Our church celebrated our 20-year reunion in July! To celebrate that, our staff asked me to write a history of me and our ministry over the past 20 years they put in a video available on my Facebook page! In this month’s update, I wanted to share with you our precious ministry partners the 20-year history of our church!
Pastor Mike Vincent was born in Germany to a US army father and mother! He grew up in Orange County, where his parents were faithful members of a denominational Christian church! Mike was a good boy that was raised in the church, and when Mike became a teenager, he and his brother Mitch started a New Wave Christian band that toured churches around Orange County, giving concerts!
After high school, Mike entered a Christian college to play College Basketball! It was halfway through his Bible college experience when God grabbed Mike’s heart and opened up His spiritual eyes. And it was on a Sunday morning when Mike walked forward during an altar call, gave his life to Jesus, and was born again!
Upon graduating, Mike started leading worship with his friend Trent Douglas at an outside backyard Bible study in Trent’s parent’s home. That Bible study eventually grew from 10 to 200 young people, and we saw God make an amazing move.
That backyard Bible study eventually became the church Calvary Chapel Saving Grace, located in Yorba Linda, California! It was at that church that Mike met his future wife, Sarah Lancaster! It was also during those days that Mike began to feel the call to the ministry!
Mike and Sarah both had the conviction, not to date, yet God did miracle after miracle to bring them together. Eventually, Sarah talked to Mike about the great desire God had placed in her heart to be a missionary to Mexico! Mike replied, “I LOVE Mexican food and am open to anything the Lord has, but I don’t believe I’m called to Mexico!” Sarah was hurt by that but she married Mike anyway, believing that if this was God’s will, He would change Mike’s heart!
After 3 years of marriage, that’s exactly what God did! Mike woke up one Sunday morning and told Sarah, “God is calling me to Mexico!” Sarah thought Mike was kidding, but Mike was deadly serious! They eventually shared this calling with the church leadership and then began to train up to be sent out! After two long years of ministry training, this young family of four was sent out by Calvary Chapel Saving Grace in July 2002 to a church plant in Rosarito Beach, Mexico!
I remember talking to a Pastor before we moved that told me, “Don’t church plant in Rosarito; it’s the hardest place in all of Mexico to church plant.” Yet Mike and Sarah and their two babies, Grace and Daniel, took the leap of faith and moved anyway. When they were sent out, Mike only knew three words of Spanish! (Burrito, Baño, and Taco) Thankfully, they were sent out with a small team of 5 adults, and they began the church meeting in the living room of a local house!
After 6 months, the church had grown up to 12 adults, and it was time to move to their first rented room! We found two cheap small rooms on Blvd. Guerrero and rented them for 400 dollars a month at the start of 2003! That little yellow strip mall was the home of Calvary Chapel Rosarito for the next 3 years! It was in those early days that God brought Pastor Jesus and Pastor Sabino and Laura, and many other faithful saints that remain at the church to this day! In those early days, the ministry was full of outreaches and crusades, and we saw God move powerfully!
By 2005, the small church had grown to 60 adults, and it was time to move again! We found a large strip mall around the corner up the street that was way beyond our budget! Yet God once again did a miracle, and He provided the finances for us to move in there!
That strip mall was our church home for the next 7 years! It was during that time that we started to see God saving people weekly and started our monthly baptisms. We also started our church planting school and sent out our first church plants in our time there. By God’s grace, our church grew from 60 to 600 adults during that time, and once again, we found our church bursting at the seams!
We asked our church to begin to pray, search, and give in a quest to find a large building that would fit our growing church’s needs! At the exact same time, our facility search began, and one of the largest factories in the city closed down! God opened the door, and in 2012 we began to renovate this 15,000-square feet facility, and little by little, it began to look like a church!
We have now been in our beautiful church facility for 10 years, and we are celebrating our 20-year anniversary together. The work God has done in and through Calvary Rosarito is a trophy of His grace! Not only has God allowed us to be a sending hub of church planting, but one of the largest and most fruitful churches in all of Mexico! This is way more than Mike and Sarah ever dreamed about in those early days of small things.
The Bible teaches us in Ephesians 3:20, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” Calvary Rosarito is an example of how God can use normal people that are willing to take steps of faith, and accomplish amazing things!
These past 20 years have been incredible and beyond my greatest dreams, but I am sure of one thing! The best is still yet to come! I love each one of you and am thankful that you are part of our church family at Calvary Rosarito!