I have had the privilege and honor of being an active part of this church for quite a few years as a member of the Body, a youth pastor and now Senior Pastor. What I've noticed over the years was the consistency of hurting people looking for hope as they come through our doors. When I took over the role of Senior Pastor in 2012 my wife and I began praying about changing the name of the church. We were originally called "Calvary Chapel Gilroy", a name that either brings a lot of security if you know about the Calvary Chapel movement or a lot of confusion if you don't know anything about it ("where is the chapel exactly?") 

While we have no intention of leaving the Calvary Chapel family, I really felt like the name of the church should be a representation of what the Church is and not just who we are affiliated with. 

So, after two years of prayer, counsel and seeking the Lord, we felt like God continued to show us The Anchor.  1st century Christians used the symbol of an anchor to identify themselves and to proclaim a message of hope in the face of persecution.  Archeologists have found anchors engraved in catacombs, prison cells, martyr's tombs, and various other places. The anchor helped people identify themselves as Christians  and encourage others facing persecution. It was a symbol that no matter how bad life got, no matter how big or terrifying the waves, we have an anchor in Jesus Christ. We have safety and hope in the storm. Jesus is going to come and make all things new and life is not always going to be like this. 

Throughout the prayer process, I grew more and more confident that The Anchor was the perfect representation of what the Church should be: a symbol of hope.  We should desire to be known, not for our affiliation, but that we make much of Jesus...the source of our hope.  

"We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek." - Hebrews 6:19-20

I am incredibly stoked about the direction that the Good Lord is leading us in. While foundationally nothing has changed, with the new name there is a clearer picture of what the church is and our mission in our great city: to proclaim hope in what is truly a hopeless place. In the midst of the storms our city faces and how lost we may become, there is one anchor. There is one Hope for the world.

His name is Jesus.

Trusting In His Grace,

Justin Richter

Below are some FAQs about the name change. Feel free to contact the church office if these don't answer your questions and you'd like to talk to someone in leadership.



The Calvary Chapel movement began when the Lord led a man named Chuck Smith to take over a small chapel in Costa Mesa, CA in 1968. It was a small church of about 25 people who were sincerely seeking God’s heart and looking for a pastor who would be open to the new work God was leading their church into. Pastor Chuck was looking for a church where he could teach the Word of God simply, be led by the Spirit of God, and love the people. For Pastor Chuck, one of the advantages of the name “Calvary Chapel” was that it was new and fresh and people couldn’t put them into a box. People had to find out for themselves what they were all about. We believe the Lord is doing something new again in our church. 

There are many people in our society that are broken, hurting and looking for hope and healing in all the wrong places. Our heart is that whenever we invite people to The Anchor or tell them the name of our church, it is a declaration and reminder that Jesus is truly our anchor in the storm. Jesus is the only one who can help.  Understanding who Jesus is, what He's done and what He's going to do shines light on all the depravity of the world because there is purpose in our suffering.  Jesus gives hope that life is not always going to be this way.  There can be joy even when there is not "happiness". The name The Anchor provides us with a chance – an open door – a conversation starter to share what Jesus offers and how He transforms people who surrender to Him, trust Him and are saved by Him. 


ABSOLUTELY!  We believe the Lord is doing a great work in and through the Calvary Chapel Movement. While the body of Christ is a LOT bigger than any one movement, denomination or group of churches, we are so blessed by the family of Calvary Chapel that we are a part of. Our unity in Christ only makes our diversity that much richer. Calvary Chapel is not a denomination. We’re not even opposed to denominations.  We just don't want to overemphasize certain non-essential doctrines and beliefs that can divide us as believers. 

Here are some of our family traits as a Calvary Chapel church:

• Keeping the Gospel central along with a heart for evangelism

• The priority of teaching through the Bible book by book, verse by verse

• Spiritual church leadership that is simple

• A reliance upon the work of the Holy Spirit

• Biblical view of spiritual gifts for today

• Emphasizing God’s grace

• Trusting that where God guides, God provides

• Being motivated by and hopeful in the imminent rapture of the church

• The supremacy of love for God and love for others

• A view of salvation that is Biblically balanced

• Taking ventures of faith


One of the things that we have discovered is that there are many people looking for a Calvary Chapel. One of the concerns with the name change was wondering if Calvary Chapel seekers would still be able to find us.  While the phone book has slowly gone the way of the buffalo, it's easier than ever to find our church with a simple Google search. Not only are we listed as The Anchor on the official Calvary Chapel Website, but we also have Calvary Chapel listed on all of our signage. Trust me, if people are looking for a Calvary Chapel in Gilroy, they are going to find The Anchor. 


The goal of our church is to connect with the Lord as we allow the Holy Spirit to move and to grow believers together as Jesus’ disciples. Here are a few of the ways that we can strengthen this ministry. 

1. Be outreach focused. – Most people would come to church if a friend invited them. At work, school, and where we live, we are missionaries seeking to live out the Gospel and share the love of Christ with others. 

2. Share The Anchor. - On the web, with your friends, and feel free to blow up social media with what the Good Lord is doing here. 

3. Serving With Excellence - We want to make sure that when someone comes to visit The Anchor that they don't get our leftovers. If we have company coming over to our house, we work hard to make sure it looks nice and that our guests feel welcomed. The church is the same way. If you are a ministry leader, make sure you are prepared and ready to serve with love and excellence. If you are someone that considers The Anchor your church home, please make sure to keep an eye out for folks you don't know. Put forth the effort to greet them with a smile and make sure they feel welcomed. 

4. Be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. – As we seek the Lord’s leading there will be times when the flow of service may be different than the previous week. We truly want to be led by the Holy Spirit and to expect God to work! 

5. PRAY! - Above all, make sure we spend time in prayer about AND FOR The Anchor. Prayer is the oxygen of the church and in prayer we declare our dependence on the Lord.