Who Are We?
Canyon is a multi-generational church that loves God and loves people. When you come, you'll see babies learning to walk, singles, small families, really really large families, empty nesters, purple hair, gray hair, musicians, teachers, homemakers, and retirees.
We are an accredited church in a denomination called the Christian & Missionary Alliance. The C&MA's founder Dr. A. B. Simpson preached the Fourfold Gospel, proclaiming that Jesus is Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King. If you've never heard of the C&MA before, you're not alone. Some C&MA names you may recognize are A. W. Tozer and Aaron Shust. A.B. Simpson focused on the Deeper Life and he prioritized missions in order to usher in the second coming of our Lord.
As far as church-size goes, we're on the small side at 44 members. We have two full-time staff who love Jesus and an Elder team of five godly men (who also love Jesus.) Our people love to sail, eat, put on good-old-fashioned variety shows, use their spiritual gifts to edify the body, serve the marginalized, and celebrate the good things that God has done. And yes, some even like to take long walks on the beach.
Our vision is to be an intentional, loving, and discipleship driven community that joyfully serves one another in order to know Christ, and make Christ known.
We want to see the lost found, for missionaries to be launched from our small but mighty church, for Jesus' name to be proclaimed throughout Chula Vista, for the healing and saving message of Christ to be heard and accepted, for people to walk in freedom in Christ, for the gifts of the Holy Spirit be used in kingdom-building ways, and for us to decrease so that He might increase.
We are a Christ centered, Holy Spirit empowered, Acts 1:8 family. We desire to know Christ as our Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King, and to complete His Great Commission.
The essence of our calling is summed up in a single word: Love. In a world that has romanticized and sexualized love, the church has a beautiful opportunity to show the love of God Himself.
We love because He first loved us.
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
To accomplish the call God has given to us, we must see the entire body of Christ mobilized for Kingdom service. May God allow us to launch new waves of godly people as full participants in Christ’s service: evangelizing, church planting, generously giving, boldly praying, joyfully creating.
"And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'"
A New York Times reporter once asked Alliance founder A. B. Simpson, “Can you tell us when Jesus will return?” Simpson replied, “Yes, I will tell you, as long as you promise to print what I say word for word.” The reporter agreed, at which time Simpson quoted the verse,
"And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."
What To Expect At A Sunday Service
- Welcoming, loving people
- Expressive worship
- Expositional preaching
- The local church being led by the Holy Spirit to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
- Maybe a bit of the unexpected. God is big. We have an expectation that He will move, but no agenda for how He will do it.
We have a rotation of the following activities at our Sunday services:
- Communion on the 1st Sunday of the month.
- Corporate prayer time on the 3rd Sunday of the month.
- Pre COVID days, an open mic on the 2nd/4th/5th Sundays of the month where believers are welcome to give encouraging and/or prophetic words that are brief, biblical, and glorify Jesus.
Some Canyon History
The Christian & Missionary Alliance planted Chula Vista Alliance Church in June 1971 with Rev. Don Vanderpool as pastor. In July 1971, the first public service was held at Hilltop Elementary School. The property located at 610 Paseo Del Rey, Chula Vista, CA was purchased and a groundbreaking service was held in June 1972. The congregation moved into the newly completed main sanctuary on June 4, 1974. Rev. Warren Thompson, Rev. David Olsen and Rev. Jeff Jones served as subsequent pastors. In 1996, the church was renamed Hosanna Fellowship under the leadership of Jeff Jones.
In 1980, Pastor Dave Chamberlain, and his wife Eva, were commissioned by United Ministries International (UMI) to start a church in the San Diego/Bonita area. Pastor Tom and Kathie Griner, also commissioned by UMI, moved to San Diego to share ministry responsibilities. In May 1980, the first public worship service of Church on the Bay was held in a home in Bonita, CA. In 1985, the church was renamed Bonita Christian Community and was later renamed Cornerstone Christian Community.
In June 1998, Hosanna Fellowship and Cornerstone Christian Community merged, forming Canyon Community Church of the Christian & Missionary Alliance. At that time, Dave Chamberlain became pastor and Jeff Jones became associate pastor.
Pastor Dave Chamberlain retired from vocational ministry in 2010. From 2010-2016, the elders formed a preaching and teaching team, initially led by Rev. Brandon Hilstad, and later led by Pastor Art Lyons. In 2017, Rev. Jeff Lopo was called to be the pastor of Canyon.