Calvary pastors are eager to serve you. To contact them directly, email them through the form below.
SENIOR PASTOR - Steve Whinery
ASSOCIATE PASTORS - Brandon Bee, Greg DeRoos, Mitch Dunfee, Matt Kessie, Matt Lewis and Aaron Vasquez
“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.
"Hi. I am Mitch Dunfee and I became a Christian at 28 years old, proof that Jesus will take anyone.
I grew up with an alcoholic dad that, when sober, was a great dad. Unfortunately the sober times were overwhelmed by the periods of drinking. It is amazing how God used this in my life.
You see, as I became an adult I began to try and make sure I was doing better than my dad. I had a steady respectable job, I only got drunk once or twice a month (after i turned 23), I did not beat my kids because I was drunk and out of control.
You see, I had a mark to measure how good of a guy I was. I was better than a drunk.
When I was 23 I met and ultimately married Marci and after two years of marriage she somehow was not as impressed with my incredibly high standard of being better than a drunk and left me for about a month. We reconciled for our kids sake but things were building up again between us because I could not be a man that put others needs truly before himself.
“Greetings! I was born in Kadlec Medical in Richland in the year of our Lord 1977. Debbie Boone’s “you light up my life” was the number one hit song 10 weeks in a row. Fitting, since that’s when this little light entered the world. Ah yes, the sweet sounds of star wars laser gun and a crying sister filled our house with warmth & affection. I grew up in a loving Christian home (I got in trouble usually when my sister cried, which was often) with a younger sister, a brother and both parents. We had a rat dog named Jamie. I loved her. I am ashamed.
Growing up in our school district during the 80’s was a real pleasant time. I can’t think of a single acquaintance in school that came from a divorced home. It was reared in us to wait for marriage and to keep ourselves pure. Teenage pregnancy was scarce. I went to a baptist church that was full of people who loved Christ with me being one of them. I gave my life to the Lord when i was 8 (my dad introduced me to Him) and it was real.
Yet the world was changing and I didn’t know how to be a Christian and be popular at the same time (actually I didn’t even really know how to be popular). I didn’t know how to live righteously and fit in with my friends, but praise God for conviction! Something in me kept me from going overboard. With all of my failures and weaknesses, how great the grace of God protected me and transformed me! When one gives his life to Christ at a young age it’s a wonderful thing because of the sure foundation he starts off on.
Hello, this is Matt Lewis. The Lord has blessed me exceedingly with an amazing life, wife and family and gave me an opportunity to serve Him in full time ministry, beginning January of 2020. It didn’t start out that way, however. I’m a local boy, born and raised in the Tri-Cities. My father was a full-time traveling musician playing rock and roll for 20 years until I arrived in 1982. He left everything behind except the alcohol and became a fireman and my mom started a daycare. I have a sister two years younger. Growing up we attended church on holidays because they wanted something better for their kids but didn’t understand that only Jesus can change your life, not religion. I attended Awanas “Cubbies” and church camp as a youth, which was the first time I remember hearing the gospel presented.
I graduated from Southridge High in 2000, then went to Arizona for 2 years to attend MMI (motorcycle mechanics institute) and ride dirt bikes. My dream in life at the time was to ride pro-motocross. I came back and worked at a local shop, where the Lord started to turn up the heat to get my attention. Many things took place over the next 5 years as the Holy Spirit was drawing me, but a couple events stand out in front. My dad disappeared, apparently drowned, and I had a friend who I partied with get saved.
God used those events specifically, to show me what following Jesus really meant, and where to find a purpose in life in my quest for meaning and truth. Long story short, my dad was living in a trailer out in Benton City separated from his wife and family, struggling with depression and alcohol to the very end of his time. I didn’t want that life. More than anything. By God’s grace he did accept Christ a few years before he passed, which continues to assure me of the doctrine of regeneration to this day.
Secondly, my dear friend left the world to follow Jesus and it revealed how fake I was, playing church and not understanding the difference between religion and relationship.