Basic Church Information
Church Name: Calvary Chapel (of Melbourne, Viera, & Sebastian, FL)
Senior/Lead Pastor: Mark Balmer
Board of Elders/Leadership Staff: See Our Team Page, they do list their Elders
Address: 2955 Minton Road
West Melbourne, FL 32904
Email: See Contact Us Page or their Our Team page to email specific people; they don't include direct email addresses on their website
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CalvaryCCM/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/CalvaryCCM
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/calvaryccm/
Online Services: https://www.calvaryccm.com/media
Denomination: Calvary Chapel
Preaching Style: Expository/Verse by Verse & Topical Mix
Membership Requirements: Unknown
Tithes/Compelled Giving: Yes
Financial Transparency: No
Answered Questionnaire: No
Affiliations: Calvary Chapel, Watermark Christian Store, Common Grounds Cafe
Red Flags of Abuse: If you're a member of or have been attending this church, please walk yourself through Steve Hassan's BITE Model and his Undue Influence Continuum (links below) to make sure your church isn't practicing spiritual abuse against you. We have not found any significant signs of abuse at this church so far.
1. What is your church's official position on tithes and offerings?
This church has a Give page that pressures giving, asserts a concept of giving your "first fruits" according to an Old Testament misinterpretation (the first fruits weren't part of the tithe), and tithing as well.
2. Does your church have official memberships, and if so, does it include a membership agreement or contract?
The mycalvary page tells us that there are classes at the church where people can go and learn more about Calvary Chapel, "discover your God-given gifts and how God intentionally made you to be a part of His church and its mission," and "find your place in the Calvary family by learning how you can get connected through groups and serving."
Whether this means this church has official membership agreements for members to sign as a contract with the church, we are still uncertain. I've emailed senior pastor Mark Balmer and will update this check with more information when I know more.
3. Is your church financially transparent or accountable to either the local church, a third party (such as the ECFA), or the universal church/public?
So far we haven't found anything to suggest they are financially transparent or accountable to anyone. We are awaiting a response from the church and will update this answer accordingly.
4. Which denomination does your church align with, if any at all?
This is a Calvary Chapel church, which means they align with the Calvary Chapel Statement of Faith, which you can find here.
5. Is the church's pastor available for questions or comments regarding the church's doctrines or policies?
While the church's website has a way to directly message Senior Pastor Mark Balmer, his email address itself is not provided, and I have yet to receive a response from him from the message I sent him earlier this morning. I have never personally attended this church and tried to speak with a pastor in person, so if you have and would like to contribute your experience, please comment below for our readers.
6. Is your church tolerant and accepting of differing non-essential doctrinal views, such as differences in eschatology, ecclesiology, and others?
While other Calvary Chapel locations have expressed that they allow liberty in non-essential doctrinal areas like eschatology, this location in Melbourne, Florida simply lists their beliefs on the website without any additional notes. Once the church responds to my inquiry, I will update this answer accordingly.
7. Does your church require its members to be baptized?
No, it doesn't appear that they do. Read their page on Baptism to learn more about their views on the topic.
8. Please describe what a typical service and/or meeting looks like at your church.
By going to the page for each Florida location on the website for this Calvary Chapel, you can read specifics about their Sunday services. For this check, we read their Melbourne location page. The following are a few specifics about their services that might interest local churchgoers:
What do you do for the kids?
We're all about family here at Calvary, which is why we make sure that we provide the best experience possible for each member of your family. From newborns to high schoolers, our services provide kids with an engaging environment where they can have fun, make new friends, and learn about Jesus through age-appropriate Bible teaching. We even have a nursing mom's room available so you can continue watching service while caring for your child.
How long is the service?
The service lasts about 1 hour and 30 minutes. We begin each service singing four songs before collecting tithes and offering and announcements. From there, you'll hear from one of our pastors as they teach God's Word and how we can apply it to our lives. We then finish up service with a song as we respond to what we've learned in the teaching. Prayer partners are also always available after the service.
What Steps Are You Taking to Keep People Safe During COVID-19?
We are currently following CDC guidelines and procedures, including but is not limited to increased sanitization measures, the requirement of masks for the duration of service, and adhering to proper social distancing to ensure everyone's safety while here at Calvary Chapel.
9. How many people does your church have on staff, both paid and volunteer?
You can see the staff on the church's Our Team page, but until they answer our questions, we don't know who is paid and who is volunteer.
10. What is the pastor's educational background?
Senior Pastor Mark Balmer was formerly a Pharmacist and it appears that is the kind of education he received, but we don't see any kind of Seminary or Pastoral education.
11. How does the church discipline its members with sin? Does the church have a discipline policy or official protocol?
There is no information on this church's website regarding any potential discipline policy. I will be updating the check accordingly once we get a response from the church.
12. How is the pastor compensated (income, bonuses, benefits, etc...) and how is that compensation established (Ex: board of elders, church vote, etc..)?
We won't have an answer for this until we get a response from the church.
13. What is the size of the congregation and any space or buildings used for church services or meetings?
The Hartford Institute for Religion Research lists that Calvary Chapel of Melbourne has an average attendance of 10,000 people. (http://hirr.hartsem.edu/cgi-bin/mega/db.pl?db=default&uid=default&view_records=1&ID=*&sb=3&so=descend)
This link for the Panasonic website gives us the only information we've found so far on this church's building size. It doesn't tell us square footage, but does say that the Melbourne location has 2,800 seats, while the Viera and Sebastian locations have 1,100 seats each.
14. What is the pastor’s ministerial work history? Have they been the pastor of or on the leadership staff at any other church? Please list their past ministry work and their reasons for leaving those ministries.
Senior Pastor Mark has no listed prior ministerial experience on the church's website or anywhere else online that we can find. It states he was a pharmacist until "God called Mark to plant a new church in the Melbourne area." His father and grandfather were both pastors.
15. How does the church safeguard against any kind of abuse (sexual, verbal, emotional, spiritual)? Has there ever been an incident or conflict within the church involving potential abuse? If so, how was it resolved?
We don't see any information regarding safeguards against abuse, but if someone from the church or Senior Pastor Mark responds to us, we can update this check accordingly.
If you have any information on this church and would like to help answer some of our questions, please feel free to add your input in the comments section below or speak with Sarah directly through the Contact Page.
Sarah Leann Young is a lifelong student of the Bible. She is a homeschooler, stay-at-home Mom to three beautiful children, and an avid consumer of Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Mystery Thriller stories. She has a passion for religious debate and defending the Body of Christ against abuse and wolves in sheep’s clothing. Look for her debut book series in early 2021 on the corruption of the American Christian Church.