Pastor John & Sue pioneered Calvary Chapel in 1987 when they went out from their first ministry assignment from Calvary Temple in Naperville, IL (today called Calvary Church). Since Pastor Bob Schmidgall took a chance and gave the young pastor his first ministry start in 1985, after John and Sue were just married and graduated from Bible College, it was natural to go by "Chapel" instead of "Temple" when he and Sue began pioneering their first church, as a way of honoring and showing appreciation. After Pastor Schmidgall went home to be with the Lord in January 1998, it became apparent there were some changes on the horizon. Our small church in the Chicagoland area accidently came across Pastor Joel & Lakewood Church in Houston, as we became attracted to their uplifting message. Soon thereafter we began simulcasting Lakewood's Wednesday night service on our big screen. After asking Lakewood Church if it would be alright (even though we are an independent church with no formal affiliaton with Lakewood Church), we decided to change our church name from Calvary Chapel to Lakewood Chapel to reflect our new course. We are very thankful for Lakewood's ministry of love and hope. Pastor Joel's message of the God of the second chance really took root in our hearts.
How It Started
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