The Philadelphia House

The House Ministries

When they began
The communal house ministries that were associated with Calvary Chapel began in 1970. These homes were established as one answer for the multitudes of young people that were being saved at Calvary Chapel on a regular basis. The first two houses were the Mansion Messiah in Costa Mesa and the Philadelphia House in Huntington Beach, California. Both homes housed from 25-35 male and female adults. Later, The Lord's House was founded in Costa Mesa in 1973. Later came The House of Psalms which was first established for musicians and worship leaders. Last, The Harvest House was established for unwed and single mothers in 1975.

Steve & Susan Carr -1972

The purpose
The purpose of the house ministries was discipleship. Many of the young people that were saved in the Jesus movement had an intense desire to learn and study the Bible. Therefore, the communal house ministries were an excellent way for these young people to quickly get a fundamental understanding in the Word of God and practical living skills as disciples of Jesus Christ.

Dinner time

How the houses were set up
The house ministries were set up on the basis of Acts 2:42-47. We each had a desire to follow Christ and a deep desire to learn the apostles doctrine. We had all things in common financially. That meant that when the men went out to work all of the money was donated to the house and then the ministry would in turn would provide for all of the needs of the house members. The women stayed at home during the day doing all the cooking, cleaning, and laundry for the entire household. After these chores were done the women would begin their studies in the Scripture. When the men came home they could also immediately begin their studies in the Word without the concerns of household responsibilities. Each person was given a study program that would enable them to grow and become established in their personal walk with Christ. New Christians would do a New Testament survey using books and tapes to gain an overall understanding of the Bible. Older Christians would usually study individual books to obtain a depth of insight into the great themes of the Scripture. Three times a week the entire house went to church at Calvary Chapel in Santa Ana, California. In addition, there were several Bible studies given at the house by the head elder. Several times a week many would go out onto the streets or down to the beaches to evangelize and win others to Christ. Many that were saved from the streets would ask to move into the house which gave a steady stream of people through our doors. We worked, studied, and prayed together for one another's needs.

Fellowship time

The fruit
The fruit that came from these house ministries was awesome. Many hundreds of people had their lives changed forever with lasting fruit that is still seen today. Some are now full time pastors and missionaries laboring in the harvest in every corner of the globe. It was a glorious time that transformed a generation for Christ.

Written by Steve Carr - Elder of the Philadelphia House and the Lord's House from 1970-1978. Steve has been the pastor of Calvary Chapel in Arroyo Grande, California for the past 20 years.

4-level bunks beds!