Meet Senior Pastor Craig Jones
My, how time flies! It was over 23 years ago that my wife, Megan, and I entered full-time ministry in our local church in Southern California. Honestly, being a pastor was not something I had planned to do, but as God began to place that very call on our lives He has been faithful to lead us each step of the way in serving Him.
We were so blessed to spend our first 12 years of ministry working with college students and young adults at two wonderful churches, Yorba Linda Friends Church and Calvary Chapel East Anaheim. We loved ministering to young adults, and working with amazing people on our leadership team. During that time, as I served under a very special senior pastor at CCEA, I was exposed to many different aspects of ministry and it helped us to keep growing! I was also working on completing my Masters Degree at Talbot School of Theology at the same time… so our learning curve seemed to go straight up during that season!
At some point along the way God began to stir in our hearts, letting us know that He was preparing us for a new season of ministry, which included His call to plant a church. After a great deal of prayer, searching the Lord’s will through His Word, and researching different areas, Gilbert, Arizona began to emerge as the place where God was calling us. As we contacted the other Calvary Chapel Pastors in the area, we felt even more encouraged that the Lord was working throughout the Phoenix area, and that perhaps He would want to use us in His work out here. We knew one family in the East Valley. They were dear friends (and still are), who were excited to be a part of this new church plant.
Home is Where the Call is
Leaving our church family, our extended family, dear friends and all we knew was something only the LORD could enable us to do! It seemed as though fear and uncertainty were constantly upon us, but our faithful Lord kept lovingly leading us along and providing every step of the way. During that time God revealed to us something so important: Home is where the call is! It was not about us picking a place where we wanted to go and serve and then asking God to bless it; it was about allowing God to choose for us where He would have us serve. We simply needed to trust Him, knowing that our hearts would follow as we stepped out in faith.
A key verse God gave us in the process of our transition to further encourage us was Isaiah 43:18-19, where God says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”
It’s hard to believe that 11 years ago Calvary East Valley met for the very first time in our living room. God has been so faithful to lead and guide us. The East Valley continues to grow at an incredible rate with people moving here from all over. What an exciting place to serve the Lord by reaching out with the gospel, teaching His word, sharing our lives, and serving others as we look forward to His return!
We sincerely thank you taking the time to read our story. We hope and pray that if you are looking for a church home or want to learn more about what the Bible says about the truth of who God is, that you will stop by on a Sunday morning and join us for one of our worship services. We look forward to meeting you and growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as together, we worship Him and study and apply His life-changing Word to our daily lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.
May our Lord make Himself known to you more and more each day.
In Jesus, our Rock,
-Pastor Craig & Megan Jones