For Fred and Jay, Calvary Chapel was a stabilizing factor that nurtured their infant spiritual lives. Nightly fellowships at Calvary became regular routine for the guys during the next few weeks, and it wasn't long before pastor Chuck Smith and Lonnie Frisbee, the youth minister, "discovered" their extraordinary musical abilities. It should be said that Chuck Smith was perhaps one of the first to realize that this new style of music would become instrumental in bringing people of all ages to know Jesus. His encouragement and guidance played an important role, not only in their individual lives but in the formation of the group and its ministry as well. The guys were invited by pastor Chuck to perform at a Wednesday night Bible study. "Originally it was just Fred, Jay and I," Chuck recalls. "We didn't play collectively as a group in the formal sense of the word. Tommy hadn't joined us on a full-time basis yet because he was working this job."
The tent days at Calvary Chapel
It was about a month later that they asked Tommy if he could come down and play with them at a Saturday concert being held at the Orange County fairgrounds. He agreed and it was while performing with the group that Tommy personally experienced the real love and power of God. "I realized during the last song of the evening, 'Think About What Jesus Said,' that I hadn't given myself totally to the Lord. I hadn't made a full and genuine commitment. During the song, I broke down in tears, took off my guitar and made my decision for Jesus. I decided to quit my job and move back to Orange County so I could play full-time for the Lord."