The Testimony of Pastor David Rosales

Pastor David Rosales was born in Whittier, California in 1950 and grew up in Norwalk, California during the tumultuous 60s. David was raised in a home with a very sick mom and began to fear at an early age that he would lose her. David tried to please God and be a good son while always living in fear of coming home to find his mother dead. Raised a Roman Catholic, he began to feel that life was not fair and experimented with alcohol, then marijuana, and finally began using hallucinogens over the next five years. By age 19, he realized his life was going nowhere. It seemed that every person he truly cared about eventually was hurt by something he did, and he just got tired of being such an unkind person.
He was invited several times to go to a small church in Costa Mesa, but being raised a Catholic, did not want to go, and always refused. Finally, he accepted an invitation to attend the church, but tried to be as offensive as possible. He went, but was barefooted, wore a t-shirt, drank some beer, and smoked marijuana before climbing into his friend’s van and heading to church. The speaker was Lonnie Frisbee and this was his first encounter with Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa. He was so lost but thought he was already a Christian so, though he did not go forward to make a decision, he did think about it.

By this time, David saw friends dying. It was at this time that David began thinking that he too might end up dead if he didn’t change the way that he was living. This same year, David nearly overdosed on a combination of wine and barbiturates. For the first time in many years, he began to cry out to God. In His mercy, God spared his life. Sadly, David did not think much of what happened and it did not cause him to turn to the Lord. It was a short time later that David went to Calvary Chapel, and though he was impressed by what was happening in the church, his way of living only worsened. By that time, he began thinking that he needed help and began praying.

About three months later, a friend invited him to a Maranatha concert at the Hollywood Palladium on December 27, 1970. This was an all-day concert mixed with evangelistic messages, so David heard the Gospel presented throughout the day. The final speaker was a street preacher named Arthur Blessitt. He stood to give an evangelistic message and gave an invitation. Earlier that day, David had come to the realization that he didn’t know Jesus, and the Lord spoke to his heart in a very personal way. David surrendered his life to Jesus Christ during that Maranatha concert at the Hollywood Palladium at age 20. He had been a totally rebellious and angry kid, showing no love and having no conscience. Within a few weeks, he led his parents to the Lord.

After he was saved, David volunteered for the draft and served in the Army. Upon leaving the service, he backslid for a short period but then rededicated his life to Christ. David enrolled at Biola College, and began leading a home Bible study in September of 1973. His first members were his dad, mom, sisters, and some neighbors. A year later his brother, Frank, got saved, and David and his sister, Madelyn, would drive from Norwalk to Ontario to teach him Bible studies. It was at this time that his brother began inviting friends to attend the study, and one of those attending was a young woman named Marie. Marie did not know the Lord, having come to the study out of curiosity but within three weeks, she had given her life to Jesus. Shortly thereafter, David asked her to go out on a date and, from that day on, she has not left his side.

After getting married, David and Marie began attending Calvary Chapel in Downey and later, in Claremont, California. While serving in Calvary Chapel of Claremont, in 1979, he was ordained and began serving as an assistant Pastor. In 1981, he launched a new church (with 30 adults and 20 children) in a home in Ontario. They soon outgrew the house and relocated. The church continued to grow and therefore relocated a few more times. In 1992, Calvary Chapel of Ontario bought its current property in Chino and began ministering as Calvary Chapel of the Chino Valley. A new 2200+ seat sanctuary was built in 2002 and the Lord has continued moving in the midst of His people ever since.

“If you were to walk into our fellowship,” said Pastor David, “There are four pillars painted on the wall in our foyer: Word, Worship, Withness (fellowship), and Witness. These are the first words you encounter when you enter our building. Jesus is the chief cornerstone. This is what we are all about.” The passion of the church and Pastor is graphically printed above the pastor’s head in every service, John 12:21: “We would see Jesus.”

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