Butler adjusting sails in San Marcos

2 min read
Butler adjusting sails in San Marcos

Butler adjusting sails in San Marcos


One doesn’t always think of sailing while in San Marcos. But the winds of change that recently hit Calvary Chapel of San Marcos (CCSM) were, to some, both unexpected and powerful. Pastor Chuck Butler of Calvary Chapel of Carlsbad received a phone call in September from a Christian brother who expressed concern for himself, other leadership and the whole body of believers at CCSM.

Butler said, “It sounded like a spiritual wind was out of their sails.” He went to their next church board meeting and soon discovered that a pastoral change at the church was imminent and that some sails were still intact, others torn and damaged, while still others seemed lost at sea. And the wind? It seemed still, yet noticeable unseen (as usual), but it’s influence undeniable. The Holy Spirit was up to something — something that could work together for the good. Repairing the sails was Butler’s first intent. Getting the wind back in their sails would be his next priority. But he was busy pastoring elsewhere.

He first came to bring “…a simple word of encouragement,” and, suddenly, three weeks later, Butler was welcomed as the new senior pastor of CCSM. And what about Calvary Chapel of Carlsbad? They had lovingly sent Butler to strengthen the brethren at CCSM and found out quickly that a blending of the fellowships was not without consideration. During his seven years of pioneering and serving at the Carlsbad church, Butler and the elders there held several discussions about merging with other North County and Coastal churches, “…but it never seemed to click,” recalled Butler.

On Sunday, Oct. 19, both Calvary Chapel fellowships began meeting as one in the San Marcos facility. This blending of forces was triggered by CCSM’s need for a pastor, birthed by an act of compassion and then directed by this prevailing “wind.” Behind the scenes, the wind was picking up and its influence was becoming more obvious. Change can be rather intimidating it can also be rather liberating. During the last few weeks of 1997, Butler, the CCSM servant-leadership team (as he refers to them) and the two blending congregations began doing exactly what a friend of his had suggested that they do when he heard of their winds of change: They all began “…adjusting their sails.”

With a fresh vision and a heart for the lost, Butler is bringing a new emphasis on evangelism to CCSM. He also brings over 25 years of ministry and Bible-teaching experience from serving at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and Calvary Chapel Bible College Horizon Christian Fellowship in San Diego and studies at Azusa Pacific University.

“What are we doing at CCSM in ’98?” asked Butler. “We’re walking in faith, waiting in hope and growing in love. Ready for the wind? Adjust your sails!”

CCSM is located 2 blocks off of Hwy. 78 at 807 San Marcos Blvd. at Bent Ave., next to Dominos Pizza.

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