point I was invited by a friend to attend Calvary Chapel in Riverside. After some convincing I decided to show up and it was that night in the summer of 1975 that I first surrendered my life to Jesus. I had no idea what I was getting in to. After a few years of struggling in my walk with Christ, culminating in a 9 month backslide, I gave my heart back to the Lord at the age of 19 and have been serving Him ever since.
Although I was involved in athletics and did well scholastically, I had been known for partying and a violent streak. When I rededicated my life to the Lord, all of that was left behind and I began looking for ways I could please and serve the Lord who saved me. I sat under the teaching of Greg Laurie, pastor of Calvary Riverside. I also began getting involved in ministry at Calvary Chapel, first as an usher, then, as the Lord opened up opportunities, as a new convert counselor. During this time I was working construction, which provided ample opportunity for telling coworkers about Jesus. I also began teaching a Bible study at the home of my future brother and sister in law. That is where I met my wife, Bobi.
In 1982 I married Bobi Sparks who had also been raised in Riverside. A little over a year after our wedding, God led Bobi and I to move to Big Bear, California where we were involved in the startup of a Calvary Chapel fellowship. About 3 months after our arrival, I was asked to be assistant pastor at that fellowship. Although the position was a paid one for about 11 months, I went back to construction because of financial considerations. I was assistant pastor in Big Bear for 7 years.
In 1990, feeling that God had called us to the Tri-Cities area, we moved to Kennewick, along with several good friends. I got a job and began a home fellowship in our apartment. God began to bless and Calvary Chapel of Tri-Cities was the result. I went on paid staff, full time, in 1994. Bobi and I have two children, Bethany, born in 1994, and Nathan, who arrived in 1998." Steve Whinery is the senior pastor at Calvary Chapel Tri-Cities. If you would like to contact him, or to request a counseling appoint with Steve, please use the email information below.