Calvary Chapel DC Metro is part of the fellowship of Calvary Chapel churches. This fellowship, now numbering in the thousands of congregations, began in the 1970’s during the Jesus People movement when large numbers of hippies were being saved through the ministry of Chuck Smith at Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California.
In September of 2001 Chuck’s son-in-law and assistant pastor Brian Broderson was in Washington D.C. to attend a charitable event. During that trip that the events of 9/11 took place and Broderson began ministering whenever and wherever needed. At that time he also sensed a need to plant a Calvary Chapel close to the affected area.
Meanwhile, God had been stirring the heart of Jeff Cuozzo, then a missionary in York, England, to begin pastoring a church somewhere on the East Coast near his home state of New Jersey. When Broderson and Cuozzo spoke a few weeks later, the next step was obvious: Cuozzo would move his family to Washington D.C. and plant the church.
The church began with a Wednesday night Bible study on April 11, 2002. The study occurred in the Cuozzo’s newly rented home in Falls Church, not far from our current meeting location. In May of 2002 they held their first Sunday morning worship service at a local hotel.
The original vision was to reach the District, and the church was originally named Calvary Chapel Washington D.C.. However, as Cuozzo began to understand the demographics of the area, he realized that while many people work in the city, far fewer actually live there – many commute in from Northern Virginia where he was already living. For this reason the name was changed to Calvary Chapel DC Metro very early on in an attempt to reach the greater Washington D.C. metropolitan area.
After about a year of meeting in the hotel’s conference rooms the church moved to George Mason High School and remained there for three years. During these initial years two couples went out from the church to begin Calvary Chapel North Stafford and Calvary Chapel Warrenton.
In June of 2004 Cuozzo answered the call to return to ministry in England and passed the church on to Chris Warner. By this point the size of the church had grown to about 30 people.
In 2006, the congregation, now numbering around 50, moved next door to the newly opened Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School and has remained there ever since.
In June of 2008 Chris Warner returned to Southern California to take care of his aging mother and Jeff Schlenz was asked to come and serve the congregation.
In 2012 Calvary Chapel DC Metro is proudly celebrating 10 years as a congregation of believers gathering together to exalt God, equip the saints, and engage the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.