Santa Cruz County History - Religion & Spirituality



Santa Cruz Spirituality: Independent Fundamentalist
by Paul Tutwiler

As stated in Chapter 5 Particulars, the term Fundamentalism applies to sectors of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam which adhere staunchly to traditional teachings and are opposed to Modernism, the view that science negates the veracity of the Bible and that human progress is a good in itself. Christian Fundamentalism is shared by many conservative church members, but few congregations belong in Melton's Independent Fundamentalist Family, the prerequisite for which is to trace origin or inspiration to John Nelson Darby. Information about this movement and a list of member congregations can be found in www.ifca.org 2008, the website of IFCA International, which formerly was called the Independent Fundamental Churches of America. No churches and no pastors currently active in Santa Cruz are listed as IFCA International members on the website.

I find a small number of Christian congregations which are clearly fundamentalist, but which disavow denominationalism, and I am placing these in this section, as follows:

  1. Calvary Chapel
  2. Various Independent Fundamentalist

Calvary Chapel

Founded in Costa Mesa, California in 1965, Calvary Chapel combined popular fundamentalism with a hippie community outreach which was called the "Jesus Movement." Additional Calvary Chapel congregations were founded, and there are now over 500 of them, including the two in Santa Cruz County. (www.calvarychapel.org 2010) The movement is also treated in Partridge, New Religions, pp. 85-86 "The Jesus Movement."

» Calvary Chapel Aptos. 1998-2010.

This congregation was established no later than 1998, when, it was called Calvary Chapel of Santa Cruz. (1998 through 2000 Yellow Pages) and it is located at 8065 Valencia St., Aptos 95003, tel. 688-5613. (2010 Yellow Pages)

» Calvary Chapel Santa Cruz. 1981-2010.

This congregation met in 1981 in the Beulah Park Auditorium, but from 1982 to 1988 it met at 427 Capitola Road Extension, Santa Cruz (VHM Christian School premises). (1981-1988 Yellow Pages)

After that it met in Veterans Hall, Santa Cruz, then again for almost 8 years at the Capitola Road Extension location, but in 2009 it moved to 1500 Green Hills Road, Scotts Valley. (SC Sentinel, November 14, 2009) The telephone number is 477-7777. (www.calvarychapelsantacruz.org 2010)

» Calvary Chapel Watsonville. 2008-2010.

The Watsonville Calvary Chapel first appeared in 2008 on its website, www.ccwatsonville.com. In 2010 it remains on this website and on www.calvarychapel.com. The congregation meets at 113 Green Valley Road; its telephone number is 831-761-8151.

Various Independent Fundamentalist

» Child Evangelism Fellowship. Service org, Watsonville, 1981-2010.

Founded in 1937 as an aid in evangelizing youth, the parent group is headquartered in Warrenton, Missouri. (www.cefonline.com 2010) From 1981 to 1986 it was listed in the local White Pages with the address 3160 Hardin Way, Soquel, and from 1981 to 1985 it was also listed at 115 Madison in Watsonville. In 2010 it was not listed in the telephone directory, but the Child Evangelism Fellowship of Santa Cruz County was at 107 Onyx Drive, Watsonville CA 95076 according to the website mentioned above.

» Church of the King. Scotts Valley, 1995-2010.

Currently meeting in the Bethany University Chapel in Scotts Valley, but having its own telephone number, tel. 476-4877, this congregation characterizes itself simply as evangelical, without reference to Pentecostalism, but with indications, it seems to me, of fundamentalism. (www.cotk.org 2010)

» God's Church. Santa Cruz, 2000-2010.

First appearing in 2000, this congregation had an address, but no longer has one, and has "gone underground!" with the telephone number 423-6926. It identifies itself with Leap of Faith Ministries, which is fundamentalist, and staunchly unaffiliated:

God's Church is an independent, non-denominational, bible believing, Christ centered fellowship. We are not affiliated with any foundation, society or movement. We do not formally subscribe to any catechism, confession or creed. (www.leapoffaith.org 2010)

» The Gathering by the Bay. Soquel, 2006-2010.

Appearing to be fundamentalist in beliefs, this group has "gatherings" in houses in several locations in and around Santa Cruz. Its central address is P.O. Box 224, Soquel 95073. (http://www.gatheringbythebay.org/ 2010)

» Trinity Covenant Church. Santa Cruz, 2007-2010.

This church is an affiliate of the Congregation of Reformed Evangelical Churches, being a mission of the Congregation's church in Moscow, Idaho. The CREC was formed in 1998, and in 2010 has affiliates scattered throughout the United States. Calvinistic in theology, it emphatically characterizes itself as neither modernist nor fundamentalist; yet, it has a strong stand on the Five Christian Fundamentals themselves. (www.crechurches.org 2008) In 2010 it conducts worship at the CVHM Chrsitian School (www.crechurches.org 2010)

» Iglesia Misionera De Cristo Beerseba. Watsonville, 2007-2010.

This congregation has appeared in the 2007 and 2008 Yellow Pages under the heading "Churches — Independent fundamentalist." The 2010 White Pages lists it at 163 W. Lake Ave., Watsonville 95076, tel. 768-7107.


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