My name is Pete Mallinger, and I have been the Pastor of Calvary Chapel El Centro since we began the fellowship in 1977.
After getting out of the service in 1972, I was searching to find myself, and like many, I tried all kinds of things to bring me peace. Nothing brought any fulfillment to my life until one Monday night on May 12th, 1975. I found myself in a Church in San Diego, and that night changed me forever. The previous week I had gone to a church that Mike MacIntosh (pastor of Horizon Christian Fellowship, as it is called today, part of the Calvary Chapel movement) was sharing out of the Word of God in, and it touched me like nothing else has ever done.
When the invitation was given I didn’t respond by going down because the girl who had invited me was praying, "Lord have Pete go down", which was a prayer I thought that all the people in church could hear. As I look back, that prayer was only a whisper and it was my pride that kept me from going down. That following week I wrestled as to who God was, and realized that it was Jesus Christ the Son of God who did die for me. I looked forward to that next Monday night so I could give my life to Christ. As the Word was taught, it did not grab me as the week before did and the music also did not touch me either, so I just sat there wondering what to do. That is the first time I heard the still, small voice of God speak to me. It sounded just like me, but I know it was not. I heard this, "Are you going to depend on your feelings or the truth?". I got out of my seat, went forward, and my life has been changed ever since.
I went to church as much as I could, and found myself getting involved in the ministry. I helped as an usher, and in a short time I was helping with counseling people who had accepted the Lord on Monday nights, began teaching a home study, teaching every other Sunday morning at a Convalescent Hospital in El Cajon, and was asked a little later to pick up a Bible study in a city called El Centro. I came up with every reason why I should not go down the 120 miles on a Friday night to do that… until I felt I would be in disobedience to the Lord if I did not go. I agreed to go down for one time. That was in June of 1976. Since the few people who were there were so blessed that someone would come down and teach the Word, I agreed to come back the next week. As time went by, the study began to grow, and they began wanting a Sunday morning church service. After much prayer, I felt the Lord wanting me to do it, so on the first Sunday of January of 1977 we started our church.
I have been so blessed to be able to be the pastor of this wonderful group of people and to meet my soul-mate Marci. We were married on November 26, 1977 and have been blessed with three wonderful children. They are full grow and out on their own, so we are empty nesters… and are truly enjoying it.
One thing you might be interested in is that I have something called dyslexia. Growing up it always haunted me. I remember being in school and reading out loud and coming to the word “was” and I would say “saw” and the other kids would laugh at me. I would come to the word “God” and say “dog” and the nuns would beat me and lock me in a broom closet. They would call my parents and say I was retarded and should be put away. Because of this I always tried to hide my dyslexia, but the Lord showed me a better way. He wanted me to show people that someone can be victorious in any difficulty you might have.
The Lord directed me back to school (while still being a pastor, principle of our Christian school, a dad and a husband) and get a Masters Degree. Wanting to be obedient, I did what was needed to be accepted into the Masters program at Azusa Pacific University. In May of 1991 I received a Masters of Arts, and in May of 1992 I earned a Masters of Divinity. I am so blessed that the Lord had me do this, not to be able to boast about having these degrees, but over the years I have been able to share with people who think they are a failure and that there is not hope for them in life. I used to feel the same way.
But I can now share that, in Christ, they can do whatever the Lord puts in front of them. It may take them a little longer to read, but they can be successful if they do it unto the Lord, and are willing to give the extra effort which others may not have to give. Next to seeing people come to the saving knowledge of Christ, this brings me great joy. If I can help any of your kids, or you as an adult, please know I would love to do it, I am here for you.
Thanks for stopping by, and I hope that we get to meet some day soon.
Blessings From Above, Pete Mallinger
I have known about Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for us all my life. Having grown up in a Catholic home, we went to church every Sunday. However, not until 1999 was it shared with me that I could have a personal relationship with my Savior. Through Calvary Chapel Ramona, my husband, Hector & I accepted the Lord as not only our Savior but as our best friend, the One who would save our marriage and keep us together as a family. I believe we were so open to receive because of the love we felt from people who didn't even know us yet loved on us during a very difficult time in our lives. It reminds me of the verse John 13:35 that says "By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples: if ye have love one for another."
Our God is so amazing and my wonderfully witty husband and I have been married for over 20 years now and have three children; our daughters Alix, Jordan, and our son Wyatt. It has been my greatest blessing to be their mom.
We lived in Ramona, California for many years then God led us up to Post Falls, Idaho to live for about 2 years and then moved us to Imperial Valley. I can't say I was happy about that. I loved living in such a beautiful place like Northern Idaho. It was an amazing thing that God did in showing me the beauty of the desert upon surrendering to being content wherever the Lord has us.
I joined the Staff at Calvary Chapel El Centro in February 2010. Our church family is such a blessing. I am constantly in awe of what God does in and through people, and I am privileged to have a front row seat to it by working in the front office. I thank God every day that He allows me to call serving His children my daily occupation.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 3:20 - 4:3. Patty Estrada
Born in 1994 in Brawley, California, for the first 12 years of my life I was living in dysfunctional families with no foundation, no direction, and no goals. I bounced around different families to end up in the Betty Jo McNeece receiving home in El Centro, CA as a child of the state for a year until being received by my grandparents. While living with them in Coalinga, CA I got involved with the wrong things and the wrong crowd. In the middle of my 7th grade I went back to the receiving home for a few days to then be received by my mother. We fought often and I compensated for my anger by excessive alcohol consumption. During this time, early in my freshman year of high school, I was invited to the youth group of Calvary Chapel El Centro.
I attended in the beginning merely as a social event with my friends, and in the course of about a year, my old friends began to dwindle away while I stayed. I kept asking question after question, trying to find a hole within Christianity, or prove the unreliability of the Bible; however, with every question, I received an answer. There came a point one youth group night where I finally accepted that Jesus really is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). Pastor Kirk Reynolds, along with many others, have then taken the time and effort to disciple me into a life-long follower of Christ. I now get to do the same for others.
God has done more in my life than I could have ever thought possible, and He continues to do so. Currently my Commander, the Lord Jesus Christ, has me serving as an assistant pastor and Bible College director here at Calvary Chapel El Centro along with participating and teaching in several other ministries. More importantly, God has given to me a beautiful bride, Victoria Elizabeth Arviso- my co-laborer and friend.
The content I'm sharing with you is for you to be encouraged. If you feel as if you're unimportant, not good enough, not strong enough, not smart enough, or not popular enough, then take heart; I felt the same way. This is what the Bible says in 1st Corinthians 1:26 - 31 "For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the insignificant things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God - and righteousness and sanctification and redemption - that, as it is written, "He who glories, let him glory in the LORD." I'm just a nobody telling everybody about Somebody.
I hope that you would always feel loved here at Calvary Chapel El Centro and that the Lord would cross our paths soon. May God bless you richly.
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