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Installation Service | Vision & Blessing 

I’m deeply honored, I’m truly grateful and I’m incredibly excited to be your pastor. To walk with you through the mountains and valleys of life and guide us as we keep our eyes fixed firmly on Jesus.

I imagine a church , I imagine a Calvary Church…

  • Where hope conquers doubt
  • Where joy invades our pain
  • Where the Word of God determines every decision
  • Where people experience the warmth of family
  • Where healing comes, inside and out, through the work of God’s Spirit and everything we do is empowered by the Holy Spirit
  • Where leaders are developed from within and sent out to make real impact both here and around the world
  • Where deep rest comes from Sabbath time with God our Father who holds us in his arms
  • Where young and old, rich and poor, and every beautiful color of skin sings passionate praise to God side by side with love in our hearts for one another.
  • Where Better Together becomes our way of life as the family of God
  • Where each one reaches one for Jesus
  • Then each one reaches another and another and another
  • Until every man, woman and child in Orange County is engaged with the gospel and experiences the hope, joy and love of God that makes all things new.
  • Where the good news of Jesus is more important to us than anything else
  • I see this church for us but only if we all come together for this mission given to us by God himself that each one reaches one with the good news of Jesus.

We start now.

  • You can pray every single day for the Holy Spirit to give you courage, heart, opportunities and words to say.
  • You can warmly talk to somebody in this room today that you’ve never met.
  • You can be developed as a leader at any life stage.
  • You can worship side by side with someone different than you next Sunday.
  • You can invite someone to Alpha this Wednesday who would never normally come to church.
  • You can reconnect your heart with God’s heart through worship this Thursday
  • You can begin to embrace change and take risks for the gospel and believe that God will do a great thing.

So I pray for us:

Lord, send us as workers for the harvest. The harvest is ripe but the workers are few. Send us Lord. Give us courage, heart, opportunities and words to say. Please make us a church that sees this harvest take place through us.

May the Lord bless you and keep you, Make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you, to lift his countenance to you and give you peace.

Eric Wakeling
Senior Pastor




Installation Service Invitation

Please join us for this significant moment in our church family's history, as we gather for One Service on Sunday, February 4, at 10:00 am to install Eric Wakeling as Calvary’s next Senior Pastor. Everyone, 1st grade and up, will be together in the Worship Center. Programs are available for kids in Nursery - K. 



One Service Sunday, November 12

November 12 was a historic moment in the life of our church family. Thank you again to everyone who prayerfully participated in the vote as Eric Wakeling was confirmed as the next Senior Pastor of Calvary Church. We look forward to following Jesus together, shining brightly in our community and beyond. 


Pastor Dave and Calvary's Elder Board desire that each person in our church family be fully informed to follow God's leading and make the best decision in the congregational membership vote on November 12. The information, videos and resources below are provided for you to learn more about the process and about Pastor Eric Wakeling, our candidate for Calvary's next Senior Pastor.

Membership Vote  Message from Leadership

Pastoral Profile   Church Family Q&As

Consultant's Report  Leader Testimonials


Please join us for a special One Service Sunday on November 12, 2017 at 10:00am in which the Elders will oversee a vote by the members of Calvary Church on the Elders' recommendation of Eric Wakeling as the next Senior Pastor of Calvary Church. All are welcome and highly encouraged to attend, but only church members may vote. If you are unsure of your membership status, contact us at


Who can vote?
Affirmed church members in good standing (those who have gone through the membership process).

When is the vote?
Sunday, November 12 during the One Service at 10:00am. A brief congregational meeting will be held as part of the worship service and ballots will be collected.

How can I get a ballot?
On Sunday, November 12 ballots will be passed out to all those in attendance who are church members. 

What if I cannot attend the services?
Our church bylaws states that a member must be present to vote. Absentee ballots cannot be distributed.

When will the official results be announced?
At the conclusion of the One Service on Sunday, November 12

If you have other questions about the process, please send them to .




Dear Calvary Family, 

Two years ago, as I began my 20th year of ministry at Calvary Church, the Lord put on my heart the desire to plan for succession so we can have a healthy transition to a new Senior Pastor. I began a journey in seeking the Lord, in partnership with our Elders, for the direction on both the timing and the person needed for this next season of ministry. The one name that God placed on my heart was Pastor Eric Wakeling.

His experiences here at Calvary have uniquely equipped him to know the needs and opportunities before us. He has proven faithful in pastoring people in need, teaching the Word of God and guiding our staff in the strategic development of ministry plans. In light of all this, I believe Eric is the right man to help us move toward Calvary’s 100th anniversary in 2031 with a more fruitful ministry for Jesus.

David Mitchell · Senior Pastor

Reflecting on the yearlong process I participated in as an Elder, I can see how God led the process. It was interesting to observe that the board members did not reach our conviction all at the same time and in the same way, but as we prayed and sought the Lord individually and corporately, each of us arrived at this united conclusion. Now, with all of them, I can say with confidence that Eric is God’s choice for the next Senior Pastor of Calvary Church.

In the process, I have come to appreciate Eric’s character, his leadership, and his heart for the heritage and people of Calvary Church. He has shown humility and patience. He expressed insight into the scriptures that illustrated both a scholarly understanding as well as a pastoral heart for people, and he articulated a vision for Calvary’s future that builds on its heritage. I am excited to see what God has in store for all of us.

Norm Alexander · Chairman, Board of Elders



PHOTO: Pastor Eric teaching at Sea of Galilee | Calvary Israel Trip - February 2017

The heart of my vision is that our strength comes from the joy of the Lord (Nehemiah 8:10). Leaders who have a joy and passion for Christ, for the Word of God and for the work of ministry will inspire others towards transformation. The Holy Spirit is the one that actually transforms people. Our role is to inspire, point the way and then come alongside people in their journey of faith.

Eric Wakeling

Read more about Pastor Eric's heart and philosophy of ministry, centered around these five words in the Pastoral Profile: ROOTED, PASSIONATE, CHALLENGING, UNITED AND SHEPHERDING.

Pastoral Profile (PDF)  Watch Eric's Sermons



Come be a part of the journey towards Calvary’s future through Church Family Q & As. These evening gatherings will provide opportunities for you to hear directly from our leadership what God has placed on their hearts for Calvary. And they will also give time for you to participate in discussion and partner in prayer as we seek God’s leading together.

Wednesday · September 6
7:00 pm · Worship Center Lobby
Focus on Process and Vision

Wednesday · September 27
7:00 pm · Worship Center Lobby
Focus on Theology, Scripture and Missions

Friday · October 27
7:00 pm · Worship Center Lobby
Panel Discussion with Calvary’s Elders


In this significant season of our church’s journey, we understand you may have many questions. It is our desire as Elders to do the best we can to address those questions. In the PDF below are some questions we have anticipated with our responses. It is our prayer that these are helpful to you as you consider your role as members of Calvary Church in the selection of our next Senior Pastor.

Q & A Info Sheet (PDF)

You can also contact any of our Pastoral Staff or Elders by email with additional questions you may have at or our individual emails are listed here.


Some have asked if they could see the consultant’s report to which we, the Board of Elders, referred to as part of our year-long journey of discovery and due diligence. We want to be as open as we can in the process, so we discussed with the consultant, and his input was that since it wasn’t designed for wide distribution it might be confusing to some, but we could summarize and distribute. So, we drafted a summary and reviewed with him, and he confirmed that the content below was appropriate to share.

The report included the following recommendations to the Elders:
· Make a strategic hire to add to the worship team – someone who can build relational bridges between generations.
· Rethink current ministry and strategy to assist in bringing clarity to “who Calvary Church is”, “where Calvary Church is going” and how we communicate this identity.
· Elder board should take a more visible leadership role in the church – first in the Senior Pastor succession process and then continuing beyond that process.
· Select a Senior Pastor who is Strategic, Visionary, and able to engage younger generations, broader ethnicities, and reach the lost. (Criteria further elaborated below)
· In the Succession process, build a timeline and a communication plan and execute it.
· Develop a clear path and strategy for growth, including increasing the Church’s impact in surrounding communities with the Gospel. Be intentional about becoming more multicultural and multigenerational. Get younger faster.
· Identify how Calvary’s history, resources, campus, leadership and location can be leveraged for long-term sustainable growth.

Additionally, a list was generated of recommended competencies in Calvary's next Senior Pastor:
· Strategic – Loves a plan and enjoys executing it more
· The ability to cast compelling vision – Able to move people to the edge of their seats
· Leader first, shepherd second – to support growth
· Able to capture and hold different generations – Multigenerational
· Able to capture and hold diversity – Multicultural/Multiethnic
· Able to help Calvary grow younger – Recapture and engage millennials and young families
· Effective teacher and communicator – Communication is the gift of leadership
· Engaged with the community and the lost – Vision begins with a lost world
· Knows how to build momentum – Calvary needs catalytic leadership
· Comfortable with change – This is nonnegotiable for Calvary …Change is inevitable
· Able to inspire and equip the saints to do the work of the ministry – Ephesians 4 leadership
· Engage and maintain a great relationship and strategic partnership with the schools



“Eric’s biblical teaching is consistently both challenging and encouraging. His recent message on the Fruit of the Spirit, and walking in the Spirit’s ways, was especially meaningful to both my wife Betty and me. So much so that we spent much of that Sunday afternoon talking and praying together about it. Eric’s teaching and preaching help keep us where we need to be, rooted and ground in Christ and His word.”
Craig Bryson · Elder


“Eric has demonstrated a commitment to lead Calvary to know and practice the Great Commandment by being Better Together as a local church. His development of ministry staff and passion for teaching with a team of pastors has resulted in Calvary being motivated and equipped to live our love first to God, then to each other and to the ends of the earth.”
Rick Bergstrom · Elder 


“Throughout the process of the Elders considering what God would have for the next season at Calvary, there have been a few milestones along the way. For me one of those milestones was hearing from Eric of his deep sense of God’s calling him here to Calvary Church. It is clear that Eric has a unique understanding and passion for Calvary, and a love and desire to shepherd its people.”
Paul Nienow · Elder


"As a friend and mentor of Eric's for several years I have had a chance to get to know Eric personally and see his heart for the Lord, his family, and Calvary Church. His enthusiasm and passion for the Lord is evident in how he lives his life, worships, and loves his family and other people. I have witnessed firsthand how God has been preparing Eric for this new role as our next senior pastor. As a member of Calvary Church for 65 years I am confident that Eric is God’s man, who with the help of a great staff and team, will lead Calvary Church to our 100 year anniversary.”
Steve Esser · Elder 


"For the past ten years, Eric has proven himself to be a God-honoring strategic leader who wants to see others know Jesus and be transformed by Him. He's not afraid to make a fool of himself for the Gospel (VBS) or stand up for what is right (anytime). He is a growing person who seeks opportunities to learn and be mentored. I am excited to work with him to fulfill God's vision for Calvary Church."  
Shannon Reese · Women's Ministries Director



"In the 15 years that I have been friends and served alongside Eric at Calvary, one of my favorite things about him is his passion for missions. He has a deep love and commitment to see the Gospel preached and demonstrated to those who have not yet heard. I have watched him lead high school students to Kenya, serve in the poorest parts of Mexico and prayer walk in the urban city streets of Paris. In each of these places his heart for God's missions has been so clearly seen. I love this about my friend." 
Matt Doan · Reach Pastor


“I’ve known Eric for over 20 years. He loves God, his family and Calvary Church. He is a strong visionary leader with a passion for seeing others find joy and purpose in pursuing and serving Jesus.”
Scott Van Essen · Elder



The Lord bless you, and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.  
Numbers 6:4-26